Tag Archives: Auckland Fringe

FRINGE 19 | 5 mins with Vanessa Crofskey

A performance artist, poet and producer Vanessa Crofskey will showcase her latest poetry show Long Distance Phone Calls as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival.  The programme  features some of Auckland’s best writers including Manu Vaea , Kyla Dela Cruz, Stevie Davis-Tana , Phodiso Dintwe , the girls of Ngā Puna O Waiōrea  and renowned performance poet Carrie Rudzinski. 

She is a Rising Voices National Finalist and winner of the 2015 Auckland University Poetry Slam, Auckland Regional Slam and the Auckland Fringe Festival Best Storytelling award. Vanessa’s gig as Basement Theatre’s 2018 Producer in Residence has kept her busy, but we caught up with her ahead of her Auckland Fringe show.

 

1. Is this your first Fringe Auckland?  

This is my second Auckland Fringe! I was a last-minute addition to the Basement Performance Salon in 2017 and ended up winning two sweet awards. This year I’m organising a poetry show featuring all my favourite writers. It’s my first time leading the helm on a project like this – I’ve never directed or lead my own event before – so it means I’m trying out lots of new things. I know how special it can be to hear a poem and feel it settle so deep inside you, so I’m looking forward to sharing that experience with an audience.

2. Describe your show in three words or less…

Warm, tender, curious.

3. Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizarre
thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?

The most memorable event I came across last Fringe was the Dead Writer’s Retreat. It was less bizarre, more uniquely cool. Claire O’Loughlin and Marcus McShane transformed this small unused corner of the Basement into a workable writing space, ft. a very grand desk, ink quills, a chosen piece of art and inspirational music. I was totally swept away.

4. What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?

Pussy Riot, Desperate Late Night Energy, I Am Rachel Chu!

5. Where will we find you during the festival?

You’ll find me on the balcony of the Great Hall at Auckland Live, surrounded by poets and most likely typing furiously.

6. What would we find if we raided your fridge?

Half a wilted cabbage, the last dregs of japanese mayo, lime juice. Unused almond milk and two Lion Reds left behind at a house party months ago.

7. Tell us about your spirit animal?

Spirit animal, as a term, insensitively appropriates Native American customs so I prefer not to use that term. An animal that I strongly relate to is definitely the red panda.

8. Word Association:

Fringe – self-botched haircuts
Fridge – doors being left open
Auckland – mouldy flats and bright blue harbours
Festival – smoke and fireworks
Lights – telephone lines

See Long Distance Phone Calls as part of Fringe Town during Auckland Fringe Festival at Auckland Town Hall on Tue 19 February.

Buy your tickets here

FRINGE 19 | 5 mins with Aria Dehar

The Ugly Girls Club presents PSUSY Backyard Screening as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival 2019. A promising intimate affair where creators of the New Zealand based web series will open up to their audience in a deep and meaningful panel discussion, while showcasing some of their never before seen footage and bloopers.

PSUSY is a women-led, NSFW, comedy web series starring Jaya Beach-Robertson and Aria Dehar. Recently back from Los Angeles, where they picked up the Best Web Series Award at the LA Film Festival – we catch up with Aria to talk Auckland Fringe, Spirit Animals and other general weirdness:

1. Is this your first Fringe Auckland?  

Yes. We are looking forward to screening Psusy in front of a live audience. We’re also excited for our audience to see some never-before-seen extra content. I haven’t even seen this content so that will be fun for me as well.

2. Describe your show in three words or less…

Colourful, current and courageous.

3. Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?

I can’t answer that yet but I have a long history of bowl cuts and fringes – thanks mum.

4. What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?

It’s so hard to choose. I like the look of Maui, Girls to the Front – A Poetry Film Extravaganza and then of course Psusy Backyard Screening. Life is too short to be humble.

5. Where will we find you during the festival?

Refer to answer #4.

6. What would we find if we raided your fridge?

Coconut water, vegetables, supplements.

7. Tell us about your spirit animal?

My Patronus is a white mare, according to Pottermore (2017). It means I have a free soul, loyal heart, high emotional intelligence and I connect well with others. I just googled that and it is the nicest compliment I’ve ever received.

8. Word Association:

Fringe – childhood

Fridge – mum

Auckland – city of cranes

Festival – cat lady

Lights – dopamine

See Psusy backyard screening as part of Auckland Fringe Festival 2019  at Our Backyard
13 Ariki Street, Grey Lynn Thurs 21 and Sun 24 February; 19:00

Buy your tickets here

FRINGE 19 | 5 mins with Uther Dean

Cmedian and playwright, Uther Dean, is bringing his Uther Dean reads 300 Haiku act to Auckland Fringe Festival   – a new hour of story-telling of emotion, comedy and narrative in 5100 syllables.

One of his previous standout performances, Everything is Surrounded by Water, a monologue co-written and performed by Uther , won him the Best Solo at the New Zealand Fringe in 2014 and was later nominated for Best New New Zealand Play at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.

We caught up with Uther Dean ahead of his debut at this year’s Auckland Fringe.

