Kozo Kaos

6 October, Green Room, Hastings Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 There’s an electric zing in the air at the Green Room. Kids sit round café tables playing at grown-ups, quaffing orange juice from wine glasses, while grown-ups who want a second crack at childhood sip on the real deal and wait for the circus to…

Once Upon a Something

6 October, The Eastbourne, Hastings Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 It’s what George Fenn dryly calls the “start of the show”, a unique, never to be repeated, impromptu performance about to be created with and for us. The gentle spadework has been done, our entertainers have chatted comfortably with audience: half and half, children and…

Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon

4 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 There’s a lot to navigate before you get to your seat in children’s theatre. Who’s eaten? Who’s peed? Base human needs. As carers with young charges, adult audience holds its collective breath throughout: Will it be too loud? Will strobe lights trigger night terrors? Will the amped-up…

The Listies Make You LOL

1 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 Look, I’m not the biggest fan of scatological humour, yet as the mother of three sons aged between ten and three it plays more of a role in my daily life than I had ever planned. Some seek out fart jokes, others have fart jokes thrust upon…

Cheese

27 September 2017, Spiegeltent, Havelock North Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival The Spiegeltent is full of excited chatter as 250 school kids acclimatise to, what is for many, their first introduction to the Arts Festival. They turn in their seats, the better to see the 360-degree spectacle of mirrors, lights, sparkle and red velvet. The vaudeville-style…

Chop Chop Hiyaaa!

11 July 2017, St Paul’s Church, Napier At this concert of Anika Moa’s the children outnumber the adults, the audience participation is high, and the bar is non-existent. It is 10am, and the cold hall is being warmed up by ancient heaters hanging from the walls. I am reminded of primary-school years attending pantomimes. I…

Oliver!

4-7 July, Hastings Girls’ High School Hall Oliver! must be one of the favourite musicals of all time. It’s certainly mine. I had the score as a child and read it like it was a novel. I knew all the words to all the songs and loved all the ins and outs of the story….

Mid-Year Concerts

30 June and 1 July, Old Mill and Karamu High School While bars are jumping and theatres humming, I spent this Friday and Saturday at a talent-a-thon of a slightly fresher, greener hue. The Napier Music Academy first, then the Hawke’s Bay Orchestral Society, with the Training, Youth and Community Orchestras all doing a turn….

Keep on Kimi Ora

Edith Amituanai 17 June – 3 September 2017, Hastings City Art Gallery To learn to trust children, we must first learn to trust ourselves – John Holt I’m sitting in a cardboard box fort, set as square as it can be in the main foyer of the Hastings City Art Gallery. From the outside, the…

Mary Poppins

10-25 March, Napier Municipal Theatre The matinee performance  was ideally suited to the younger fans but theatre-goers of all ages were delighted when the Napier Operatic Society wowed the audience with the Broadway musical production of Mary Poppins.  Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke are a hard act to follow but Laura Jeffares in the…

Hinepau

October 12, 2016 This enchanting stage adaptation of Gavin Bishop’s picture book has to be one of my festival favourites – such a feast for the eyes, ears and heart. Produced by NZ theatre company, Capital E, this contemporary Māori story is sprinkled with local language puns and gentle cultural jokes, while addressing universal issues…