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Three New Zealanders: Ngaio Marsh

Television (Full Length) – 1977

Three New Zealanders was a documentary series that looked at the lives of three of NZ's most celebrated writers: Sylvia-Ashton Warner, Janet Frame and Dame Ngaio Marsh. Produced by Endeavour Films (John Barnett), the final chapter of this three-part series centres on internationally acclaimed crime-writer and Shakespearean director Dame Ngaio Marsh. It contains an interview with Marsh in her later years, interspersed with comments from former students and friends, and re-enactments from her novels (with the Blerta crew as players, and John Bach as Hamlet!).

Here is this governess in a gentile Canterbury home reading to a little girl, not of fairies or well-behaved Victorian heroes but of King Lear, Shakespeare at his most cataclysmic speaking of cruelty.
– Narrator, on Ngaio's childhood being read to by Ms Ffitch

Produced by

Endeavour Films


Commissioned by the Broadcasting Council of New Zealand with the support of the QEII Arts Council, and Qantas.