1. Is this your first Fringe Auckland? What are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?

It’s my first time performing in the Fringe in Auckland but not my first time performing in Auckland. Auckland audiences are a lot less forgiving than audiences in the rest of the country. I used to think this was a bug but it is actually a feature. Auckland crowds expect more, so you give more. It’s only being asked to do your best that brings your best out of you.

2. Describe your show in three words or less…

Comedy haiku story-telling

3. Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?

There was a show that I think so much about that I worry I’ve made it up. Two decades or so ago, a show applied to the New Zealand Fringe (which is to say the Wellington Fringe) to do a show that consisted solely of interrupting other shows in the festival. The story goes that it’s the only show they’ve outright rejected. Then the people behind the show blew the rejection letter up into a poster and pasted it up around town.

4. What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?

Picking just three is very hard. It’s an exceptionally strong programme this year. So, discounting the obvious picks that are going to be excellent but I’m sure you already are going to see (Brendon Green, Donna Brookbanks & David Correos, Actressexual, Deacon, Only Bones, PSUSY, Pussy Riot, The Salem Bitch Trials, Two Hearts, Uther Dean Reads 300 Haiku) my top three picks are, in no order:

  1.  The Dice Show & SIN: The Social Improv Night –
    Steven Lyons, the comedian and improviser in part
    responsible for both of these shows (which are on the
    same nights so would make a great double bill), is one
    of the great unheralded talents of NZ comedy. A bright
    light in a grimy world who manages to delight every
    audience he meets.
  2. How to Write an Album – This marathon of music to
    make an album in twelve hours was hit at a previous
    Wellington Fringe and is packed to the gills with some
    of the most exciting creators from down there.
  3. Long Distance Phone Calls – If you see one poetry
    show this year, see mine, but if you see two, see this
    one as well. Programmer Vanessa Crofskey has
    immaculate taste and lined up a Who’s Who of poets
    that you actually want to see read live. This looks to be
    a very special event and I really think you should go.

5. Where will we find you during the festival?

Outside sold-out shows flyering for mine? Hanging around after shows wondering if I know people well enough to talk to them?

6. What would we find if we raided your fridge?

La Croix because I am exactly like you expect me to be.

7. Tell us about your spirit animal?

I’m not comfortable appropriating the idea of a spirit animal. If I was an Eevee I’d hope I’d evolve into a Sylveon but
would probably end up as a Umbreon.

8. Word Association:

Fringe – John Noble not winning an Emmy for Walter Bishop is a crime

Fridge – Another reason to distance yourself from the Kyle Rayner era of Green Lantern

Auckland – Money

Festival – Love

Lights – Turn on the Bright

See Uther Dean Reads 300 Haiku as part of Auckland Fringe Festival 2019 at the Classic Studio on Fri 22 – Sat 23 February.

Buy your tickets here

FRINGE 18 | The Fun Talker

Last night we had the opportunity to hear the first non-diplomatic Tanzanian to enter Vietnam – Ally Baharoon performs his debut show at the Auckland Fringe Festival, and also has a stammer.

The Fun Talker is a trip down memory lane, taking you deep into Ally’s memoirs, growing up and wrestling with his stammer for over 20 years. The well-traveled explorer shared humorous stories of how his speech impediment has hindered his social development, job opportunities, and personal life.

Ally is engaging, entertaining and enigmatic. Not only did the show bring awareness of how the inner-mind of a speech impediment sufferer works, but also Ally’s personal journey coming to terms with his stammer.

As he mentioned in the show, there are very few performers with speech impediments, and the best way to combat the stigma is to showcase his comedic traffic. Ally has spent time perfecting the art and doesn’t let his stammer stop him putting on a good show.

Catch Ally Baharoon in The Fun Talker 1-4 March at Artworks Theatre on Waiheke Island. Buy tickets here.

We had a chat to Ally before Fringe, read what he had to say.

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Jessica McKerlie

Go to bed Jessica brings you a collections of tales from the road, stories that make a person shiver with anticipation, shudder with wanton lust and bawl with tender longing. The no holds barred, potent storytelling style by Jessica, a cabaret badass, will have you writhing on the floor with hilarity one minute, begging for more titillating detail the next. The show is a delightfully messy explosion of creativity.

We caught up with Jessica McKerlie, the magnificent storyteller, ahead of her debut show at this year’s Auckland Fringe.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland?
Yes

What are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?
I have some mates who live in Auckland so I can’t wait to visit them!

Describe your show in three words or less…
Manic, Mischievous, Badass

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
A free show in Edinburgh that was less of a show and more a lecture on medieval ghost history of the buildings in the area.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Toxic Mas, The Plastic Orgasm, and Fuck Rant.

Where will we find you during the festival?
I’m doing my show in 2 different venues, on Thursday 1st March at Sweatshop Brew Kitchen, 7 Sale Street, Freemans Bay, and then on Sunday 4th March at Backbeat Bar, 100 Karangahape Rd, both at 7pm.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
CHEESE

Word Association:
Fringe – Argh!!
Fridge – milk
Auckland – Fun!
Festival – Even more fun!
Lights – Find yours
Chocolate – the solution
Winter – schminter
Theatre – magic

Catch Jessica McKerlie performing in Go to Bed Jessica at Sweatshop on 1 March and Backbeat Bar on 4 March. Buy your tickets here.

