UPSURGE Bay of Islands Arts Festival

 

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UPSURGE Bay of Islands Arts Festival is a biennial arts festival held in and around the beautiful Bay of Islands region. The festival runs over six action packed days and nights presenting a diverse programme of performance genres from New Zealand and afar.

 

FESTIVIAL LOVERS PACK:

$140.00 for four tickets to any shows (excluding In Cooks Wake – With Dame Anne Salmond) This can be four tickets to the same show or four tickets across the shows at the festival.

 

KISS THE SKY – NZ DANCE COMPANY

 

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The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) forges its national and international reputation for powerful contemporary dance with its tour of Kiss The Sky, including a very special work for the Bay of Islands.

Victoria Columbus’ brand new work The Fibonacci, co-commissioned by the Festival of Colour and NZDC and created in co-production with UPSURGE Festival, explores the hidden pattern that weaves us together and reflects the harmony of our world. Columbus, alongside sound and spatial designer Rowan Pierce, uses the mathematical Fibonacci sequence as a point of departure. A sequence describing the arrangement of leaves on a stem, petals on a flower and the spiraling of galaxies inspires a physical language that at its heart explores energy pathways through movement, as the connecting force between us all.

The Fibonacci will also include an exciting collaboration with our local community to form a chorus of mixed ages.

Victoria Columbus is described by NZDC’s Artistic Director Shona McCullagh as “the secret weapon of the New Zealand School of Dance” and the Company is delighted to present her world premiere work at the Festival.

Completing this double bill is the high-octane physicality of Korean choreographer and composer KIM Jae Duk in his work Sigan, which draws from the dual themes of meditation and attack. His dynamic score features traditional Korean instruments and the dancers shine in this work, which is “…not only visually, but technically flawless” (DANZ).

With exceptional ”versatility, virtuosity and artistry” from the high-calibre NZDC dancers and “excellence of the design and production teams” (NZ Herald) Kiss The Sky will leave you dreaming for more.

 

Date: Tuesday, 2 April

Time: 7:30pm

Venue: The Turner Centre

Tickets: $20-48

 

 

Bruce

 

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Written by Tim Watts and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd Performed by Daniel Buckle and Nick Pages-Oliver

From the creator of the award-winning international hits The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer and It’s Dark Outside comes a new low-fi puppetry spectacular. Get ready for an epic puppet adventure that bends time and melts your heart.

Keeping you at the edge of your seat, BRUCE will sweep you away on an epic adventure of love and revenge. He may be just a yellow block of foam with a pair of disembodied hands, but BRUCE is out to prove he’s got a heart of pure gold. BRUCE is a two-man, one-puppet show that fuses mime and puppetry in a non-stop rollercoaster of action, adventure and low-fi nostalgia.

BRUCE is a high-octane, low-fi adventure with genuine edge-of-the-seat thrills…

THE GUARDIAN, UK

The amount of humanity these two Australian puppeteers manage to imbue into their squeezey protagonist is remarkable and delectable…

THE TIMES, UK

I’ve never been so emotionally attached to a sponge…

EDINBLOGGER

 

Date: Wednesday, 3 April

Time: 7:00pm

Venue: The Turner Centre

Tickets: $34-$38

 

 

The Nukes

 

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Dave Parker, Mike Burrows and Ben Collier

The Nukes from West Auckland are far more than a ukulele band. Having recently celebrated ten years together, this group are part vaudeville, part rat pack, part musical car crash and deliver an engaging mix of humour, originality and pure entertainment for all to enjoy.

The innocent little uke is the instrument of choice and audiences will be staggered by what they are able to achieve with it, as Dave ‘Fingers of Fire’ Parker, Mike ‘Mighty Sticks’ Burrows and Benjamin ‘Country Boy’ Collier coax, caress and beat out a fine blend of folk, bluegrass, reggae and post punk.

Unpretentious, Kiwi-as, The Nukes have toured extensively throughout New Zealand and parts of Australia sharing their quirky brand of ukulele brilliance, three-part vocal harmonies, blistering riffs, riotous rhythms and questionable dance moves.

The songs are jaunty and instantly catchy, with quirky lyrics… These experienced Auckland entertainers are festival favourites and played on the family car stereo will get the whole lot singing along.

