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Weekend Breaks At Taranaki Festival Of The Arts

Friday 15 July 2005

Weekend Breaks At Taranaki Festival Of The Arts

Head to Taranaki for a weekend in July and August and experience world-class theatre and music at the Taranaki Festival of the Arts. The 18-day event opens on July 27 and includes three weekends offering out-of-towners the opportunity to experience a range of performing arts and take a spin on the ice rink which is being specially built for the festival.

The first festival weekend – July 30 and 31 – features the stunning Canadian circus Cirque Eloize with its new show Nomade – at night the sky is endless, acclaimed British theatre actor Linda Marlowe performing two solo shows exclusively forTaranaki, the Edinburgh Festival hit Berkoff’s Women and her autobiographical show No Fear, plus the spellbinding Belgian singer Micheline van Hautem, New Zealand’s own V8 Vocal Ensemble, and Canadian-based world music group from Chad, H’Sao.

Or choose the second weekend of the festival – August 6 and 7 – to experience Canadian theatre company Mulgrave Road Theatre with its whimsical comedy Lauchie, Liza and Rory, have an hilarious night out singing at the Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music, or take a trip back in time to experience The Maori Volcanics, and don’t miss sublime Canadian jazz pianist and singer Brenda Earle or leading New Zealand classical pianist Michael Houston.

The final weekend of the festival – August 13 and 14 – has a real New Zealand feel. The weekend kicks off on Friday night with a festival dance party from 10pm to 4am – The Beat Suite ’05 features top DJs and bands including Pitch Black, Kora, Batucada Sound Machine and Pacific Heights.

A literary programme runs throughout the weekend and features 11 of New Zealand’s most talented writers and authors, plus there’s King and Country -– unique theatre about New Zealanders in World War I, and Sticky Filth, pioneers of the New Zealand punk rock scene perform and launch their new CD, and finishing the festival in fine style is Canadian folk musicians Mauvais Sort.

During the day festival goers can take in a range of visual arts exhibitions around New Plymouth including the first Taranaki Festival of the Arts artist in residence programme featuring acclaimed French artist Pascal Daudon together with internationally recognised Maori artist Rangi Kipa.

Other exhibitions include Handboek – Ans Westra photographs, internationally recognised sculptor Lee Bul’s first solo exhibition in New Zealand which includes a major new installation, plus works by Peter and Rachel Lambert, Darcy Nicholas and emerging Taranaki Maori artists Hemi Sundgren, Joanne Tito, Steve Wharehoka, Jeanette Rata and Jason Hina. Festival director Roger King says this year’s festival features the strongest artistic line-up ever with international stars performing alongside the crème of New Zealand talent.

The Taranaki Festival of the Arts follows the sell-out success of WOMAD New Zealand 2005. Both events are organised by the Taranaki Arts Festivals Trust. Tickets for the Taranaki Festival of the Arts are available through Ticketek and the full programme is available online at


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