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Lake Taupo Arts Festival (5 - 15 February)

In this media release

1. · Festival starts 5 February!
2. · Hot selling shows
3. · Waitangi Weekend programme
4. Festival performers in the spotlight
5. · The Pacific Crystal Palace
6. · Thanks to our great supporters
7. Festival Contacts, phone and email contacts

Lake Taupo Arts Festival starts Thursday 5 February, and runs through to Sunday 15 February. Taupo is looking beautiful at the moment, and it will be further enhanced by a great programme of theatre, dance, comedy, cabaret, music, art exhibitions and glass artists at work, street theatre and children's events.

Full Festival programme online at


Sales are good for the Festival, with most tickets being sold to Taupo buyers, although support for the Festival also comes from Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, Wellington and Hawkes Bay.

Best sellers in the lead-up to the Festival are: The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, The Daylight Atheist, The Legend Returns, Manic Opera, Hot Club Sandwich, Kate Dimbleby.

Some of the more unusual shows in this year's Festival: Vula is a beautiful and at times very funny piece of visual theatre which captures the special relationship of Pacific Island women with the sea. Boxes is a lovely puppet show for children aged 3 - 10 years, which the whole family will enjoy. Odyssey from Australia (directed by NZ's John Bolton) is another fascinating play with a very topical theme of immigration and adapting to the demands of a new culture and a new life. The Untold Tales of Maui takes a funny and satirical look at the well known myths - plus some which haven't before been told. There are two outstanding dance programmes - Soapbox Productions' lyrical and beautiful dance work White which explores the phenomenon of sleep, and Footnote Dance's Feet First 2004 - an all new programme of contemporary New Zealand dance. And don't miss the chance to celebrate the energy and creativity of NZ's younger talent. Comedienne/poet Penny Ashton is The Hot Pink Poet, and Flight of the Conchords present a comedy/music programme "High on Folk".


Waitangi Weekend offers a special opportunity to enjoy a whole range of arts experiences, from juggling to jazz, comedy to puppetry and cabaret to contemporary dance:

Thursday 5 February

Evening performances: Raewyn Hill's evocative dance work White (GLC Theatre)

The outrageously entertaining Manic Opera (Pacific Crystal Palace)

Friday 6 February

Take the children or grandchildren to Boxes, a puppet show aimed at children 3-10 years old but acclaimed by adults as "adorable" and very funny. Watch the glass blowers at work in front of the Great Lake Centre, browse through Crossings-The Mighty River Power Exhibition, and visit Translucence, an exhibition of glass art at Taupo Museum and Art Gallery. Relax in the Pacific Crystal Palace with lunchtime jazz.

Evening shows: Manic Opera, White

Saturday 7 February

Come and join us for the community launch - a BIG family day

11am Footnote present Feet First 2004, an exciting programme of new dance works (GLC theatre)

12.30pm Tanya Batt has fascinating stories for children (GLC foyer)

12.30-1.30pm Lunchtime jazz in the Pacific Crystal Palace

2pm-4pm The Juggling Olympics on Tongariro Domain. Comedy, colour, variety, fun.

4pm-approx 4.45pm Dance with Footnote and a big cast of local school students. Street theatre with

AboutFace plus local school pupils. The Festival will be officially launched during this time, with speeches from

the outdoor stage by the Great Lake Centre.

4.45-5.45pm Hip hop group Nesian Mystik present an hour's concert on the outdoor stage.

All day: Glass artists at work, Crossings-the Mighty River Power Exhibition, Translucence.

Evening shows: The Great Juggling Show; Mahinarangi Tocker.

After the evening shows stay around for a spectacular display of FIRE JUGGLING by the New Zealand and international jugglers on Tongariro Domain (10.30pm, weather permitting.)

Sunday 8 February

Tanya Batt tells tales for children at 12 noon and 2.30pm (GLC foyer).

Lunchtime jazz in the Pacific Crystal Palace (12.30-2 pm).

Evening shows: Vula, Mahinarangi Tocker



Penny Ashton, aka The Hot Pink Poet, has been nominated for the TV2 Billy T James Comedy Award, described as NZ's Oscar for up and coming stand-up comedians. Former winners include Cal Wilson, Jan Maree, Radar and Humourbeasts. Penny is one of five nominees. The awards show on 17 May will be televised. Catch Penny in action in The Pacific Crystal Palace on Tuesday 10 February.


Taika Cohen is one of the writers of the satirical comedy The Untold Tales of Maui, in which he also performs. As an actor Taika has been acclaimed for his roles in the films Scarfies and Snakeskin. As Taika Waititi he is also a talented film-maker, and his short film Two Cars, One Night has been selected for the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the USA. See Taika in The Untold Tales of Maui with Jemaine Clement, Great Lake Centre Theatre, 10 February.


Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords (with Jemaine Clement) has had a great year. Not only did the comedy music duo win the top award at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Bret also gained a speaking part in The Return of the King, the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Bret had a tiny non-speaking role in the first LOTR film, and immediately gained a fanclub and various websites devoted to his elf character, nicknamed Figwit. The fans' devotion was rewarded when Figwit earned a small speaking role (with Elven princess Arwen in the forest scene of The Return of the King.) You can find out more about Figwit online at and see Flight of the Conchords on Monday 9 February at the Pacific Crystal Palace.


Eight fans of hip hop group Nesian Mystik will get the chance to meet their heroes after their community concert on Tongariro Domain, Saturday 7 February. Competitions will be run on by our media sponsors The Taupo Times, KisFM, Triple-T FM and Tuwharetoa FM in the leadup to the Festival.


New Zealand's most opulent travelling cabaret venue, The Pacific Crystal Palace, returns to Taupo for the Festival. The Palace will house evening events including Mahinarangi Tocker, Kate Dimbleby, Hot Club Sandwich, Flight of the Conchords, Manic Opera and Hot Pink, as well as lunchtime concerts by local jazz groups and student musicians from Taupo schools, and Annabel Langbein will present a succulent demonstration of food from Sicily.

Lyn Lealand of Kinloch's Cottage Café will be providing a wide range of delicious meals and snacks, while The Merchant of Taupo is supplying the drinks for the Pacific Crystal Palace. The Pacific Crystal Palace is open daily during the Festival from 11am to 11pm.


Support for this year's Festival has been outstanding, with Sponsors, Patrons and Friends getting in behind the fifth biennial event.


Mary Griffin


TrustPower, Taupo Times, Kis FM 93.5, Classic Hits Lakeland FM


Pak'N Save Taupo, Mighty River Power, Destination Lake Taupo, Total Transport Ltd


Digithink, Wairakei Resort, Montana Wines, Replete Food Company, Tuaropaki Trust, Kura Gallery - Carol Hunter, Brumby's Hot Bread Shop & Mulligan's Public House, Beker Findlay Allan Ltd, DPA & Associates, Lion Breweries, The Merchant of Taupo, McPhee Engineering & Crane Hire, Tuwharetoa FM and Triple-T FM


Bay of Plenty Community Trust, Taupo District Council, Creative New Zealand, Lion Foundation (Easy Street & Finn MacCuhal's Irish Pub), Tuwharetoa Trust Board (Hei Ara Kokiri Tuwharetoa Education Initiative), Scottwood Community Trust (Taupo Superbowl), Pub Charity (Kazbar and Sweethearts Kazino), The Great Lake Centre


Taupo Community Arts Council, South Auckland Charitable Trust (Off Side Sports Bar), Central Plateau REAP, Taupo ITM


Caboose Taupo Hotel, Central Motor Group LMVD, Kathryn Chapman Dental Surgery, Fotopost, Lyn and John Hathaway, Huka Jet, Impulse Opportunities Ltd, Levene, Lochviews - Kimba & Malcolm Brodie, Adrienne Morgan & David Vallance, Placemakers, Quality Print, Scenic Cellars, Spencer Holmes Taupo Ltd, Suncourt Motor Hotel & Conference Centre, Zea You Corner


About NZ Rentals, The Animal Hospital Taupo, Baycrest Lodge, Baywater Motor Inn, K & S Bleakley, Bloomin' Flowers, Chris Casswell, Chantilly's Motor Lodge, Cheal Hindess Battersby, Chelmswood Manor Motor Lodge, The Cove, Glen and Jayne Craig, Sue Dineen, Grantleys Liquor Merchants, Ian Jensen & Kathy

Wiltshire, Evelyn Johnson, KC Enterprises, Keehan's Pharmacy, Annie & Brian Kirk, The Lake Gallery, Sylvia Lee, Lighting Depot, Lisland Properties Ltd, Rewa Marlow, MCF Antiques & Interiors, Jay & Bruce McLeod, Moores Betta Electrical, Paper Plus - Joy & David Rillstone, Ploughmans Licensed Restaurant & Bar, Shirley's Shoes, Warwick & Victoria Simpson, Sue and Clayton Stent, Taupo Native Plant Nursery Ltd, Taupo Office Products, Veitch Morison Valuers Ltd, Dorothy Westerman, Nicola Williams


FESTIVAL OFFICE Director: Philip Tremewan. Marketing Director: Gill Winter Phone: 07 376 0342, 07 376 0344 Email

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