NZ MUSICIAN

 

Date: Wednesday, 3 April

Time: 7:00pm

Venue: Waimate North Showgrounds Hall

Tickets: $32-36

 

 

 

ONLY BONES

 

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Presented by Kallo Collective, Created by Thom Monckton and Gemma Tweedie.

After delighting audiences with The Pianist at UPSURGE 2015, Thomas Monckton returns to New Zealand with this wonderfully entertaining show.

Monckton’s stage is one metre square. There’s a chair, a lamp and a circle painted on the floor. With its quirky, low-tech aesthetic and using just his bendy, wiggling hands and seemingly uncontrollable face, Monckton creates an exquisite piece of micro-physical theatre unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Only Bones 1.0 premiered in Lapland before becoming a hit show at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016. It has featured in an art museum in Mexico City, in a converted prison camp in French Guiana, and in 13 different countries around the world.

Only Bones is well deserving of the standing ovation it receives. Every aspect of this show is executed perfectly and as always Monckton astounds with his comedic and physical skill. One of the best shows I’ve seen this festival – it is entertaining and technically excellent. Seriously: don’t miss it!

THEATREVIEW

A meticulously choreographed piece of art. Excellently executed and magically mesmerising.

EVERYTHING THEATRE

 

Date: Thursday, 4 April

Time: 6:00pm

Venue: The Turner Centre

Tickets: $30-34

 

 

Lou’ana

 

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Lou’ana Whitney, Cam Sangster, Jason Herbert, Dillon Riesterer and Cam McArthur

The free-spirited, eclectic sound of vocalist and singersongwriter Lou’ana Whitney is one of unparalleled magic. Having carved a place for herself within Auckland’s vibrant music community over the past six years as a proud, second generation Samoan New Zealander, Lou’ana’s voice carries the stature of an old soul; a cosmic cocktail of sweet and soulful, with an added gritty, blues edge that references the golden age of Etta James and Emmylou Harris to the rawness of Stevie Nicks and Amy Winehouse. Her heart and soul translates through sound, in that unexplainable alchemy that happens when music meets word.

Lou’ana has performed all around New Zealand as part of the inimitable funk troup Hipstamatics, playing a multitude of festivals across the country, and performing in some of their favourite haunts such as Hipstamatics’ “birth place”, Grand Central in Ponsonby. The spell-binding artist also performs as part of Two Many Chiefs, and has supported a number of New Zealand jazz acts including Andrew Faleatua at Samoana Jazz Festival and the 2015 Pacific Music Awards, as well as providing live vocals for kiwi electronic outfit Sola Rosa.

 

Date: Thursday, 4 April

Time: 7:30pm

Venue: Waimate North Showgrounds Hall

Tickets: $34-38

 

 

THE MAORI SIDESTEPS

 

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Get ready for a night of hilarity as The Māori Sidesteps turn some of your favourite songs on their head in a mix of satirical skits and crooning goodness.

The newest and hottest Māori showband on the entertainment scene is fresh from a successful web-series, where one of their music videos has amassed over one million views. Festival folk up and down the country have been raving! The Māori Sidesteps relives the glory days of the Howard Morrison Quartet and Prince Tui Teka but deliver a fresh take on some of those old familiar party tunes. They put their own political spin on wellknown songs, and entertain crowds with soulful harmonies and stand-up comedy.

Starring some of New Zealand’s best entertainers, Jamie McCaskill (Shortland Street, Takes a Village), Cohen Holloway (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor Ragnarok, Find Me A Maori Bride), Jerome Leota (Naked Samoans), Regan Taylor (Mahana), and Erroll Anderson (Ghost in the Shell).

“An entertaining, belly laughing, poignant, thought-provoking, serenading, sing-a-longy night.” These “hard-case Māori fullas” will give you and your mates the best night out!

What we have with The Māori Sidesteps is an entertaining show with intelligent commentary delivered stylistically.

THEATREVIEW

 

Date: Friday, 5 April

Time: 8:00pm

Venue: The Turner Centre

Tickets: $38-42

 

 

HOMECOMING – Glenn Colquhoun

 

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Glenn Colquhoun is a poet and doctor. He grew up in South Auckland and studied theology and English, then medicine. In 1994 he took a year off and lived in Te Tii, beginning a lifelong relationship with the community and its people. His first collection of poetry, The Art of Walking Upright, was written about the people of Te Tii, and when Glenn graduated in 1996 he returned to work as a doctor in the Bay of Islands. Glenn comes back to Northland for an intimate hour of poetry and reflection.

