The Magpie House  

Just off a bustling Wellington city thoroughfare, is a quaint little lane called Ascot Street. Number 22 is a tar black weatherboard modernist house, with stark white framing. Out the back there’s an overgrown jungle of a garden, where NZ’s ‘father of classical music composition’ Douglas Lilburn liked to spend time growing vegetables and listening to the Tūī. 

Over four episodes host Kirsten Johnstone weaves together the stories that surround the house and its inhabitants into a Forrest-Gump-esque saga of war and music, cold-war espionage and persecution, the search for identity and a place to call home.

‘The Magpie House’ is available on all major platforms.

Click any of the links or episode tiles below to listen.

The Magpie House podcast series was a finalist in the 2022 New York Festivals Radio Awards.