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Scoop Full Coverage: Arts Festival 2010

New Zealand International Arts Festival 2010
Fringe 2010

Scoop coverage, reviews, photos and press releases from Wellington's arts festivals, February to March 2010.

This page will be updated regularly once the festivals begin. Hit 'reload' to confirm you're seeing the latest version. International Arts Festival coverage follows, Fringe coverage is below.

More info at and

Previously on Scoop: Fringe 09 - Festival 08 - Fringe 07 - Festival 06.


New Zealand International Arts Festival 2010 for news and full event listings
26 Feb to 21 Mar

Branford Marsalis. Image: Palma KolanskySaved Till (Nearly) Last: Branford Marsalis

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“Who needs setlists?” asked Branford Marsalis during his casual tour de force concert at the Michael Fowler Centre to close the 2010 NZ International Arts Festival. “Singers, that’s who. And light shows. It’s just the four of us up here, so ... " More >>


Tyler Hersey on: Karsh Kale - Enter The Dragon

Indian-American drummer and producer Karsh Kale has taken on a task of epic proportions in re-scoring a much loved movie classic which already boasts music by one of the greatest composers in film & TV history... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Frenetic Schama Fills Town Hall

There is a frenetic energy to Simon Schama when he talks about history, the kind of energy that you might expect from a highly excitable child caught in the ecstasy of their very favourite topic rather than a Cambridge-trained professor of Modern History. More>>


Any Publicity: In Case You Hadn't Heard, Los Amigos Invisibles Are Playing Saturday 20th

Discovered by David Byrne in New York City almost two decades ago, Los Amigos Invisibles has, over 18 years, visited 60 countries, released six albums and won a Latin Grammy in 2009 for their latest album Commercial that embodies their infectious blend of Latin rhythms, funk, disco and acid jazz. More>>

Richard Thomson on: The Tragical Life Of Cheeseboy

For me, Cheeseboy blasted off in a similar universe to the one the Little Prince lived in, as imagined by Lemony Snicket; but in fact writer Finegan Kruckmeyer upstages us all by claiming to have got the story off the queen of the Rumanian gypsies... More>>


The Power Of Paul: Q+A’s Paul Holmes Interviews Dr Simon Schama.

Dr Simon Schama is one of the world's most widely read historians, he's an Englishman, lives in New York City, he's Professor of Art History and History, Columbia University, he's a writer and presenter for the BBC Television, they famously paid him three million pounds for a combined television and book deal. More >>


Rory MacKinnon on: 360

360 looks back on the life of Gee, a young man who ran away from the circus to pursue more conventional ideas of fame and fortune. The play swirls around weighty themes of separation and reunion, reinvention, perception and mortality, but rarely loses its light touch. The result is a visually stunning and whimsical performance which only occasionally dips into mawkish sentimentality. More >>


Audio & Images: Neil Gaiman And Amanda Palmer

Neil Gaiman is in Wellington as part of the NZ International Arts Festival's Writers and Readers Week. This afternoon he and his fiancée, musician Amanda Palmer, held a small press conference consisting mostly of media not potent enough to get an interview otherwise.


Gaiman talked about seeing Amanda again after missing her Sydney Opera House gig to go to the Oscars, as well as that time he wore a vagrant's suit for their shared interview in a bath... More>>

Lyndon Hood on: The Arrival

Red Leap's adaptation of Shaun Tan's book is not only impressively captures his visuals and his themes – it also shares that spirit of heartfelt invention. More>>


Writers, Readers & Fanboys Week: Richard Dawkins - Gratitude And Evolution

A packed Michael Fowler Center was filled with fans of rational thought, many carrying copies of books by their hero in the battle against evolution deniers and woolly thinking.

As Richard Dawkins took the stage applause echoed around the cavernous venue which had been upgraded to enable more people to attend the most popular event in this year's Festival of the Arts...