Come early to enjoy Pizza Night at New Era Cafe. Serving from 5 – 7 pm.

 

Date: Friday, 5 April

Time: 7:00pm

Venue: No 1 Parnell Gallery, Rawene

Tickets: $14-18

 

 

COMING UN STUCK – SARAH TUCK

 

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Coming Un Stuck charts Sarah Tuck’s recovery from an empty nest and the end of her marriage. From the solo comfort of a gruyere and mushroom toastie to the indulgence of bitter chocolate whisky tart, you’ll be heading to the kitchen for sure.

This Stuff columnist, contributor to Dish and Cuisine magazines, food blogger and photographer believes ‘We only get one go at this life and it’s too short to linger in the bad bits’.

Sarah’s conversation with UPSURGE Talks Co-ordinator Jacquetta Bell will definitely be a good bit.

 

Date: Friday, 5 April

Time: 12:30pm

Venue: James Kemp Hall, Kerikeri

Tickets: $14-18

Note: Option to add picnic box for $20

Picnic Boxes by Colin Ashton of Soda Creek Kitchen includes locally made snacks, fruit and a sweet treat.
The festival team will contact you to enquire as to any dietary requirements one week prior to the event.

 

 

SEVEN DEADLY STUNTS

 

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Written and performed by David Ladderman and Lizzie Tollemache

A Rollicking Entertainment Production

From the creators of 2017 hit Mr and Mrs Alexander: Sideshows and Psychics…

Step right up as Rollicking Entertainment celebrates seven of the most notorious stunts in carnie history, with this nail-biting experience inspired by the life and times of Harry Houdini. Escapology, chainsaw juggling, walking on broken glass and other famous feats are performed along with the stories of how… and why they exist.

This show is literally seven stunts, each an exercise in danger, trust and skill. But it’s also seven stories – from the sideshow, the Freak Show, the Music Hall, Vaudeville and Big Top. It’s one real married couple. It’s a celebration of what is possible. And it’s for you – if you ever fell in love with the world of Houdini, of Carnivale, or The Night Circus.

Exciting, terrifying and genuinely funny, roll up and join the dastardly duo of Rollicking Entertainment’s Lizzie Tollemache and David Ladderman. Come laugh, gasp and cheer – the carnival is in town!

Alternately amusing and gripping.

THEATREVIEW

It is silly. It is saucy. It was old-fashioned glorious entertainment dragged from the sideshow tents of history onto stages throughout the country. It is – and it bears repeating because it is simply true – a rollicking good show. THEATREVIEW

 

Date: Saturday, 6 April

Time: 8:00pm

Venue: Waimate North Showgrounds Hall

Tickets: $34-38

 

 

MY BEST DEAD FRIEND

 

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Zanetti Productions

A comedy about death, revolution, unfulfilled love and a possum. December, 1998. Dunedin.

High summer in a town where there isn’t a lot to do. This is a story about my best friends. Ok, no, this is actually mostly a story about me.

My Best Dead Friend is a true story about heart-breaking grief and enduring friendship, written by Anya Tate-Manning (Hudson & Halls Live!) and directed by Isobel MacKinnon (Best Director, 2015 NZ Fringe Festival).

Featuring a soundtrack that ranges from The Verlaines to the Backstreet Boys, and the words of Tuwhare, Baxter and Bishop, My Best Dead Friend is a joyful comedy from a heavy heart.

Hilarious and refreshing…

PERTH ARTS LIVE

Soaked in infectious humour and enigmatic personality… will touch your heart.

THEATRESCENES

 

Date: Saturday, 6 April

Time: 7:30pm

Venue: The Turner Centre

Tickets: $34-38

 

 

IN COOKS WAKE – WITH DAME ANNE SALMOND

 

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Dame Anne Salmond

A literary and historical treat – a trip with New Zealand’s foremost historian Dame Anne Salmond on the tall ship, R. Tucker Thompson.

Mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s arrival in Aotearoa New Zealand with an informative day-trip under creaking sails, travelling in Cook’s wake from Russell to Moturoa Island.

Dame Anne will share insights on Pacific exploration, contemporary Māori life, and what happened when two vastly different cultures met, as examined most recently in her 2017 book Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds.

