ALL FIRED UP FOR THE FRINGE FEST 2010
The New Zealand Fringe Festival 2010
Friday February 12 to Sunday March 7
The cake is out of the oven, the icing has cooled and the candles have been given the blowtorch: It's Fringe Festival time, and what a fine time it is to go nuts for arts, culture and entertainment and celebrate 20 years of the New Zealand Fringe Festival.
Featuring one of the broadest line-ups in years, Fringe 2010 officially began today February 12 to spark a three-week birthday party featuring 80 productions spanning music, dance, theatre, comedy and visual arts.
The festival was officially launched by the Running of the Fringe at 12.30, which featured colourfully costumed participants proceeding down Cuba St from Abel Smith Street to the corner of Manners Mall and Cuba Mall where the Fringe HQ was officially opened by Wellington City Councillor Ray Ahipene Mercer.
While it has a deserved reputation for serving up a diverse and sometimes obscure dish of arts and culture, this year's Fringe caters for all tastes.
"Being an open-access festival, the Fringe has always been the place for people to try out whatever they want to so the mix has always been eclectic," said Fringe producer Zelda Edwards.
"But this year we've put a lot of effort into attracting performers and artists from across the spectrum so that all people of all tastes can enjoy a slice of Fringe cake. And if they come and see something they know they'll like, they might also be exposed to something a little different or even quite wildly weird and wonderful."
Some of the first week highlights showcase this year's broad Fringe appeal – check www.fringe.co.nz for details.
In Visual Arts there is a double birthday celebration as the Vincents Art Workshop celebrates its silver jubilee with an open day at their Willis St workshop Saturday February 13. A true community-spirited story, Vincents is the oldest ‘Creative Space’ in New Zealand and is famous for providing access to creative expression to all people in Wellington with a particular focus for people with disabilities.
In the music section, there's the original modern-classical stylings of ex-Wellingtonian Cellist Francesca Mountfort playing from her new album Aphelion at BATS Feb 16-19, 2009 NZ Music Award winner Chris Prowse serves up some historical folk with his original Trouble on the Waterfront at Ruby Lounge Feb 17-18 and folk pixie Cookie Baker jets in from Australia with her deliciously ethereal music at the Ivy Lounge Feb 17-20.
Shakespeare hits the Eastern suburbs with Measure for Measure in Eastbourne's Muritai School Yard Feb 16-20, while closer to town some original plays are unveiled with Jangle (about a troubled man fleeing a Hare Krishna group) at BATS Feb 14-18 and Goldilocks and the Three Queers at The Basement 39 Dixon St from Feb 11-20.
Having a laugh at domesticity are The Comediettes with Better Living at Fringe Bar Feb 17-20 but before then the comedy line-up is kicked off in style with the 30 hour non-stop Improvathon today and tomorrow at WPAC.
The dance card is led by the Tango Masquerade Ball at the opulent St James Theatre Feb 13 (leading into Valentines Day, of course) and the captivating Thricely Precisely explores anxiety disorder at Photospace Studio, 27 Dixon St Feb 17-27.
But there is so much more in the first week and beyond, so click through to www.fringe.co.nz or pick up a programme from Wellington libraries, cafes and usual pamphlet outlets.