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           Home >  Culture  > Art and Craft  :

Christchurch Arts Festival 01
July 18 - August 5 2001

Part 3
Drama And The Spoken Word - Poetry And Debate

Dorothy - 15/06/01

What a feast of theatre is on offer!
I'm not going to put them in order of preference. I'll tell you about them in the order they appear in the programme.

The Facemaker - a true story about war and love
Director: Cathy Downes
Mark Hadlow plays Archibald McIndoe

Stuart Hoar's play, The Facemaker, will be featuring at the Court Theatre for the Festival. It tells the story of how Sir Archibald McIndoe, the famous New Zealand plastic surgeon known as The Maestro, worked to rebuild the face of handsome and arrogant Richard Hillary, a fighter pilot who was shot down in flames in the Battle of Britain. Hillary wrote a book describing the influences that later changed his personality. These of course included the restoration of his face. Don't miss this powerful play.
Court 1
July 21 - August 18
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8pm
Monday and Thursday 6pm
Duration 2 hours

A Midsummer Night's Dream
William Shakespeare
The Smokefree Arts Dream Tour
New Zealand Actors Company
Director: Simon Bennett
The New Zealand Actors Company is a new national theatre company "dedicated to bringing entertaining and accessible theatre of the highest professional standard to the New Zealand public."
Simon Bennett, a founding director of BATS Theatre in Wellington, has gained a reputation for innovative interpretations of Shakespeare's plays, both tragedy and comedy, and since 1995 has directed for television, including directing Shortland Street from 1997 to 1999.
Add well-known actors Katie Wolfe and Tim Balme and others in a cast of professional actors and you have the recipe for a different, exciting and magic performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
North Island audiences were enthralled with this performance last year. Give the new company your support and yourself a theatrical treat!
Theatre Royal
August 1 - 4 8pm
Telecom School Matinee August 2, 1pm
Telecom Family Matinee August 4, 1pm
Duration 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval)

Devised by Maori poet Roma Potiki and Peter Wilson
Inspired by Hinepau by Gavin Bishop
Director: Peter Wilson
Sanctuary tells the stories of two young women, Kelly who is confined to her hospital bed and Hinepau, a mythological weaver exiled to the forest. These two worlds blend as Kelly dreams of the outside world and is visited by her ancestors who guide her on a wondrous journey through legends of our land's volatile creation and the traditions of its Maori, Pakeha and Pacific peoples. Sanctuary uses puppetry, masks, drama, dance and waiata to make the story vivid. This is suitable for 7 - 14 year olds and of course the young at heart. A teachers' resource is available to help teachers develop the links that Sanctuary has with the National Curriculum.
Festival Repertory Theatre
July 17 - 20 1pm, July 18 - 21 6pm, July 21 - 22 3pm
Duration 1 hour

The Candlestickmaker
The formula for happiness
Indian Ink Theatre Company
By Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis
Performed by Jacob Rajan, Puppetry by Kate Parker
Music by Craig Lee
Director: Justin Lewis
The Candlestickmaker is by the creators of Krishnan's Dairy. In this warm and funny play they use masks, puppets and song to tell the story of a 19 year old New Zealand Indian student who sets off to discover India. With the help of a Nobel prize winning astrophysicist Chandrasekar, a 300- year old cook, and a duck, he discovers the mysteries of the universe.
Festival Repertory Theatre
July 25 - 28, August 1 - 4 8pm
July 29, 31 6.30pm
Duration 2 hours

The End of the Golden Weather
by Bruce Mason
Director: Colin McColl
Designer: Tony Rabbit
For so many older New Zealanders the words "Let me take you on a voyage into that territory of the heart that we call childhood" evoke a memory of Bruce Mason sitting alone on the stage and beginning to present an authentic and entertaining picture of growing up. He presented the show more than a thousand times to enthusiastic audiences.
It is gratifying that now younger generations will be able to experience The End of the Golden Weather.

