Auckland Fringe Takes Over Tāmaki Makaurau With A Jam-packed Programme
Auckland Fringe 2021
14 February –
6 March 2021
Kicking off on Valentine’s Day with over 100 events across three weeks, 2021 is set to be the biggest Auckland Fringe yet. This year’s programme is packed full of energetic, urgent and innovative works that will burst Tāmaki Makaurau at its seams with accessibility, eccentricity, identity and everything in between.
Audiences will tumble down a rabbit hole of wacky fringe offerings, including a performance by a ghost, a developer’s game-off, a show in a driveway, and even a dedication to the legendary Van Morrison. With walking tours, compelling theatre, passionate dance, clowning, poetry, comedy, music, live flamenco and even a little bit of bondage.
Aiming to expand the kaupapa and spirit of Fringe out to the wider regions of Tāmaki, this year’s Auckland Fringe is bookended for the first time with Fringe Satellite festivals. “The goal of Fringe Satellite is to develop a network of performance opportunities in Tāmaki’s surrounding suburbs that will uplift local artists who are making work for their local communities” says Festival Director Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho. These ‘mini’ festival hub days will take place at The Vic, Devonport on 14 February, Te Pou, Henderson, Te Manawa, Massey and Whau the People/All Goods, Whau on 20 March, and finally Hobsonville HQ, Upper Harbour on 27 March.
Auckland Live return with Fringe Town for another year of energetic and innovative programming in and around Aotea Square from 15 – 21 February. The line-up includes the not-for-profit Everybody Eats, making restaurant quality meals from food destined for the dump. Transforming the Auckland Town Hall into a banquet room, they aim to feed 1000 people a three-course meal in one day, with their pay-as-you-feel dining concept. Headlining the music stage is the trailblazing Māori pop collective Maimoa, winner of the 2020 Aotearoa Music Award for Te Māngai Pāho Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa, Best Maori Artist of the Year.
DISCOVER THE ECCENTRIC. Criminal Minds sees some of New Zealand’s best crime writers come together under one roof at Antique Alley for a 100 thrilling minutes of crime tales from small town serial killers to international espionage. At Basement Theatre, Bondage Queen JoJo Bellini presents Bondage Queen Sings the Hits. This hilarious comedy cabaret is a celebration of the body, sex positivity and 80’s music, exploring the myths and truths of BDSM and the fetish world. With the follow up to her highly acclaimed 2020 Fringe show Jelly Baby, Alice Kirker returns with Cake Baby a live art experience – a supermarket sponge cake and one hour to eat it. While at The Classic, Scottish comedian Gary Sansome brings his Edinburgh Fringe show Bald Man Sings Rihanna, taking an irreverent look at music and pop culture.
EXPLORE IDENTITY. Emerging queer artist Melody Rachel presents You Know I, an investigation of the self at Studio One Toi Tū, colliding dance and fragmented text. Combining storytelling, spoken word and hip-hop performances The Third Culture Kid is a film from Pakistani-born MC Emkew about growing up in Australia, battling the push and pull of cultural forces from home and society to forge his own identity. The Third Culture Kid will play at Movespace as part of a weekend of screenings from 4 international artists, including Cosos 360, Nuestro Mundo and We’ll Dance on the Ash of The Apocalypse. Coven Arts Collective is back on the boards, presenting a triple bill of experimental works including a dance art piece by Logan Collis AKA Honey, an experimental Fijian cultural performance from Raymond Fong AKA Magic and an experimental autobiographical piece by Sandy Carangi. Massive Company bring their new show Te Whare Kapua: The Cloud House written by Mirama McDowell to Māngere Arts Centre during Fringe, a touching and playful tale of self-discovery and reflection. Squeaky Wheel is a verbatim theatre performance sharing narratives of those living with cerebral palsy, and exploring narratives of those living with disabilities, on at the Cerebral Palsy Society & Auckland Old Folks Association.
EMBRACE ACCESSIBILITY. Winners of the Spirit of the Fringe at the 2019 Auckland Fringe festival, Hobson Street Theatre Company return with Let Me Tell You About Auckland (Again), a walking tour of Auckland’s CBD with stories, some true, some maybe not so true, about the inner parts of the city you thought you knew. Join Captain James Cook on a walking tour of significant historical sites around Auckland's Waterfront in Cook Thinks Again from the outstanding Barbarian Productions. Written by Jo Randerson (ONZM), this show opens up the difficult conversation of colonisation in a playful and accessible way. Back to Square One, written and directed by Anders Falstie-Jensen, is a remarkable story of unremarkable lives, featuring a lot of chalk, a cameo by a Viking God, all performed in a driveway. Residents of Selwyn Village aged care home present Oldie But A Goodie – an utterly delightful and completely free offering of pieces of poetry, samples of stories, and bites of performance.
REVEL IN EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. Part social experiment, part interactive TED style talk - and completely comedic - Scientists Teach An AI About Humanity at The PumpHouse will teach an AI aspects of human behaviour. At Te Pou Theatre, Wife of Brian is a fictional story inspired by the Christian ministry of Brian and Hannah Tamaki and other US evangelist couples, complete with original songs and music. In Q Theatre’s Rangatira, Birdland is an unflinching look at celebrity, fame, money, legacy, and community, charged by the music of Patti Smith and The White Stripes, this is a play that pulls no punches and crowns no winner.
These highlights barely begin to capture the full Fringe experience in store for Aucklanders in 2021. With something for everyone, across all corners of the region, Auckland Fringe 2021 is ready to take over Tāmaki Makaurau.
Check out the full Auckland Fringe programme at www.aucklandfringe.co.nz
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