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Day 8

Above: Children are Stinky at yesterday's show in Waipawa. Photo: Tim Whittaker

Reviews from Monday's shows

Nafanua Kersel did a fantastic job in her response to watching Wild Dogs Under My Skirts. Her Hook review is well-worth reading, alone for the challenge it lays down for how we describe/meet 'expressive work by women of colour'.

"I’ve often joked that we Samoans communicate in two main ways: mockery and flirtation, bound together with laughter. The same is true here, employed through the satirical sensibilities of classic fale aitu (“house of spirits” – traditional Samoan comedic theatre).  In this light, untold secrets and stories are treated through character.  Stories of sexual and physical abuse, colonisaton, cultural appropriation and romanticised sterotype are given this space, unapologetically.These are stories embedded within a seam of the madonna/whore dichotomy and wrapped in a Samoan cultural context. But they are universal and tragically powerful in any language.  Add to this, erudite staging and production and Wild Dogs Under My Skirt becomes a masterful example of diasporic theatre, seasoned with humour."

Tryphena Cracknell attended Behind the Lines - Rob Ruha and Ria Hall - and what a special opportunity this was indeed, such sovereignty and grace.  Here's her review.

Hall’s soaring vocals were mesmerising, and fitted smoothly with Ruha’s compelling style. Both held the stage for the individual pieces, creating a real synergy when they came together.

Blog post: 9am

Plenty of festival fun to fill up on today as we enjoy another public holiday. Kids and adults alike will be delighted with a rich mix of silly, thoughtful and breath-taking.

At 11am By a Thread takes place in the Napier Municipal Theatre. It’s the only venue in the Bay that has a stud high enough for this minimalist circus piece featuring a troupe of acrobats ‘playing’ with a rope and pulley system.

The Hook explains how as the show evolves it balances on the necessity for trust between performers and their rope, which takes on a life of its own: “One Fell Swoop Circus have mastered this to the point of working in joy. Incredible. Every approach is a fluid, unrelenting recollection of the next collective movement. Each performer is always in the right place at the right time with timing immaculate.”

At 1.30pm in the Spiegeltent, Children are Stinky performs their third and final show. This is great fun for adults and kids alike with plenty of kooky, crazy comedy to light up the afternoon. The Hook went along to their first performance, here’s what they had to say.

"As a parent, the best recommendation for this show has to be the looseness, the unbridled joy it inspired in the children. That alone is well worth the trip...Your children will thank you."

 The fun continues for the grown-ups as Mark Hadlow delves into the inner workings of middle-aged men in lycra in MAMIL (Remounted) at the MTG Century Theatre. This is a festival hit that’s poignant and hilarious in equal measure. Here’s Mark talking about the show when it played at Herald Theatre in Auckland.

This evening at 6pm Wild Dogs Under My Skirt takes place at the Blyth Performing Arts Centre at Iona School in Havelock North. This is the festival pick of many of our crew so we are really looking forward to it. Samoan New Zealander Tusiata Avia brings to life a group of characters to tell a very personal story of life in the Pacific. Hear the cast speak about the show.

Last of all tonight is the stunning and insightful Behind the Lines with Ria Hall and Rob Ruha. Working with a group of Aotearoa’s finest musicians Hall and Ruha fuse the equal power of their dual talents into a fresh musical sound. This will be a beautiful sharing of work from these two big talents, so come along to the Spiegeltent at 8pm.

Another beautiful day in Hawke’s Bay with plenty to delight and astound. See you at the Festival!

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