Change of programme
Colin McColl who was scheduled to produce this show has regrettably been forced to withdraw owing to a family illness.
The critically acclaimed Peter Vere-Jones production of The End of the Golden Weather will be presented at the Christ's College Old Boy's Theatre from July 20 - 27 replacing the Colin McColl-directed production.
Festival Director, Guy Boyce, says, "With tight direction by Susan Wilson and an evocative sound track by Gareth Farr, Vere-Jones' performance in The End of the Golden Weather delighted Wellington audiences at Te Papa last year and I have no doubt that Christchurch audiences will appreciate this honouring of one of New Zealand's great theatre works." Peter Vere-Jones is the only person to perform the show since its creator Bruce Mason took to the road with over a 1000 performances throughout New Zealand.

Christ's College Old Boys' Theatre
July 20 - 27
Duration approx 2 hours

Writer/Performer: Alison Wall
Directors: Vanessa Chapple and Ben Crowder
Comedienne Alison Wall's show, developed by Theatre Stampede, takes the audience from New Zealand to Morocco. Seven characters are involved - and Alison plays them all. Abbie is in chaos. Love, career and identity are all up in the air. 92 year old great aunt Mavis is her adviser. She and Abbie urge each other to really live and Abbie takes off to Morocco.
Blossom explores issues such as desires and realities, love and lust, responsibility and freedom, and truth and deceit. Go to Blossom and ask yourself, "Do you have the courage to live your dreams?"
Court Two
July 18 - 26, 6.15pm, July 21, 2pm
Duration 1 hour 15 minutes

No 2
Written by Toa Fraser
Performed by Madeleine Sami
Director: Catherine Boniface
Toa Fraser was born in London to a British mother and a Fijian father who was brought up in New Zealand. The family came to New Zealand when Toa was fourteen. Madeleine Sami has Irish/Indian heritage and has grown up in South Auckland. They have had a meteoric rise to fame as author and actor. As John Smythe said in The National Business Review "Rather than burden themselves with desperate quests for identity, they prefer to play - authentically and with distinction - in and with the world around them." Why No 2? - because that is the street number for the home of a large immigrant Fijian family. The central character, Nana Maria, the elderly Fijian matriarch, decides early in the morning that she must choose her successor and orders a feast to be prepared for all the family. Her successor must be one of her grandchildren because she has no time for her "bloody useless children".
The stage is bare except for one chair, and Sami alone peoples it vividly with all the nine characters, young and old, male and female, moving easily from one to another. Part of the credit for this extraordinary performance must go to Sami and part to Toa Fraser's superb sense of character and ability to write dialogue that brings the people alive in rich contrasts.
This performance was awarded a Fringe First at the 2000 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Don't miss it!
Court 2
July 27 - August 5, 6.15pm
Duration 1 hour 15 minutes

Narrator: Kim Hill
Visual Designer: Annelies van der Poel
Director: Charlotte Yates
Exploring Baxter's poetry as part of a research task musician Charlotte Yates felt that the poems should be set to modern music to reach the younger generation. She invited well-known musicians to join her in selecting a poem, setting it to music and performing it. Emma Paki, Greg Johnson, Martin Phillips, Andrew Brough, Jordan Reyne, Gareth Farr, David Downes and Charlotte Yates are all involved in the Christchurch performance. Kim Hill is the narrator and her account of Baxter's life and work will be highlighted by Annelies van der Poel's images and photos of Baxter. Sam Hunt and David Eggleton read Baxter's work to music. This programme played to packed houses at the New Zealand Festival 2000. It offers a blend of verse and music which has delighted Jacqui Baxter, the poet's widow.
James Hay Theatre
August, 3 - 4, 8.00pm, August 5, 6pm
Duration 80 minutes, no interval

An artists' forum will be led by Charlotte Yates and Sam Hunt honouring the work of James K Baxter and looking at the connection between his work and the show Baxter
Telecom Pavilion
August 4, 12.10pm
Duration 1 hour

