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‘Wilderpeople’ Star to Co-Host Fringe Festival Showcase


‘Wilderpeople’ Star to Co-Host Fringe Festival Showcase

With the Dunedin Fringe Festival just around the corner, there’s now only one week until The Polson Higgs Opening Night Showcase, the Festival’s highly anticipated preview event. In its grand new venue at the Dunedin Town Hall, 25 acts will take to the stage on 8 March in a two-hour extravaganza of music, comedy, theatre and all-around spectacle. Beloved local entertainer Tahu Mackenzie is set to return as one of two Showcase MCs, joined this year by Oscar Kightley, star of Sione’s Wedding, bro’ Town and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Festival Director Josh Thomas is delighted that Mackenzie and Kightley are on-board. “I’m thrilled that performers of Tahu and Oscar’s calibre are part of this year’s Showcase” he said. “As a writer, actor and commentator, Oscar has been part of some of Aotearoa’s iconic shows and films. It’s fantastic to have him at the helm of an evening that celebrates all that Fringe has to offer.” Kightley is visiting Ōtepoti especially to co-host the Festival’s opening event and Thomas is certain he’ll have a memorable trip. “Each Showcase is a uniquely unforgettable experience” he explains, ‘but the quality and diversity packed into two hours is always incredible. I think Oscar will have as much fun seeing 25 snapshots of Fringe as we’ll have hosting him in Dunedin. And I can’t wait to see him on stage with Tahu.”

Reprising her role as Showcase MC for a second year, Tahu Mackenzie will bring her exquisite costumes, hysterical comedy and powerhouse vocals to the Town Hall. Tahu has been a part of the Festival for many years and in 2016 was recognised with the ‘Special Contribution to Festival Life Award’.

The two MCs are just the first of many draw-cards for the event. Ticket-holders will also be treated to appearances from award winning Kiwi comedian Jeremy Elwood (TV3’s 7 Days, Pulp Comedy), and acclaimed UK comic Mary Bourke. The Showcase’s 25 acts also include two exclusive musical moments – the first ever public performance of an excerpt from Alive In Berlin, ahead of its world-premiere on 14 March, and a closely guarded mystery appearance from an iconic Dunedin Sound musician, one of the artists that inspired the international multimedia collaboration, Anything Could Happen.

Fringe 2017 has more events then any of the Festival’s past ten years. Tickets are in hot demand and smaller shows are selling fast. Thomas has confirmed that one show has already sold out and many are close to capacity. “When we launched, there was immediately huge interest in The Odeon – Drive in Cinema,” he says. “The event only had 60 tickets on offer and it sold out very quickly. Loads of people were disappointed, so don’t hold off booking for that special show – get a ticket now!”






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