Day 6Above: The Festival site at dusk. Photo: Tim Whittaker
Such a vibrant, varied day, something indeed for everyone and every fancy. The Hook were out in full force, covering it all. Here's a string of their reviews, each a crafted flavour-burst of the performances and happenings. Click on links for full reviews.
White Night - "There’s a throng in the streets of Napier tonight...kids and old people and everyone in between. A hubbub of chatter... bubbles up and is released into the ether. Air kisses, embraces, nodded acknowledgements, little waves are exchanged. “Isn’t it wonderful!”, we all agree." Rosheen FitzGerald.
Pango/Black - "This mighty performance will linger with us. Pango/Black has awoken us, loved us, separated and torn us, and made us independent. We have coupled in the pairings, good and clean, then anguished in the frightening violation of union and arrived into the world of light." Megan Seawright.
Promise & Promiscuity - "Such is her skill that we never blink an eye to see the sprigged floral pink puffed -sleeved Mr. Dalton proposing to the identically attired Miss Slowtree... her command of the stage and of her wonderful characters, along with her singing and ukulele prowess, is proof that this lady is no Nincompoop! I adored this show and stood to show my appreciation of fabulous theatre." Gill Duncan.
Readers & Writers: 'Backstage' - "...an intimate conversation with Bollinger and Sweetman, attended by small and enthusiastic audience, with MC Jamie Macphail posing a range of questions to both writers, whilst valiantly staving off a cold. Both men, were very quick to disabuse the notion of being “critics” with any perceived connotations of high mindedness or superiority. Both are music fans foremost, and music writers." Randal Petrie.
Manawa Whenua - "This performance was a dream of many, filtered through theatrical learning into an aspirational whole like A Spring of Fragrant Water. The awareness demonstrated by the material, and the talent displayed, give hope on many levels, not just for the world of theatre." Gill Duncan.
Children are Stinky - "The circus tricks are undoubtedly impressive, featuring at least three things I have never seen before – some really accomplished front-to-back pair club juggling; Kylie spinning on her stomach, break-dancer style on Jason’s head; and an egg balanced on an egg balanced on a chopstick, balanced on a chin. But it’s the physical comedy, the S-Club-7 dialled up to eleven buffoonery, that makes this show stand out from the crowd." Rosheen FitzGerald.
Readers & Writers, Day One - "I’ve just spent the day with a bunch of spies and detectives...They belong in this Festival of Art because having located missing clues, hitherto lost in dust motes or buried in emotion, they applied the craft of writing to their researched secrets. Today has been Day One of my investigation.The first suspect pinned to our wall board is Helen Brown..." Anna Soutar.
These came in a few days later:
Here's Theatreview's take on Children are Stinky: "packed with popular culture references, parent-pleasing music, a pooey nappy, some pretty awesome acrobatic tricks and plenty of funny fart jokes... no meanness, just lashings of good-natured ribbing."
Kim Buckley attended the festival ambassadors' performance Manawa Whenua. "...naive and vulnerable, emotional and unkempt, bold and political", she sums it.
"Overall, this is a piece of physical theatre that shows a fragmentation of everything we currently know to be our world, the world that we need to be united in order to feel connected and safe. The theme is past, present, and future, hope, faith and inspiration. Quite clearly, and conceivably universally, this next generation of young people may even come up with the answers."
Kim also went to White Night. She describes the feel of the entire experience as "very European in a Kiwi kind of way". She wrote a separate review of Pango. "Thank you so very very much Atamira, from the bottom of our regional hearts. We needed this work. We want more. Feed us! We’re hungry!" she concludes.
Wellesley Binding will be giving a floor talk at Arts Inc. - Hastings Community Art Gallery on Russell St. - 11am this morning.
It's hard to keep up with everything - here is a good place to check in, or follow our Facebook page which is updated frequently: @hawkesbayartsfestival. Indelible have been busy filming events, while Tim Whittaker has been taking photos - his drone shots in particular are spectacular. Rachel is sharing these as hotly as they come.
Festival fever hits full pitch today - golly gosh, we have so much on offer, and heaps of it is free!
Readers & Writers sessions unfold in Napier. First up 'Finding my way home' (Helen Brown) at 10am, followed by 'Behind the lines' (Peter Wells) at 12 noon - both in the MTG. You can purchase tickets on the door. 125 years of women's vote - 'The Shrieking sisterhood' at 3pm (MTG), and Jamie Macphail in conversation with Nick Bollinger and Simon Sweetman at Cabana, 5pm.
In the Spiegeltent we have supercharged show-stopper, Children are Stinky for the kids at 1.30pm, and later this evening Penny Ashton's sold-out hilarious, naughty musical romp through Jane Austen, Promise and Promiscuity.
The Festival Garden is open from noon til midnight, with three Ngatarawa garden sessions - so come down and have a drink, some kai, and relax to some fab local music. Sarah Wiig is on 3pm; Bruce Bisset & the Rural Voters at 5.15pm; and Rosie Langabeer & Anton Wuts at 8.45pm.
Our amazing festival youth ambassadors have been working hard on their theatre performance piece Manawa Whenua - A Spring of Fragrant Water. Up at the Blyth at 4pm. Those who previewed it say they were "blown away" by the dedication and talent of this group of future arts practitioners.
You'd be crazy to miss White Night in Napier. We begin with Pango by Atamira Dance Company, 6pm at the Muni. Six male dancers ignite the stage, accompanied by light show and live music. It's free (thank you Napier City Council), but you do need to register online (though there are some limited tickets available on the door). From 7-10pm, Napier's arts quarter will be vibrantly alive with roaming street performances, gallery shows, drama, an interactive mystery, movement, sound and digital grafitti collaborations in carparks, ukes in the courtyard... You can pick up the full programme from the Festival Site, or from Napier venues.
Do take the chance to check out Waiohiki Creative Arts Village. Megan and Gill from The Hook went along to the Fire & Clay Night opening. They wrote about it here.
With the combination of local talent, low-key and genuinely friendly people, visiting this gathering of friends will give you a real experience of artisans collaborating in a warm creative space.