Five New Zealand Poets
This was a very successful feature in the 1999 Festival and was hailed as the renaissance of poetry in performance in New Zealand. At the 2001 Festival Allen Curnow, Kate Camp, Bill Manhire, *Sarah Quigley and Apriana Taylor will present their works in a programme opened by Festival Poet Laureate, Margaret Mahy. Joe Bennett will introduce each poet. In age, in themes and in poetic styles these poets present strong and interesting contrasts.
Kate Camp
Kate, writes poetry, prose and reviews. Her first collection of poetry, Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars won the Best First Book of Poetry at the 1999 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. She was described by Cath Kenneally in Landfall as "literate yet hip, culturally attuned and funky."
Allen Curnow
He has been described as "a major voice at every stage of his career". He spent his early childhood in Canterbury and many of his recent works look back to that place and time and to his relationship with his father. He worked on Christchurch newspapers, and began publishing in the 1930s with Christchurch's Caxton Press. He moved from writing about the New Zealand identity to more personal poetry. His overseas travel, including a year at Menton as the Katherine Mansfield fellow, has provided a contrast to the New Zealand themes. He has continued to write, his most recent volume of poetry being published in 2000.
Bill Manhire
He now heads the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University in Wellington, and directs their prestigious programme in creative writing. In 1997 he was made New Zealand's inaugural Poet Laureate and published a collection called What To Call Your Child to celebrate his term as Poet Laureate. The volume contains poems which arose from his two-week visit to Antarctica in 1998. His conversations with Kim Hill on National Radio have done much to raise interest in poetry throughout New Zealand.
Sarah Quigley
Sarah is a Christchurch-based novelist and poet who has written columns for the Christchurch Press. Readers missed these recently when Sarah was away for ten months in Berlin on the Inaugural Creative New Zealand Writer's Fellowship.
Apirana Taylor
Writer, poet, storyteller and painter, he helped to form Maori theatre at a time when no such theatre existed. He contributed to the theatre by acting as well as writing and has played major roles in internationally released television films Moby Dick and The Swiss Family Robinson.
He won the Te Ha Award for Poetry in 1994. He has taken part in poetry tours in India and a European poetry tour including Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.
James Hay Theatre
July 22, 5.00pm
Duration approx 1 hour 30 mins

Hone Tuwhare
Te Mata Laureate ll Book Launch

This poet, born in rural Northland in 1922, has had a diverse and extraordinary life, working as boilermaker, political activist and poet. He was New Zealand's first Maori writer of poetry in English. He has travelled widely to places as different as Bougainville, Berlin and Beijing. He was appointed New Zealand's second Te Mata Estate Poet Laureate in 1999 - a two year appointment. His collection of poetry written during his time as Poet Laureate, Hone Tuwhare: Te Mata Laureate ll will be launched on New Zealand Poetry Day.
Telecom Pavilion
July 20, 6 pm
Duration 1 hour

The Festival Big 8 Debate
The A. K. Grant Memorial Speech Competition

This debate in the opening weekend of the Festival brings together eight of the wittiest debaters in the country. The affirmative team is Gary McCormick, Michelle A'Court, Kerre Woodham and Kevin Smith, debating against Jim Hopkins, Phil Gifford, Ginette McDonald and Tom Scott.
Debaters will be competing for the A. K. Grant Memorial Trophy for Best Individual Speech won last year by Tom Scott at the inaugural A. K. Grant Memorial Speech Competition during the Otago Festival of the Arts in October 2000.
Town Hall Auditorium
July 20, 8pm
Duration approx 2 hours 30 mins

* Elizabeth Smither is to replace Sarah Quigley in the line up for the Five New Zealand Poets readings at the James Hay Theatre, July 22 at 5pm.

New Plymouth based Elizabeth Smither is one of New Zealand's most distinguished and honoured poets. She has published many volumes of poetry including the prize winning 1989 collection 'A Pattern of Marching' and 'The Lark Quartet', the winner of the poetry category of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, 2000. Her work is prolific and apart from her Poetry She has written a number of novels, short stories and works for children. Elizabeth is the current Te Mata Estate Poet Laureate. She is also a notable reviewer of contemporary literature and recently became an advisory and contributing editor to Stand magazine.

Christchurch-based novelist Sarah Quigley has chosen to extend her writers residency in Berlin and is therefore unable to fulfil her engagement with the Christchurch Arts Festival.

Festival Director Guy Boyce says that, "while I am disappointed for Festival audiences at Sarah's decision to extend her stay in Europe I am absolutely delighted to offer Elizabeth as her replacement. Elizabeth as the current Te Mata Estate Poet Laureate is one of three in our line-up and her win at the 2000 Montana Book Awards confirms her position as one of this country's most distinguished poets."

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