The Taranaki Arts Festival is back to warm up the region this winter!
Spectacular and multi award-winning international acts have been secured for this year’s exciting Taranaki Arts Festival.
The 2017 festival boasts a colourful line-up of 44 acts in 13 different venues, including a delightful new spiegeltent - the Staples Rodway Crystal Palace.
These star-studded acts hail from as far away as Germany, Mexico and Ireland and feature award-winning artists.
Cabaret, comedy, theatre, dance, music, poetry, a rock musical, and even a mind-bending laser show are all on the play-bill.
TAFT Chief Executive Suzanne Porter said this festival was not one to miss.
“The line-up is incredibly strong and there are a number of performers with international awards to their name,” she said.
“There is something for everyone. Taranaki really is spoiled for choice.”
From Australia’s dazzling disco cabaret VELVET, to The Netherlands’ stunning Starman, and South Korea’s deliciously funny romp Chef – Come Dine With Us, the line-up is jammed packed with diverse and daring shows.
As well as these international artists, a bevy of top talent from New Zealand will be on offer, including the toe-tappingly good Sal Valentine and The Babyshakes, and That Bloody Woman, the story of Kate Sheppard told as an energetic rock musical.
Words in the Libri Lounge will feature nine storytellers, including multi award-winning New Zealand author Catherine Chidgey, who just won the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize for her best-selling novel The Wish Child.
Among the many on offer in the lounge will be winemaker Allan Scott, journalist Nicky Hager, and novelist Karyn Hay.
“I am delighted with the calibre of storytellers we have for Words in the Libri Lounge,” Porter said.
“These sessions always sell out, so book your tickets now, before you miss out.”
The heart of this year’s festival will be the enchanting and bewitching Staples Rodway Crystal Palace.
Based on the Belgium designed spiegeltents of the 19th century, the Crystal Palace is a travelling performance space that will be homed on Puke Ariki landing.
Made up of 3000 pieces, this 40 tonne venue features all of the magic of a spiegeltent, brushed with hints of Kiwiana culture.
With New Zealand ferns on the ornate mirrors, paua carved into the wooden pillars and gorgeous stained glass windows featuring harakeke, the Crystal Palace is an opulent venue that will whisk you away and leave you smiling.
“Taranaki has a love affair with spiegeltents, and to see our culture reflected in such a beautiful venue will be a special experience,” Porter said.
“You just can’t beat the atmosphere of a spiegeltent, and having the Crystal Palace on Puke Ariki landing for the first time will create a real high-spirited buzz in the CBD.”
Festival Artistic Director Craig Cooper said one of the highlights of the three-week festival, which runs from August 17 to September 3, would be The TSB Community Trust People’s Tower.
Made with cardboard, piles of packing tape and people power, a tower designed by French artist Olivier Grossetête will rise in central New Plymouth.
Youngsters and the young at heart will use boxes and tape to construct The People’s Tower, before witnessing its exciting demolition at the end of the festival.
“Olivier takes inspiration from the cities his creations will be in, so our festival tower will be uniquely Taranaki,” Cooper said.
“This will be a fun community project that we hope people of all ages will be a part of.”
The tower will be constructed and demolished on New Plymouth’s award-winning cricket pitch at Pukekura Park.
Cooper, who is also the Artistic Director of the Christchurch Arts Festival, said he had travelled far and wide to bring the best to Taranaki.
This year that top entertainment will extend out to Inglewood, Hawera, Pihama, Kakaramea, Oakura, Urenui, Opunake, and Stratford, he said.
Taranaki musicians will also get the chance to shine in a series of House Gigs held in living rooms, and lunchtime concerts held in the Crystal Palace.
Cooper’s list of must-sees for the festival included the rock musical That Bloody Woman, based on the life of Kate Sheppard, the headlining Festival Gem VELVET and the South Korean show Chef –Come Dine With Us.
He also said to watch out for the confronting, headline grabbing play Manifesto 2083, as well as the darkly-comic theatre piece Underneath from the Olivier Award-winning team of Irishman Pat Kinevane and Fishamble: The New Play Company.
“There is so much to experience in this festival and I urge you all to come along and be a part of the party.”