Theatre meets dance meets song meets the immutable power of Janet Frame’s words in award-winning Red Leap Theatre’s energetic contemporary response to Owls Do Cry.

Surprising, poetic and moving, this show delves into the sumptuous world of Frame and the Withers’ siblings — Daphne, Chicks, Toby and Francie — and their lives in small-town Aotearoa following a family tragedy.

Going beyond a direct narrative staging of the book, Red Leap and director Malia Johnston (WOW, Meremere) have created a multi- disciplinary dreamscape of wonder, filled with Frame’s rich imagery and poetry, and an extraordinary cast including Nelsonian Comfrey Sanders, award-winning choreographer/dancer Ross McCormack, and actor Arlo Gibson of Shortland Street fame.

“I’m left with sheer joy of witnessing image of beauty, light and poetry.” – Pantograph Punch

The last New Zealand war took place in Auckland in 1979.
It lasted three minutes.

The Haka Party Incident resurrects the eventful day when a group of University of Auckland engineering students rehearsing their annual tradition of a mock haka are confronted by the activist group, He Taua. The incident sent ripples through the nation and changed race relations in New Zealand forever.

Crafted by film-maker and theatre director Katie Wolfe, The Haka Party Incident is verbatim theatre that innovatively combines documentary and kapa haka to thrilling effect. Provocative, resonant and unforgettable. A not-to-be-missed landmark theatre event.

Join us 5pm Saturday 23 Oct for a panel discussion inspired by The Haka Party Incident. More details on

Original season co-presented by Auckland Arts Festival.

From Dolly to the (Dixie) Chicks, The F Word is a journey of feminism through country music, from 1952 — the 1st female country artist at #1 – to today.

The award-winning Tami Neilson performs a rich songbook of country classics, and explores why songs of feminism were banned from country radio faster than a dirty word!

Known as one of the most conservative musical genres, country music’s predominantly male radio DJs have long held the position to make or break a career. Still, artists like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn saw their songs soar to #1 and become feminist anthems.

This theatre concert of humorous storytelling, peppered with shocking statistics and fun facts, has earworms to boot.

PechaKucha returns with a fine selection of interesting and creative folk from Whakatū and beyond. Come and listen, you’re bound to learn something surprising!

The fixed format limits each presenter to a slideshow of 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds, keeping it concise and fast-paced.

The PechaKucha concept (from the Japanese term for chit-chat) was devised in Tokyo and has spread to more than 1,000 cities worldwide.

If you’d like to present, please email Andy on [email protected].

For this final event in the festival, let’s connect and learn more of, and from, one another.

Taite Music Prize 2021 winner Reb Fountain will premier material from her highly anticipated new album IRIS along with songs from her self titled Flying Nun debut.

Born in San Francisco, Reb immigrated with her family to Lyttelton — the quiet port town that’s been fundamental to Aotearoa’s alt-folk scene (think Marlon Williams, Aldous Harding, Delaney Davidson). In May 2020, Reb Fountain released her self-titled album to critical and popular acclaim through the iconic Flying Nun Records.

Part Patti Smith, part Nick Cave, plus a voice that will stay with you long after you’ve leapt from your seat for that standing ovation.

“An eponymous creator at the top of her game — or perhaps preparing to climb to new and headier peaks” - NZ Music

An artist arrives at his paint-splattered studio ready to create a new work. He waits for inspiration. When it finally comes, things don’t proceed quite as he would wish. For this artist, every task is filled with challenges — chaos is unavoidable.

Thom Monckton’s The Artist is an incredible feat of physical strength, theatrical skills and comedic storytelling that will have you spell-bound. Get ready to step into the whirlwind mind of a true creative, and be wowed by this artist creating a spectacular experience out of the (seemingly) ordinary.

From Thom Monckton and Circo Aereo — the makers of Nelson Arts Festival 2013’s hit The Pianist — comes a show that really will have the whole family giggling in true delight.

Kim Hill invites our four panellists to explain why there’s still hope we can respond to the climate crisis.

Hear from Jason Boberg and Kera Sherwood-O’Regan, both contributors to Climate Aotearoa, Mike Joy (Inherited Pollution and Mountains to the Sea) and Dave Lowe (The Alarmist).

Nelson Arts Festival Pukapuka Talks.
This show is eligible for the 5 for $75 Pukapuka Pass.

Many moons ago, a different kind of superhero ruled this side of the Pacific: Māui-Tikitiki-A-Taranga.

A warrior and demigod, Māui’s adventures are woven into the fabric of Pacific history. Here in Aotearoa, this ‘Māori Superman’ enjoyed the best of the natural and spiritual worlds. He was fast, fit, and funny. The total package.

In this cabaret of hilarious and vocally wild proportions, join Rutene Spooner’s whirlwind quest to become the modern-day Māori hero — anything could happen! Perhaps this ‘haka-boogie-hori’ will realise that in order to cast forward, he must pull from the past, back to the ancient ones.

Lols from start to finish and a pair of lungs ready to rip your hats off: Rutene is the musical hero of our hearts! Enjoy!

Developed in partnership with Auckland Live and supported by Creative New Zealand. Premiered as part of the Auckland Live Cabaret Season 2021.

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