What's Good this Week : : Theatre & Arts Festival

The Arts Festival continues apace. What is the must see? The National Theatre of Scotland with its cultural heritage rich in poetry, music, dance and romanticism offers some of the most vibrant and watchable theatre in the world.  The James Plays are very good, but the Aotea Theatre is so cavernous it is hard to get lost in the performance and Scottish independence is not our fight: it may not make quite the impact it did at home.  So what else is terrific out there? The Herald is saying very good things about La Cucina del’Arteand Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid. If you have a recommendation, let me know.


The Pop-Up Globe continues too – this week you can catch an all-women’s version of Henry V, the University of Auckland Summer Shakespeare’s modern version of The Tempest, then Ben Henson’s violent Titus opens on Sunday and there are also performances of Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night.


There are new plays too from upcoming talent. The graduates of the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts put on Te Moko – an exploration of identity - at The Basement. The excellent Jess Holly Bates and Sarah Tuck are offering the ‘radical’ and the ‘silly’ Offensive Nipple Show at the same venue. And Car will continue to transport you till Saturday night.


Alternatively, if you are interested in the healing properties of drama then you may be interested in Legacy Performing Arts – which uses drama as a tool for Mental Health Awareness – which have produced The Link, a play about a homeless man which will be on at Te Pou between Thursday and Saturday night.


I am still reeling a bit from $175 for the three James Plays and so looking forward to White Night this Saturday – a night of art and performance across the city that is entirely free. It is also Whanau day at the festival on Sunday, with loads of stuff on from K-Pop to brass bands. There is going to be more on next week and I am dithering between Big Mouth which sounds like a wordsmith’s answer to dubstep – 360 Allstars because I can’t resist breakdancers – and Shooglenifty because after a few days of theatre you want to get up and dance.


Sufjan Stevens


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