Day 11

Above: Greg Johnson's original hit 'Isabelle' from 1991. He'll be sharing stories behind such classic NZ songs tonight.

Reviews from Thursday's shows

 Rosheen reviewed Jane Doe for The Hook - it's big stuff.

"There are no parks round the MTG so I pull up outside the Wind Sock and walk the block to the theatre. When I return the street’s empty, save for a sextet of dudes shooting shit outside the bar.“Hey pretty lady, you’re a pretty lady,” grunts one, leaning over the barrier..."

Gemma (Theatreview) was also at Jane Doe, and has written about it here.

"This important work lights a fire in all of us. This is the purpose of the show: to disable our denial."

And Michael's written a funny story in his review on the Greg Johnson gig in the Spiegeltent.

"You can feel the bonhomie in the room. He’s got us. He sings about normal stuff – places unvisited, love, hubris, unfortunate friends, disappointment (watching England lose at football again), his apartment in Los Angeles (his photos of which make LA look as joyless as Hawera – “glamorous eh?”)."

Jamie's festival shout out

And just like that … it’s almost over.

It has been an amazing Festival, with joy, heartbreak, hilarity and, most of all a growing sense of community.  The feeling of people gathering everyday and being immersed in such a wide range of shows is so cool. Seeing an 80-plus, very refined Havelock North gentleman walk out of Rob Ruha & Ria Hall's show absolutely beaming, and stopping to say to Pitsch “That was just fabulous, I didn’t know that music like that existed” was very cool.  And moments like that are happening constantly. Seeing the diversity of people that come together, onstage and off, as part of this Festival is the real highlight.

This evening in The Ngatarawa Festival Garden is going to be so nice.  From 5pm Arahi and his band are playing.  No charge, Ngatarawa have kindly agreed to pay a selection of musicians to entertain us in the Festival garden. So come along after work, he is a talented, fresh local folkster with a lovely backing band.  Two hours of music in a cool atmosphere with food and drink available.

And then, after, probably about 9pm, lil’b, DJ Michael Hawkesworth, is going to be spinning some classic vinyl.  Michael has impeccable taste in music, and has an almost uncanny ability of being able to read the mood of a crowd and play just the music to accompany bit of fine socialising!

Come along and get a taste of the whole Festival vibe.

As for shows coming up, here are some thoughts:

Jane Doe, tonight at the MTG

Powerful, riveting, challenging and confrontational theatre exploring the abhorrent rape culture that exists in New Zealand. An issue that has affected so many, and still nowhere near enough conversations are happening.  This play intends to get conversations started. I wish everyone could see this.

In Flagrante (MaryJane O’Reilly), Friday & Saturday in the Spiegeltent

MaryJane was the director of the Limbs dance company, and this recent work combines the power of her choreography with a wickedly risqué, almost burlesque frivolity that explore the power of female sexuality.  Hot & Steamy, but challenging and provocative. In a Spiegeltent!  I’m excited already!

Canopy (Margot Pierard & Kurt Yates), Spiegeltent, Saturday at 7pm

I got a slap on the wrist for lining this duo to Tuck & Patti, but I’m going to hold to that!  Margot’s bold stepping out into singing her own compositions, these are songs that explore so much, that go deep. Gorgeous guitar work, a voice with extraordinary range … fresh, soulful songs …. and two of the treasures of the Hawke’s Bay music scene.  We are so lucky.

Freedom Is Behind My Breath, The Blyth, Saturday at 7pm & Sunday at 4pm

DO NOT MISS THIS PERFORMANCE! Puti Lancaster, who brought us the sublime 'Contours of Heaven’ last year, has collaborated on this with Owen McCarthy, the performance designer who brought us White Guitar.This is a local story. Intimate.  Personal. Poignant.  Vital. Relevant to each and every one of us. Please do come.

Blog Post: 11am

Do come down to the Festival Garden today, enjoy a drink and soak up the atmosphere with some fine tunes. We have the final two of our free live music sessions (courtesy of Ngatarawa): Arahi and band will be playing at 5pm, bringing a 1960’s Greenwich Village folk-feel to the stage with songs that are of the moment, intimate and honest.

Following Greg Johnson in the Spiegeltent tonight (sold out), DJ lil'b (aka Michael Hawksworth) will be on the turn-table from 9pm, playing an eclectic set from ‘60s and ‘70s soul, funk and psychedelic to ‘80s electro and old-school house grooves. So if you've missed out on Greg, you can still join the post-show party.

For more details on our Ngatarawa sessions, read our earlier festival story here.

Our hospitality coordinator, Paula, says there was a really relaxed but buzzy festival vibe on Saturday with live music events throughout the afternoon and evening. "We sold a lot of gin & tonics." The weather was beautiful and sunny of course, but later when the air cooled, the braziers were lit, creating ambient warmth. The set-up this year with the generous TopKata teepees, has meant there's ample shelter from the elements.

Also on tonight, Jane Doe in the MTG at 7pm. It's not a top festival pic in terms of tickets sold, but it's a really vital piece of verbatim theatre, and it will be funnier and warmer in its delivery than it sounds from the grittiness of its content. We don't pretend it won't pack some punches but let's start this conversation, Hawke's Bay.

Our Festival to Schools programme today: 1918 will be performing at the Blyth to 150+ high school students from Iona College, Hastings Girls' High School and Flaxmere College, while Kokako's Song will be taken into two primary schools (Te Mata and Ebbett Park), delighting 600 kids.


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