Opening this week is the Young Auckland Shakespeare Company production of Much Adoe About Nothing, which is having its initial run at TAPAC before transferring to the Pop Up Globe, which is being raised like an Amish barn absurdly quickly in the Basement carpark besides Mayoral Drive. But more of that later... In the meanwhile, Shakespeare in the Park’s productions of King Lear and The Tempest in Takapuna have opened and are getting decent reviews. If Shakespeare is not your bag (though the pressure will be on this year to give it a try) then Moana and the Taniwha is an appealing production for the littlies, performed with enormous charm and gusto by a youthful cast of four. They say from six upwards, but I would say probably from three or four.
It is still really about the outdoors this week. Auckland Anniversary Weekend is coming up and in addition to the regatta, there is the busker’s festival from Friday to Sunday, with performers from all around the world descending on Auckland to bellow above the traffic noise on Customs Street and entertain us by blowing fire on a unicycle. Sort of free, but bring lots of fivers or they will make you feel as if very bad karma is coming your way. If you’re short though, there is always the waka race, free bus and boat tours, music and kapa haka offered courtesy of the Ports of Auckland from Saturday to Monday. On Sunday night, the Auckland Symphony Orchestra will be performing live at Captain Cook Wharf from 6-10pm with fireworks at 9pm - admission is free. On top of that, there is more music in the square, another free movie in Silo Park on Friday, this time, The Secret Garden.
After all this free stuff you may be feeling flush and for you there is the Laneway Festival on Monday. And it is only when all that has been cleared up, and only then, that the conventional theatre stuff will start once more. You’d almost think Aucklanders didn’t want to go back to work.