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Capital E's National Arts Festival 2017

Capital E announces its exciting line-up and opens tickets sales for Wellington audiences in 2017

Capital E’s special ticket price of 3 shows for the price of 2 is now open to New Zealand’s biggest arts festival for children and young people. Returning 13-25 March 2017, this Festival promises a smorgasbord of fantastic arts experiences for schools and families.

11 productions hailing from New Zealand, France, Australia, the Netherlands, and the UK come to Wellington for two weeks to perform inspiring acts for over 18,000 school students and 4,000 young people and their family members. Marking its eighth outing, the Capital E National Arts Festival is a much anticipated cornerstone in Wellington’s vibrant cultural calendar.

Showcasing a variety of styles of performance art, the Festival kicks off to Wellington public on Saturday 18 March with the world premiere of Anika Moa’s Chop Chop Hiyaaa! Hot on the heels of Anika’s second album Songs for Bubbas 2 comes a show that will take audiences on a furious ride at the Opera House. On the back of performing in 34 countries around the world, and also performing at the Opera House, French performance art extravaganza, Les Grooms present the New Zealand premiere of Un roi Arthur (King Arthur). Audiences can expect a heroic quest featuring a brass band, wizards, kings and a blind queen armed with silliness, saxophones and one quirky story.

At Mac’s Function Centre, the popular New Zealand company, Java Dance Theatre, performs their world premiere of Cheese, where audiences can expect a live show that snares the senses. Collecting 5 star reviews from Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, Australia’s Bunk Puppets comes to the Hannah Playhouse to perform their shadow puppet production, Stick Stones Broken Bones.

Experience Wellington’s Director of Children and Young People, Dr Sarah Rusholme says, “Our 2017 programme showcases energetic and uplifting performance works, created by artists who have a passion for igniting the creative spark within all children. The Festival features incredibly versatile artists that specialise in colliding and energising art forms. We know teachers, caregivers, parents, aunties, uncles, avid art-goers, family and most importantly children will love this Festival!”

Te Marae, Te Papa showcases two fantastic New Zealand productions including one of New Zealand’s most famous stories by Witi Ihimaera, adapted for the stage by Tim Bray, The Whale Rider. Made famous by Niki Caro’s award-winning 2002 film, this stage adaption shares this iconic New Zealand story through puppetry. New Zealand writer and performer, Jamie McCaskill also performs at Te Papa’s Marae with his world premiere of Mata and the Mysterious Musical Maunga. In 2013, McCaskill was the recipient of the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award.

Circa Theatre is home to 3 fantastic productions including Auckland’s White Face Crew’s La Vie Dans Une Marionette. Featuring the dancing and musical talent of Justin Haiu, Tama Jarman and Jarod Rawiri, this show will be a not-to-miss, claiming runner-up to the Auckland Festival Award at the 2013 Auckland Fringe Festival. Capital E Live’s production, Shu’s Song returns to the Wellington stage where children can expect a non-verbal show filled with mischief, incredible sound design and the quirkiest Shu to boot. Circa Theatre also welcomes Arch8, a dance company from the Netherlands in their production, Tetris. Touring to St Petersburg, Istabul, Cairo, New York, San Fransisco, Vancouver, Senegal and through Europe, Tetris scooped up the much deserved People’s Choice Victor Award at Ipay 2016 in Montreal. For young people interested in movement, climbing and joining in, this production at Circa will be a must-see.

Wellington audiences will have the opportunity to see the New Zealand premiere of Mouth Open, Story Jump Out from UK performance artist, Polarbear at Prefab Hall. Polarbear is one of the UK’s leading spoken word artists, showcasing his vibrant story of lies, where he invites audiences to become part of his elaborate storytelling, taking them back to how his lie began.

Young & Cinematic returns to the Festival with films made by winners of the Roxy5 Short Film Competition and international short films curated by New Zealand’s very own Square Eyes at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Finally, exclusive to schools, Capital E introduces an outdoor extravangza taking over Wellington’s waterfront, spanning from outside Te Papa through to the Hikitia Crane. Wellingtonians can expect to see over 1,400 school students a day, watching and interacting with 5 acts ranging from clowning to circus, and sculpture to song. Odd Lands is the new zany and outlandish addition to Capital E’s school group experience, inspiring and exposing children to a variety of live and high quality acts.

Tickets and the special are now available online at or at Capital E Central, 4 Queens Wharf.

© Scoop Media

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