Dame Anne is an anthropologist, historian, New Zealander of the Year (2013), TV documentary host, environmentalist, Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland and an occasional commentator on life in Aotearoa New Zealand today.

In Cook’s Wake day trip includes:

• Freshly baked scones and cream tea from ship’s galley

• Chance to take the helm, hoist the sails or climb the rigging

• Lunchtime swim and island stopover in a sheltered bay

• Delicious BBQ lunch served on board

Please wear safe shoes, bring sunhats, swimming togs and raincoats. If the weather and sea conditions are unsuitable, cancellation or postponement will be advised on our website and facebook page; full refunds will be offered.

 

Date: Saturday, 6 April

Time: 10:00am

Venue: R Tucker Thompson

Tickets: $160

Note: Ticket price does not include transport to Russell

 

 

POLITICS, POETRY & PERSONALITIES

 

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Steve’s weekly Secret Diary is feared by politicians (and others); he has tracked his love for courtroom drama and small-town New Zealand in ten books and edits The Spinoff’s excellent books section. As publisher at Luncheon Sausage Books, his latest masterpiece is The Friday Poem, an anthology of 100 New Zealand poems featuring Sam Hunt, Bill Manhire, Hera Lindsay Bird, and others, including, strangely enough, Colin Craig.

Expect RNZ National’s Guyon Espiner to be in expansive mode as they chat about literature, life, lies and possibly, Colin Craig.

 

Date: Saturday, 6 April

Time: 5:00pm

Venue: James Kemp Hall, Kerikeri

Tickets: $14-18

 

 

3 SPEED CRUNCH BOX

 

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Laugh out loud stupidity and side-splitting slapstick. Nail biting circus tricks and a phenomenal finish.

The world-touring, crazy stunt people from Dislocate’s show 3 Speed Crunch Box are back with their brand-new show, 3 Speed Crunch Box – Rebooted. In this hilarious story of a family of outlandish stunt people, expect impressive aerobatics, spectacular circus tricks and – you won’t believe it – even more stupid characters in this absurd, side-splitting slapstick comedy.

3 Speed Crunch Box – Rebooted was commissioned by Circus Oz for their educational program in 2016.

The kids were absolutely mesmerised with eyes not even blinking. They laughed, clapped and cheered throughout.

MEETOO

 

Date: Sunday, 7 April

Time: 3:00pm

Venue: The Turner Centre Plaza

Tickets: $16-26, $60 family

 

 

WILD DOGS UNDER MY SKIRT

 

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The empowering ensemble production of Tusiata Avia’s fearless poetry collection returns with an all-female cast of six formidable pasifika actors, now more enchanting and vibrant than ever.

Alive with the energy and rhythm of raw and lyrical performance poetry and oral traditions, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt will challenge your perceptions of culture, life and love.

Transforming Tusiata Avia’s poetry and her experience with the sometimes painful intersection of New Zealand and Samoan cultures in her life, this acclaimed play – performed around the world as a one-woman show – is re-energised under the direction of Anapela Polata’ivao and an all-female cast of six formidable Pasifika actresses.

Breathing provocative new life into the play’s examination and celebration of what it is to be a Samoan woman, Polata’ivao’s commanding direction earned her Best Director in the 2016 Auckland Theatre Awards and helped propel the play to a Best Production win in the 2018 Wellington Theatre Awards.

Vivid, passionate and compelling, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt is also flush with humour and pure entertainment.

A contradiction, a surprise, a slap in the face and twinkle of the eye.

THEATREVIEW

One of the best pieces of theatre I’ve seen in many years.

ALBERT WENDT

Make time to catch the fantastic Wild Dogs Under My Skirt.

DOMINION POST

I highly recommend this. An amazing night.

LYNN FREEMAN, RNZ NATIONAL

 

Date: Sunday, 7 April

Time: 7:00pm

Venue: The Turner Centre

Tickets: $38-42

 

 

TEQUILA MOCKING BIRD ORCHESTRA

 

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Kurt Loewen – vocals & guitars, Ian Griffiths – vocals & accordion,

Paul Wolda – percussion & vocals, Keith Rodger – double bass, Mack Shields – fiddle & vocals

The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra is a collection of musicians, linked by common sonic journeys and family ties. The band originate from a small town on the Canadian West Coast and have spent years telling their stories with guitars and violins, with accordions and bass, with melodies and music makers gathered from their wanderings. They have performed multiple tours across Canada, the USA and Europe and are currently promoting their latest album, We Make Really Party, a collection of folk songs in English, Spanish and Italian.