Dawkins then moved to the podium to deliver a lecture entitled "Gratitude for evolution and the evolution of gratitude." More>>


Lyndon Hood on: 11 and 12

The production sat oddly the St James Theatre, as if failing to adapt to the space. This was obvious early on as Tunji Lewis, whose character's narration is our entry into the world of the play, rarely brought his eyeline high enough to include those of us sitting in the circle. More>>


Tyler Hersey on: Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra

Have you ever had that dream where you're on the train in a foreign city, surrounded by people of every creed and culture, and the entire car erupts into a spontaneous party? ... Yeah, I've never had that dream either, but it's exactly what an Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra show feels like. More>>

Writers & Reader's Preview: Peter Singer

Shortly after we launched the Scoop Review of Books, two years ago, I sent the philosopher Peter Singer an email asking him the following question: “... Would you give up driving a car rather than fill the tank with animal fat? How would you advise moral vegetarians and others to tackle the dilemma?” More>>


Photos by Carey Davies: Revolt of the Mannequins
Photos and report by Carey Davies: Revolt of the Mannequins

Ali Little on: Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

Mixing live music and action with film and animation Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea explores some dark places in ways that echo Heinrich Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter and that mad surrealist movie by Buñuel and Dali. Only much funnier. More>>


Street Art: The Mannequins Are Revolting!

Revolt of the Mannequins. Photo credit: Jordi BoverStreet theatre super stars, Royal de Luxe, from France have taken over some central Wellington store front windows for the next nine days with their genius show Revolt of the Mannequins...

The comic strip style story telling involves 40 mannequins in 10 shop front windows. There are 22 performers involved in installing the show and they work in the public eye so people can watch the whole process. Image: Jordi Bover More >>


Ali Little on: Ship Songs

Ship Songs tells three tales of the sea, the stories of three characters separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles, but all yearning for . . . something more. It has a very large cast... all written and performed by New Zealand actor Ian Hughes. More>>


Tyler Hersey on: Djan Djan

Synthesizing the musical traditions of three continents and countless centuries, the players of Djan Djan weave exotic melody and loping rhythm into a palette of sound and texture which binds the humid air of India with that of the Mississippi Delta, while conjuring visions of African savannah tickled by the first seasonal rains. More>>

Katie MacKinnon on: Inside Out

Inside Out from Cirkus Cirkor was an enthralling performance from the moment the audience entered the theatre... The show started with a bang and so it was all the way to the finale. More>>


Mimetic Brotherhood by Peter Trevelyan; Photo by Lyndon Hood
Scoop Images: Mimetic Brotherhood by Peter Trevelyan, Outside Te Papa

Richard Thomson on: Mary Stuart

Friedrich Schiller's reputation as one of the great European playwrights is, on the basis of this adaptation by David Harrower, well deserved. More>>


Ali Little on: Dancing On Your Grave

In Dancing on Your Grave a small band of unhappily dead vaudeville performers are trapped in purgatory, which for this troupe is a starkly lit three metre square stage. The show is a stylish mix of cheerfully morbid toe-tapping music and deliciously precise dancing. More>>

Richard Thompson on: Sound Of Silence

A stocky woman dressed in a scarf, blue frock, brown socks and sturdy shoes pulls off the top of a large glass jar and out comes . . . Simon and Garfunkel: Here's to you, Mrs Robinson. This is Latvia, circa 1968. More>>


Scoop Images: Transports Exceptionels - Arts Fest Kicks Off With Dance Of Man/Vehicle Love

A sunny evening brought out a large crowd for the first free event of the Festival of the Arts – an outdoor dance duet between a man and a digger; a mixture of dance, danger, technology and moments of rather improbable emotion. More >>


Arts Fest's Coming: Shapeshifter Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

Senses will again be challenged and perspectives shifted at Banks Shoes shapeshifter, one of New Zealand’s premier sculpture exhibitions. More>>


Arts Festival: New Venue Required For Richard Dawkins' Talk

More tickets will go on sale tomorrow for a talk by controversial evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins’ at this year’s New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week, part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival. Tickets sold out within weeks of going on sale in November.More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Searching The Shelves With Laura Kroetsch - Laura Kroetsch picks out the best books to read in preparation for the New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week in March. One of the odd preoccupations of my life has been an overwhelming desire to have those around me read what I’m reading. More>>


Rufus Wainwright Tour Of Australia & NZ Cancelled

It is with deep regret that Chugg Entertainment and Gaynor Crawford Presents today announced that Rufus Wainwright’s upcoming tour will be cancelled due to an illness in the family, but the artist has confirmed that he will return to tour Australia and New Zealand before the end of the year. More>>

Special Bonus Acts: Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra & St. Vincent

The New Zealand International Arts Festival has announced two new acts for its 2010 line up at the Pacific Blue Festival Club - the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra from Brooklyn, New York and award winning indie singer-songwriter St. Vincent. Tickets ... More>>


Arts Festival Press Releases:


Fringe 2010 for news and full event listings
12 Feb to 6 Mar

From The Winners: Quilting Group Stitches Up Best Of Fringe

Wellington quilting group the T.O.W.R.A.G.S. (Totally Organised Women Religiously Attending Group Sex Stitching) has won the Best of the Fringe Award for 2010 More>>

Fringe Concludes: Fringe Awards Announced

The last New Zealand Fringe Festival ended with a question mark over its head about whether it would continue. It did, it rocked, and it will continue. Now Fringe 2010 has ended with a glorious bag with the naming of the best of all there is in 2010 and a new inductee for the Fringe Hall of Fame. More>>

But it's still happening...

