22 APRIL 2012

While studying for his masters degree in English at the University of Canterbury Elric Hooper appeared in several of Dame Ngaio Marsh's acclaimed productions of Shakespeare. Two years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, as an acting and directing student followed. His professional career began in the world famous Old Vic. He appeared there for three seasons and worked as an actor and assistant to Franco Zeffirelli in his Award-winning Romeo and Juliet.

Thereafter he worked as performer, director and teacher in America, Scandinavia, Germany and France as well as theatres throughout Britain. He returned to New Zealand in 1975 and was Artistic Director of The Court Theatre from 1979 to 2000. His talks on music and literature have become a popular feature on Radio New Zealand.

Elric has taught in the London University, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Inner London Education Authority. He has been guest lecturer at City of New York, Northwestern, Kansas and Washington Universities. In NZ he has taught at Canterbury and Victoria Universities, NZ Drama School, Unitec School of Performing Arts, Auckland and the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art, Christchurch. His has an extensive theatre company teaching history covering practical drama and stage theory.

In the 1990 Queens Birthday Honours he was awarded the M.B.E. and the same year received the 1990 Commenwealth Medal in recognition of his contribution to New Zealand Theatre. The University of Canterbury made him Doctor of Letters in 2001 and since 2000 he has been freelancing in Australia, NZ, America and UK.

Acknowledgement: Canterbury University for biography






The play SNAP! was adapted by Fiona Farrell from the Novel 'Photo Finish' by Dame Ngaio Marsh.

Fiona Farrell is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, publishing work in a variety of genres.

Fiona Farrell's first novel, The Skinny Louie Book won the 1993 New Zealand Book Award for fiction. Other novels, poetry and non-fiction books have been shortlisted for  the Montana and New Zealand Post Book Awards with four novels also nominated for the International Dublin IMPAC Award. Farrell's short fiction has appeared in the company of Alice Munro and Hanif Kureishi in two volumes of Heinemann’s Best Short Stories (ed. Gordon and Hughes), while her poems feature in major anthologies including The Oxford Book of New Zealand Poetry and Bloodaxe’s best-selling Being Alive. Her play Chook Chook is one of Playmarket New Zealand’s most frequently requested scripts. Her most recent publications are two non-fiction titles - The Broken Book and The Quake Year.

Fiona Farrell is a frequent guest at festivals in New Zealand, and has also appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival.  

She has held residencies in France (1995 Katherine Mansfield Fellowship to Menton)  and Ireland (2006 Rathcoola Residency). Fiona was the 2011 Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago.

In 2007 Fiona Farrell received the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction.

In 2012 Fiona was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for 'services to literature' in the Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List 2012.