15 Feb 2011
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The festival will take place 13 – 27 March 2011
Public Performances: Saturday 19th March, Friday 25th March and Saturday 26th March
In a launch event in the Wellington Town Hall Council Chamber, sponsors, supporters, council members and media gathered to release the dazzling programme for the fifth biennial National Arts Festival for Children to be held in Wellington 13-27 March.
Speaking at the launch, councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer spoke to the importance of the festival reaching and engaging children from all nationalities and backgrounds, and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown emphasised the value of seeing children grow up to have an appreciation for all aspects of the cultural capital.
Capital E director, Stuart Grant gave an overview of the 12 events making up the festival and proudly announced the festival is on track to reach sales goals – having already booked record numbers for school visits.
Director Stuart Grant says, “In recessionary times, the barriers are many. It is only the ongoing support of partners and supporters that has enabled us to ensure no young person will miss the opportunity to attend through socio-economic circumstance. On behalf of our audience, we can not thank you enough for believing in the Festival and its outcomes.”
The 2011 festival features fantastical circus acts, musical buckwhips, the Giggles, puppetry, hilarious windy works of music, a whale of a tale, captivating visual art performance, some cheeky sailors and a magical chess game – something for everyone!
Works commissioned for the festival will come from a range of New Zealand talent. Awkward Productions presents Grimace, a fairytale inspired circus with a gothic twist;the creators of Lonesome Buckwhips will perform a delightfully unwholesome rock and roll musical - Vinnie Septic and the Princesses in a fable about what not to be when you grow up; and Capital E National Theatre for Children present Hear to See at The Opera House, with a score from Richard Nunns and stunning puppetry from Sydney-based company ERTH, whose life-size dinosaurs were a highlight at the 2009 festival.
From the UK, Myrtle Theatre Company will perform their poignant, life-affirming comedy Up Down Boy, a play inspired by the extraordinary life story of Nathan Bessell who has Down syndrome and his mother’s unique perspective on bringing him up. Incorporating animation from Aardman-contracted artists, Evil Genius, and a script developed with the support of Catherine Johnson, company patron and writer of Mamma Mia, this New Zealand premiere promises to warm the hearts of young people and adults alike.
For music lovers’ Australian composer and musician Linsey Pollak will delight with his quirky new show Passing Wind, creating wind instruments from the most unexpected materials, and the NZSO will be revealing their Secret Chambers in a range of performances for schools every week day at Te Papa.
In Soundings Theatre at Te Papa live-action, animated projections and green screen effects come together as the audience are privy to the behind the scenes antics of the popular TVNZ Giggles characters in Kidzone Giggles Live. In the spirit of “the show must go on” everyone becomes part of the team bringing this lively show together.
Inspiring outdoor performances will transform familiar spaces - Civic Square will become the stage for a premiere production performed to schools with Footprint from Wellington’s Footnote Dance Company. In a combination of dance and design this work will take place around a tree created by Izzat Design who previously worked on King Kong and Lord of the Rings. Young people will be invited to hang their hopes and ideas for the environment on the tree to become an evolving installation throughout the festival. Ilott Green will become home for an eight-metre humpback whale made almost entirely from recycled materials, for The Whale’s Tale and an over-sized chess board meets Aussie Rules in A Curious Games- two works from Australian theatre company Born in a Taxi.
Other highlights from across the water include enchanting storytelling with a mixture of puppetry, acrobatics and sound effects in Boats, as Life long friends Jof and Nic set sail for an aquatic adventure. Hobart-based Terrapin Puppet Theatretell the story of two mariners fleeing their past and embracing their future in this play written by Finegan Kruckemeyer. Also from Australia, described as “an Andy Warhol for a new era” Brisbane’s Fleur Elise Noble presents her award-winning show 2 Dimensional Life of Her. Set in an artist studio this is a playful, visually inspiring production combining puppetry, film, drawing and animation to create a captivating performance where you never quite know what’s real or imagined.
For two weeks Wellington becomes an exciting hub of music, theatre and dance for schools and families visiting the capital as venues around the city play host to thousands of children. On average, an audience of over 2000 different children and their whànau will attend each day across the two week Festival.
This, the fifth biennial Festival, promises to be exciting, inspiring and unique! Visit the Capital E web page for more information or pick up a programme.
Call Capital E, 04 913 3740 or visit www.capitale.org.nz for more details.
Title: Capital E National Arts Festival for Children
Date: 13 March 2011