Their music weaves in the multicultural Canadian tapestry: Roots, Eastern European Dance Party, Jazz, Bluegrass, Flamenco, African, Latin, Celtic, Métis, Rock, Gospel, Blues, Canadiana.

Adding another layer to the mix are the very different backgrounds of each of these five Canadian musicians – German Mennonite, Chinese, Dutch, Scottish and Métis. These troubadours remind you that this music could not exist without warm bodies in search of harmony.

This will be a very special afternoon of music at the much loved Duke of Marlborough Hotel.

West-Coast bohemians with a taste for acoustic merriment, The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra is a rambling and rootsy ensemble that communes over a melting pot of eras and cultures. Introducing seemingly divergent aspects of flamenco guitar work and African drumming into ol’ timey Western folk music, they have enchanted audiences with their vibrant and appealing projections since 2008.

BEAT ROUTE MAGAZINE, CANADA

 

Date: Sunday, 7 April

Time: 3:00pm

Venue: The Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell

Tickets: $36-40

 

 

NADIA REID

 

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Nadia Reid – guitar, Sam Taylor – guitar, Richie Pichard – bass, Chris O’Connor – drums

Auckland-born, Dunedin-raised, Nadia Reid has attained global success off the back of her first two albums: Listen To Formation, Look For The Signs (2015) and Preservation (2017). In 2017 Nadia performed over 100 shows, touring through Australasia, Europe and the United States with high profile appearances at coveted arts and music festivals like Green Man and End Of The Road Festival.

With sell-out shows in London, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne and media appearances on the likes of BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland, Spotify streams reaching 17.38 million plays, #2 in Mojo Magazine for Album of the Year, and in New Zealand as a finalist for both the Silver Scrolls Awards (2017) and the Taite Prize (2016 & 2018).

This year, Nadia is working on her third record due to release in 2019.

Just listen and lose yourself in it, for it is often glorious.

THEMUSIC.CO.AU

Reid [was a] mesmeric vocalist – embracing numbers from Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht along with desolate struggle-street country and biting contemporary songs. [With] evocative covers of John Prine’s Angel from Montgomery, Mazzy Star’s Wasted and Jolie Holland’s Old Fashioned Morphine…

FRANCESCA HORSLEY, THE LISTENER

The self assurance of Reid’s voice, artfully undermined by the lyrics, announces an artist wise beyond her years.

SUNDAY TIMES (UK)

 

Date: Sunday, 7 April

Time: 7:30pm

Venue: Waimate North Showgrounds Hall

Tickets: $34-38

 

 

The Art of Healing

 

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Three doctors whose life outside the consulting room is devoted to arts practice: Glenn Colquhoun and Art Nahill through poetry, Chris Reid with photography.

How does their medical practice influence their art practice; can the arts heal us when we are broken; could more arts in schools help young people; is there an art to a good death?

Join us as these three reflect on their wide experience of human nature, the arts and what it means to be healthy, kept on track by medical student and writer Emma Espiner.

 

Date: Sunday, 7 April

Time: 12:30pm

Venue: James Kemp Hall, Kerikeri

Tickets: $14-18

Note: Option to add picnic box for $20

Picnic Boxes by Colin Ashton of Soda Creek Kitchen includes locally made snacks, fruit and a sweet treat.
The festival team will contact you to enquire as to any dietary requirements one week prior to the event.

 

 

ORAL POETRY – GLENN COLQUHOUN

 

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Glenn Colquhoun is accompanied by foot-high totems of New Zealand historical figures, which he uses to explore our history in songs and poetry drawn from both the Maori and European oral tradition, inspired by the likes of Robbie Burns and Te Rauparaha.

Glenn is a best-selling poet, children’s writer and one of the founders of the online Medicine Stories Project and the Horowhenua Youth Health Service.

Art Nahill shares a love of poetry, infused with the insights of his medical practice, and will open this event.

 

Date: Sunday 7 April

Time: 4:00pm

Venue: James Kemp Hall, Kerikeri

Tickets: $14-18