I can’t believe August is fast approaching and soon I’ll be off to Edinburgh again for the largest arts festival in the world! This year’s Fringe is particularly exciting for me because of the amount of New Zealand productions that will be making an appearance.
Thanks to the support from Creative New Zealand, over 200 artists will be presenting their work throughout the various Edinburgh festivals: the Edinburgh International Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Edinburgh Art Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and of course, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
This is the first time such a large group of NZ performers have been invited to participate and with an audience of four million each year, this is such a fantastic opportunity for NZ to showcase the country’s exceptional pool of talent and immense creativity in performing arts.
Included in the season are internationally acclaimed director Lemi Ponifasio and his company MAU; Auckland Theatre Company, the city’s flagship professional theatre company; composer Gareth Farr; Pasifika theatre group Kila Kokonut Krew; pianist Michael Houstoun; Te Matatini’s national kapa haka champions; dance company Black Grace; author Witi Ihimaera and many more.
I feel very fortunate to have been allocated to review a number of shows in the season.
While I am looking forward to them all, I am really excited for Royale Productions’ The Generation of Z. I attended the first version of the show – then called Apocalypse Z – back in Auckland and was blown away by the experience. It completely eradicates any concept of a Fourth Wall and takes interactive theatre to a whole new level. If you like your theatre on the unconventional side and you enjoy a good scare, I cannot recommend this enough! (Here’s my review.)
So if you are heading to Edinburgh in August, do check something out from the NZ at Edinburgh 2014 season. From dance and theatre to visual arts and kapa haka (Māori performing arts), there is something for every performing arts taste bud.
And while you’re at it, do also drop by The Backyard at the Roxy bar exclusively at Roxy Assembly to try the best of NZ’s craft beer and cider, organic soft drinks, award-winning wine and delicious coffee. Intended to recreate the ambiance of a relaxed NZ villa garden in the middle of summer, the bar will be decked out with bean bags, deck chairs and designer street art, all provided by NZ designers.
You can follow all my theatre and comedy reviews throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe here – if you go there now you can check out my reviews from last year!
This post is also featured on Keeping Up With NZ.