Pics Or It Didn't Happen: Going Topless At The Circus

With the Wellington Festival of Circus opening on Wednesday the event organizer has been left without a big top after the tent supplier turned out to be nothing more than mirrors and smoke. More>>

Other tent news:

Fringe Review: Ben Hur - The Epic!

This show tickled my funny bone bigtime and joyfully delivered on its simple promise - 3 men presenting Ben Hur on a tiny stage in just 70min. More>>


Anna Sutherland on: Crimson Club

“Take me down to Paekakariki, where the grass is green and the boys are pretty!” Three women in red velvet dresses, playing an accordion, a violin, and a cello, and rocking out to Guns 'n' Roses – that was the encore number of Crimson Club’s Muritai School performance. More>>


Fringe Review: Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow

The premise of the play is: what happens when the CEO of a pineapple company makes a mistake in peddling mysteriously addictive red pineapple? Confusingly, the play doesn’t really deliver on the answer to this question. More>>


Fringe Review: L Is For Love, Love Is For Losers

L is for Love, Love is for Losers is a delightful, hour-long addition to the Fringe Festival’s comedy programme. The music is great. The jokes are funny. Plus Gabriel Page is a pleasure to watch and has a great voice to boot! More>>

At the Fringe 26 Feb – 1 Mar:

Acbrobatty: The Circus Is Coming To Town!

Over the next week Wellington's Waitangi Park will be taken over by acrobats, clowns and daredevil horse riders. The Wellington Festival of Circus will run from the 3rd to the 9th of March with shows designed to thrill and awe audiences of all ages – showcasing the best of kiwi and international talent. More>>


Untrimmed Fringe: Women's Mag Show Uncancelled

On 26th and 27th of February show will happen!!! At 5pm, The Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba and Vivian Street. Discover the strangely twisted tales that lurk behind the gossip magazine headlines as topics familiar and curvy evolve onstage with an improv take. More>>


Fringe Review: Gods And Heroes

The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) presented a show based on a great concept at BATS Theatre on Sunday night. It had flashes of brilliance, and some less watchable moments, too. More>>


Fringe Review: Undergrowth

They have chairs strapped to their backs. Why do they have chairs strapped to their backs? One answer might be that, if they had been dressed only in the overalls and t-shirts that were the rest of their costume, their appearance would have been out of kilter with the rest of this arrestingly strange production. More>>


Fringe Review: The Comediettes - Better Living

Comedians Sarah Harpur and Jim Stanton gild their well-paced two-woman standup show with the trappings of crazed 1950s housewives, complete with cheerful aprons and diazepam-bright smiles ... More>>


At The Fringe 19/02 to 22/02: Women's Mag Show Cancelled Due To Ankle-Deep Water

No Idea's venue, the Band Rotunda, has been closed by the Council for urgent flood-related renovations. Sadly this happened too late in the day for another venue to be arranged, so the scheduled shows are cancelled. Darn it. More>>


Fringe Review: Measure For Measure

Revolving around the sexual exploits of its characters, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is unquestionably a bawdy play. The Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe seemed to relish this as they entertained the full house at Muritai School in Eastbourne. More>>

Fringe Reviews: Fractur

The show begins with creator and director Vanja Draganic addressing the audience, explaining her reasons for wanting to recreate the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. More>>


Scoop Images: The Running Of The Fringe 2010

The Wellington Fringe Festival’s anarchic opening ceremony saw Cuba Street teeming with silver statues, cows on bicycles, superheroes and what appeared to be an intergalactic KISS covers band. Scoop was there for the photo finish. More>>


Fringe Starts Early: One For The Boys

What’s in a Man is NOT “The Penis Monologues”, but it is a fringe-tastic comedic, character-based romp through the real ‘man’ experience in all its nut-punching, swearing, macho, confused, silly glory! More>>


Fringe Events & Novelties:





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