NZ at Edinburgh 2014

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.

NZ at Edinburgh 3Thanks 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.

NZ at Edinburgh 1Included 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.

NZ at Edinburgh 4While 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.

For more information on the NZ at Edinburgh 2014 season, check out nzatedinburgh.com.  To check out the shows on offer, click here.

NZ_at_Edinburgh_logoYou 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.

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Congrats to The Boy and Monsieur Lucont!

Edinburgh Festival Fringe is all done and dusted for the year and what a great one it has been for my two favorite comics!

 

Massive CONGRATS to fantastic prop comic, super talented physical comedian and all round awesome person, The Boy with Tape on his Face for winning a Broadway Baby Bobby Award and the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards Panel Prize 🙂  Include the many five-star reviews and The Tape Face Tapes (The Boy’s launch into Tellyland), it has undeniably been a #TapeFaceInvasion this year in the comedy world – and mine! – bring on the #TapeFaceRevolution, I say!

Also nabbing a comedy victory is my favorite dashing French raconteur 🙂  Huge congrats to exceptional character comic and brilliant wordsmith Marcel Lucont for winning the Amused Moose Laughter Award!  There really is no show out there like his so this is a much deserved and completely unsurprising win, in my books.  I am already so excited for the DVD – Marcel in the comfort of my own home, what could be better?!

UK readers, if you missed these two amazing, top notch comedians at the Fringe, keep an eye out as they may be coming to a town near you!  The Boy is currently on his autumn tour (details here) and Marcel is also touring around the UK (find out where here).  I cannot recommend these two enough so if they are performing where you are, two words: JUST GO!!

(Feel free to check out my reviews for More Tape and Gallic Symbol if you need more convincing 😉 )

Congrats again on all the success, Sam and Alexis, am so very happy for the both of you!  Also a big “Well Done!” shout out to Gag Reflex and Objective Talent 🙂

The Whimsical Banana’s Edinburgh Fringe Picks!

The annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the place to be for all performing arts and stand up comedy geeks like me so I am absolutely gutted that I’m not there!  But I’m all for sharing the love so here are my top recommendations for those of you who are there and still trying to decide who and what to see:

Fringe Pick #1 – The Boy With Tape On His Face

August 2nd-26th (not 14th) at the Pleasance Courtyard
A whimsical mix of mime, vaudeville and puppetry involving lots of toys, props and audience participation.  Heaps of fun, endlessly funny and just bloody brilliant!  This absolutely fantastic show is one you do not want to miss!!
Tickets are selling like hot cakes so get in quick!  Buy them HERE or check out my spoiler-free review HERE.

Fringe Pick #2 – Marcel Lucont

August 2nd-26th (not 14th) at the Underbelly, Cowgate
France’s premiere misanthropist and self-proclaimed flâneur, raconteur and bon-viveur.  Low energy but outstanding show with mostly sardonic humor and clever wordplay.
Get tickets HERE and check out what I thought HERE!

Fringe Pick #3 – Jason Byrne

August 1st-12th at EICCF
He is a comedic genius and I’m convinced is the funniest man on the planet.  Non-stop riotous laughter from start to finish; you will be gasping for breath and wiping away tears!
Get tickets HERE – don’t miss out; season almost over!

Fringe Pick #4 – Stephen K Amos

August 2nd-25th (not 13th ,14th , 20th or 21st) at The Stand
Delightful and fabulous feel-good comedy that will have you grinning from ear to ear by the end of the hour!  Great repertoire of accents and exceptional observational comedy.
Get tickets HERE!

Fringe Pick #5 – Mark Watson

August 1st-27th (not 13th or 20th) at Assembly George Square
One of my all-time favorites!  Unpretentious, very accessible and quirky brand of comedy.  A non-stop string of hilarious random stories and brilliant jokes that just flows together.
Get tickets HERE!

Fringe Pick #6 – Gordon Southern

August 1st-26th (not 8th) at the Gilded Balloon Teviot
Self-proclaimed “International World Clown” who puts a musical and funny spin to history.  Wonderfully enthusiastic, unexpectedly poetic and very clever – edutainment at its finest!
Get tickets HERE (Sportsman Bar until 11th) and HERE (Nightclub Bar from 12th).

*Not at the Fringe but a Must See! – Chris Cox

Next show: September 24th at the Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol
Engaging storyteller and absolutely amazing “mind reader who can’t read minds” that will both impress and baffle you.  Brilliant, magical and mind-boggling – you have to see to believe!
Get tickets HERE and read my review HERE.

These are just my top-most picks but I have many other favorites and there are HUNDREDS more on offer so happy choosing, attending and laughing!  I’ll just be sitting here being incredibly jealous!

For the full line-up check out the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website or the Underbelly website.

*If you want to find out more about these excellent comedians, click the pictures to be taken to their official websites!