Day 2

Above: Opening night at the Spiegeltent

Both The Hook and Theatreview went to The South Afreakins in Waipawa. And we have reviews for Scena from Gill Duncan and Kim Buckley. While Ian was disappointed with Louis Baker, others expressed that they had a fantastic night and would have got up to dance but were too self-conscious. On dance, Jess reviewed Meta.


It's not just in our venues where the festival's happening. Alongside all the visible fabulousness there's massive stuff happening through our Festival to Schools programme. Our biggest shows by far today were the two interactive school shows The Nukes performed at Flaxmere and Taradale primary schools - 500 kids each. That's 1,000 kids experiencing festival fever on a gorgeous Hawke's Bay spring day!


There's a lot of love emanating from the Spiegeltent - Louis singing up his soulful vibes with Lisa Tomlins and accompanying band as they draw their concert to a close.


The Spiegeltent is comfortably full, a few stragglers hurry through the doors, drinks in hand - Pitsch is introducing Louis Baker and band, to whistles and hearty cheers.

We've just dashed back from the Blyth, our heads and hearts filled with the talented voices of Project Prima Volta and the passions of La Traviata, amongst other opera offerings from Scena. So wonderful to experience a full house and such encouragement for what these young people achieve. We were flawed by the potential and quality of what they shared. PPV will be performing again in the Blyth tomorrow, 6pm.


Louis Baker and band have just finished their sound check, and the sound check alone sounds amazing! This is going to be one funky night at the Spiegeltent. As Ali Harper underscored with an Edith Piaff song last night, you'll regret it, if you don't get your ticket...If you haven't yet, all is not lost, we still have a handful left but you'll have to get a hurry along.

Meanwhile, up at the Blyth Performing Arts Centre Project Prima Volta are about to open up their box of chocolates and share their favourite opera scenes with Scena. We are looking forward to the premiere of this year's work.

And down in Waipawa, Robyn Paterson is preparing to treat Central Hawke's Bay to her very funny, impossibly talented one-woman play, The South Afreakins. Starts at 7.30pm, so you could probably skim in if you decided to take a road trip on the spur of the moment. It would be well-worth it.


We sent Jess from The Hook down to Albert Square today to capture some humanness and festival street fever in words. Here's her review of Meta.

This is commentary on the human condition at its most universal, but still domestic and welcoming in its proportions.


At our Festival Garden there's plenty to nourish your appetite, from yummy food, to cool delicious drinks and aromatic coffee, along with all that performance art and music goodness.

We are open from 5pm every day til late, with extended hours on the weekends.

So do come on down before, during or after shows, or indeed, whether or not you're going to a show at all.

We have two food caravans and a splendid bar (including a bespoke crafted G&T menu -  cocktails range from $10-14)) as well as a cosy lounge corner.

The Huntess offers a 'build your own burger' option, with five different gourmet protein choices (including vegan), and cater to all appetites, from kids' fish and chips to loaded fries. They make amazing paua wontons, and a mean doughnut with fresh whipped cream. Check out their instagram page: @the_huntess_nz

Piku will be proffing their famous steamed bun (with either slow-cooked pork belly or tofu for the vegos). Kumara wedges and a salmon sashimi tortilla are also on the menu. But keep an eye out for blackboard specials.


At sunny Albert Square in Hastings, The Human Project is performing an interactive performance piece, Meta, for the second time today. Pitsch Leiser, who just watched the first installation describes it as a "temporary spatial intervention." He says it's a beautiful piece of contemporary dance, accompanied by gorgeous soundscape compositions and spoken word. "It's entertaining but also deep, a work that invites you to contemplate and reflect on what it is to be human."

Watch out for Meta on Napier's streets, Saturday 20th during White Night, or come down to the Spiegeltent on the evening of the 27th - there will be a performance around 7.45pm, between the shows Canopy and In Flagrante.

Pitsch Leiser and Andy Heast are sitting across from Albert Square at Ya Bon, taking a lunch break and savouring the feelings of excitement, happiness and hunger all at once. They say they are "overwhelmed with the joy of it all," now they've reached the point where they can see all the fruits of months of hard work building the festival, and the creative, artistic projects they've believed so passionately in.




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