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NZ's Biggest Arts Festival for Children in 2011

Media release December 20th

New Zealand’s Biggest Arts Festival for Children in 2011

International artists and the country’s finest talent will be brought together next year in New Zealand's biggest arts festival for children.

Tickets go on sale today for Capital E’s fifth biennial National Arts Festival to be held in March next year. Creating wind instruments from household objects, sailing a boat made entirely from bread, and finding the cure for a humpback whale with a broken heart will be just some of the mysteries to be solved. For two weeks the city will become the hub of theatre, dance and music for schools and families visiting the capital as venues around Wellington play host to thousands of children.

Works commissioned for the festival will come from a range of local and international talent. Awkward Productions presents Grimace, a fairytale inspired circus with a gothic twist; the creators of Lonesome Buckwhips will perform a delightfully unwholesome show Vinnie Septic and the Princesses in a fable about what not to be when you grow up; and Capital E National Theatre for Children present Hear to See at The Opera House, with a score from Richard Nunns and stunning puppetry from Sydney-based company ERTH, whose life-size dinosaurs were a highlight at the 2009 festival.

From the UK, Myrtle Theatre Company will perform their poignant, life-affirming comedy Up Down Boy, a play inspired by the extraordinary life story of Nathan Bessell who has Down’s syndrome and his mother’s unique perspective on bringing him up. Incorporating animation from Aardman-contracted artists, Evil Genius, and a script developed with the support of Catherine Johnson, company patron and writer of Mamma Mia, this New Zealand premiere promises to warm the hearts of young people and adults alike.

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For music lovers Australian composer and musician Linsey Pollak will delight with his quirky new show Passing Wind, creating wind instruments from unexpected materials, and the NZSO will be revealing their Secret Chambers in a range of performances every day at Te Papa.

Inspiring outdoor performances will transform familiar spaces - Civic Square will become the stage for a premiere production, Footprint from Wellington’s Footnote Dance Company. In a combination of dance and design this work will take place around a metal willow tree created by Izzat Design who previously worked on King Kong and Lord of the Rings. Young people will be invited to hang their hopes and ideas for the environment on the tree to become an evolving installation throughout the festival. Illot Green will become home for an eight metre humpback whale made almost entirely from recycled materials, and an over-sized chess board in two works from Australian theatre company Born in a Taxi.

Director Stuart Grant says, “With the support of a city which recognises the importance of creativity in New Zealand’s cultural and economic future, it’s an absolute privilege to offer our young people such engaging and diverse first arts experiences from world class performers. Whether you’re looking at the action on stage or the reaction in the faces of our young audiences, you will be inspired.”

The festival will take place 13 – 27 March 2011
Call Capital E, 04 913 3740 or visit www.capitale.org.nz for more details.

Other programme highlights include:
Boats Life long friends Jof and Nic set sail for an adventure of the aquatic kind with inventive staging and puppetry. Hobart-based Terrapin Puppet Theatre tell the story of two mariners fleeing their past and embracing their future in this play written by Finegan Newman.
2 Dimensional Life of Her Described as “an Andy Warhol for a new era” Brisbane’s Fleur Elise Noble presents her award-winning show set in an artist studio combining puppetry, film, drawing and animation to create a captivating performance.
Curious Game – Born in a Taxi. With the ceremony of ridiculous rituals and eccentric dance, odd characters from an over-sized chess board come to life to conduct an interactive board game, where no one knows exactly what the rules are!


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