Tauranga Arts Festival promises 10 days and nights of rollicking good entertainment when it rolls into town in October, with highlights ranging from internationally renowned circus-cabaret LIMBO to a panel discussion on climate change featuring an award-winning Kiwi scientist.
Music forms a mainstay of the festival and performers include American bluesman Greg Copeland, Shooglenifty (Scotland), who pull Celtic folk music into the 21st century, and award-winning Kiwi singer-songwriters Nadia Reid, Reb Fountain and Milly Tabak and The Miltones.
Theatre-goers have plenty to enjoy that combines both comedy and drama – Wild Dogs Under my Skirt (the raw energy of Samoan women), Cellfish (Shakespeare meets prison inmates), Mr Red Light (a hostage situation in a pie shop) and Still Life with Chickens (a lonely, older woman makes a new friend).
Across the Bay
Te Puke and Katikati are the places to catch one-woman comedy The South Afreakins, which Kiwi writer-actor Robyn Paterson based on the travails of her own parents as they set about not only coping with retirement (and each other) but moving countries into the bargain.
Since 2003 Volker Gerling has been walking in Germany – 4000km so far – and photographing the people he meets to create a unique, award-winning artwork which he calls “thumb cinema”.
In Portraits in Motion (Katikati, Te Puke and Tauranga) Volker shows a selection of his favourite portraits by holding flipbooks under a video camera with the resulting moving images projected on to a large screen as he shares the heart-warming stories behind each encounter.
Learn and Listen
Writers can hone their talents over Labour Weekend with workshops for novels, short stories, children (8-13) and screenwriting. Tutors include Tauranga-born Tim Balme (Brokenwood, 800 Words) and Catherine Robertson (Gabriel’s Bay).
The spotlight turns on speakers from November 2-3 and among those sharing their stories are financial writer Mary Holm, climate scientist James Renwick, former politician Marilyn Waring (still the youngest MP ever elected in New Zealand), Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien and parenting author Emily Writes.
Free events include Fringe Village Day at Tauranga’s Historic Village (October 26), the outdoor exhibition Pou Rama (Light Posts) at Masonic Park on The Strand, and A Call to Dance at Tauranga Art Gallery which spotlights the moves of Tauranga Moana.
Tauranga Arts Festival runs from October 24 to November 3. See the full programme at taurangafestival.co.nz. Tickets from Baycourt or the festival website.
Earlybird prices available until September 13. Student prices available to many shows.