A tasty first offering hits for Auckland Fringe 2019
The first programme announce for Auckland Fringe arts festival 2019 is live with a taster of 48 experiences in 26 venues to satisfy the most discerning of creative palates. With an open access programme of experiences created by all manner of artists, from first-timers through to top international stars, there is truly something for everyone to sink their teeth into. And the full programme is still yet to come!
Some of New Zealand’s finest makers join the Auckland Fringe ranks in 2019 with Malia Johnston, Sam Brooks, Thom Monckton and Victoria Abbott bringing their works to the programme. The team behind 2017’s Best In Fringe winner Rushes – Johnston, alongside Eden Mulholland and Rowan Pierce, return with their latest offering Movement of the Human for its world premiere at the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber. After a blockbuster 2018 that saw him premiere three highly successful works, Brooks debuts his live on-stage experience Actressexual. He’ll interview a different actress each night and write a monologue for them, setting himself a challenge to find out if he really can write as well for women as the critics claim. Direct from a season in Tehran, after performing in an art museum in Mexico City and a converted prison in French Guiana, Monckton along with Kiwi Gemma Tweedie and Finland’s Kallo Collective bring their exquisite piece of micro-physical theatre Only Bones v1.0 to Q. Plus, after a sold-out and critically-acclaimed debut in Basement’s winter season, Abbott brings back Run Rabbit for a return season for those who missed out first time around!
In true Fringe style, a whole host of superbly talented comics join the first wave of announcements. After a smash success with Mackenzie’s Daughters last year that won them the Best Comedy Ensemble prize in the Fringe awards, Auckland's fave improv gals return with a parody of The Crucible entitled The Salem B*tch Trials. The Classic have a line-up of local heroes with current Billy T nominee Donna Brookbanks paired with 2016 Billy T winner David Correos, and solo shows by Brendon Green and Uther Dean. They will be joined by Irish comic Mary Bourke for the world premiere of her show paying tribute and poking fun at all the trappings of Irish identity. Fans of comedy can also indulge at Garnet Station with UK comedian Sajeela Kershi, who brings her award-winning five-star show Fights Like A Girl for her first visit to Aotearoa.
Auckland Fringe has always attracted outstanding international talent, and this year is no different. 2019 sees the return of some favourites, with Zuleika Khan bringing back the rip-roaring Triage! A Nursing Cabaret that sold-out in 2018. Charmian Hughes will be visiting our shores once more with her show What-Not which celebrates the misfits and outcasts of the world. Australian circus cabaret reaches new heights in Aotearoa when Le Aerial makes its New Zealand premiere, while visual artist and filmmaker Isobel Dryburgh returns home after years in Amsterdam to offer a conference for creatives about performativity that promises to be as creative in form as the people giving it.
Musicians are also embracing the spirit of the weird and wonderful, with unique collaborations and strange events happening right across the region. VNZMA nominated electronic artist Boycrush joins forces with Auckland Fringe 2018 Best Newcomers Dance Plant Collective for a blend of colour, sounds, electronic beats and hypnotising dance moves in Desperate Late Night Energy. A one-of-a-kind all-kiwi experience comes in the form of Stack That Bass serving up circus party timed to the bass-drops of a live DJ, with original music from Ed Zuccollo that draws from drum and bass, trap and hip-hop influences. Bombastic trio Krohlo host a wild night that fuses hip-hop with comedy for big laughs, smooth jams, and a little bit of lyrical insanity in How To Sell Out Kronickles. The music philosophy of Argentinian Tango takes to the stage at The Pumphouse with Tango Project’s Milonga De Cuatro, while the dancefloor moves to the streets of Henderson and the CBD with the guided Silent Disco Citywalks. Plus, Christchurch native Annabel Alpers (formerly of Bachelorette) returns from her base in Baltimore working with Adam Cooke under the moniker Hamerkop for their new work, Remote – a live, multiple-speaker, surround sound experience.
Unusual offerings and out of the box venues are the name of the game with Fringe, and the first wave of experiences has raised the stakes. Fan favourites from the 2018 programme, Ancient Rome Experience returns to take gladiator hopefuls into battle in a backyard temple, while Melissa Laing has another curated boat-ride experience in 2019 with The Stoat, the Kererū and the Karaka Berries taking punters for a punt along the river in Tui Glen Reserve. Feminist theatre gets a makeover when Go Home Curry Muncha combines poetry performances with a culinary show experience in a heated Masterchef style competition. And an ongoing installation will accumulate over the two weeks of Fringe in a shipping container at Basement Theatre and Britomart’s Takutai Square with the results of Mistranslation Laboratory as three “choreographic scientists” serve up experiments to mini-audiences, where punters get to choose a made to order experience off a menu of ten works. Reaching far and wide is also a Fringe staple, with the programme creeping into all nooks and crannies of the city. From Uxbridge hosting puppetry and spoken word out east, to a selection of theatre offerings at The PumpHouse on the Shore (including a performance of Kiwi icon Duncan Sarkies’ one-act-play Lovepuke), there’s something to find in every neighbourhood.
Collaborations with long-time friends and fellow creative organisations continue in 2019, with Auckland Fringe teaming up with Silo Park for a specially curated programme. The folks at Active Arts offer An Oldie But A Goodie in a gorgeous intergenerational mix of stories by the students of the Shine School of Confidence and seniors of Selwyn Village. The Dialogue Project gets a daily update with a rotating cast of Auckland personalities adding to instastories to bring the show direct to your mobile, and Carrie Rae Cunningham curates a programme of re-invented, re-branded, and re-gifted works from Auckland’s hottest dance talent for the ultimate re-issue in her takeover of Studio One - Toi Tū. Hobson Street Theatre Company are back on board in 2019 with another heart-warming offering, while Jonny Brugh makes his way back to the stage after a long time away on our screens in films like What We Do In The Shadows.
There’s still time to join in the festivities with any bizarre and beautiful ideas, as final registrations close on December 7th. Anyone from first-time artists set to make their public debut to professionals showcasing their latest offerings are welcome to sign-up for Auckland’s fringiest fest. Running February 19 until March 3, Auckland Fringe is bookended with a bit of revelry to open proceedings, and the annual Fringe Awards – stay tuned for details and, of course, the full programme announce!
Auckland Fringe 2019 takes
place 19th Feb – 3rd March 2019 at many
wonderful venues around Auckland.
Final registrations close Friday 7th December.