 

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Dance Plant Collective

A ritual, in slices, giving trust to natural discoveries and curiosity, The Cost of Arms and Legs, is a presentation between mind and magic, giving light to darkness and answers to no questions. The Dance Plant Collective, in the Cost of Arms and Legs explores thoughts, relationships and the unknown.

We caught up with Dance Plant Collective ahead of their debut this year’s Auckland Fringe.

Is this your first Auckland Fringe?
Yes! This is our first Auckland Fringe as a collective, and we are all super pumped for the festival season!

What are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?
Being artists involved in Auckland Fringe this year in Auckland has really given us the opportunity to meet new people and learn a lot about networking and all the nitty gritty you need to know in order to make and sell a show! There are so many interesting Fringe venues in Auckland this year: nooks and crannies around the city and in spots you wouldn’t expect, and we love it! Auckland is also where we’ve all grown up so it’ll be great to be able to share this work with our friends, family, fellow artists/creators and hopefully a bunch of other cool people who spontaneously come along to our show! Hint hint 😉

Describe your show in three words or less…
Intricate, Ritualistic, Reflective

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
We’re all pretty into bizarre stuff, so it’s hard to only pick one thing! Our top pick from last year’s Auckland Fringe would have to be Alexa Wilson’s solo ‘21 Movements’. It was intense, chaotic, beautiful, vulnerable, emotive, relevant, necessary, reflective, challenging and deeply engaging. We left feeling really connected to everyone else in the space and moved by the whole experience.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
1) ‘The Polar Bear Chronicles’! It is being performed in the same amazing space we are performing in at Studio One Toi Tu. We’re excited to see how the space will be used in a different context. Plus, their poster image is weird, wacky, and wonderful in all ways possible.
2) ‘Auspicious Happening’, by Pressure Point Collective. It is described as a ritual that is crafted specifically for you via an email form you fill out! We love Andrew’s work and can’t wait to see what magic he has been making. It sounds so intriguing
3) ‘Dance, Danced, Dancing’, by Josie Archer and Kosta Bogoievski, at MOTAT’s Aviation Display. Fellow contemporary dancer friends, they are a seriously badass dancing couple with rad moves and even radder ideas. We can’t wait for this one!

Where will we find you during the festival?
All over Auckland! Our show is not until the last few days of Fringe, so we will most likely be rehearsing non-stop at Studio One Toi Tu and rushing around getting things organised. Besides this, you will most likely find us eating tofu donburi from EatBox on Queen Street, drinking coffee (lots of it), lying in the sun at Western Park surrounded by dogs, and of course, heading along to all the other crazy works in the festival.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
We’re all vegetarian/vegan, so an array of plant based leftovers, veggies, and lots of snacks. We’re really into snacks. Bella also has a 6 month old kombucha scoby in her fridge which she still hasn’t used, and is now scared to open the bag…

Tell us about your spirit animal?
Brit just finished a quiz online which told her that her spirit animal is a snake… It says that those who are snakes are familiar and comfortable with the Earth’s energy, they seem to have a sixth-sense when it comes to reading people’s intentions and approaching danger etc. It is the symbol for medicine, healing and guidance.

Word Association:
Fringe – Art/Bella’s hair
Fridge – Snacks
Auckland – City
Festival – Community
Lights – Mood
Chocolate – Necessary
Winter – Wonderland
Theatre – Home

Catch Dance Plant Collective at Studio One, Toi TU, 1-4 March. Buy your tickets here.

FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Amber Topaz

Full of mind blowing, fascinating biological facts, The Rude awakening, sex, shame and liberation is an arousing, anecdotal romp through life, love and libido. Not for the prudish or easily offended, the show explores a thought provoking journey through contraception, chemistry and human connection, Aso thrown in are mad musical numbers highlighting the influence of hormones affecting the absurdity of human behaviour. We chat to Amber Topaz, curator and award-winning International cabaret star.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland?
Yes, this is my debut as an artist and producer in Auckland so I am curious how my work will be received. Quitisentally British Humour.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Bonkers, Educational, Uplifting

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
Carletta the Great ‘a showgirl deconstructed’ at Fringe World Perth was
A cocktail of utterly bizzare performance art and burlesque parody including farcical parodying of mainstream burlesque. Moments of what the heck is going on while keeping her tongue firmly in her cheek. Brave and bonkers.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Ooo, I don’t know yet.

Where will we find you during the festival?
The Rude Awakening. Sex, Shame & Liberation.
The Vault, Q Theatre 1st-3rd March 9.45pm Show

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
Lot’s of varieties of vegetables. Rice milk. Raspberries and maybe some raw chocolate.

Tell us about your spirit animal?
Once I was asked what my spirit animal was. Walking home that night I had a Fox run beside me like a playful puppy. A couple on the pavement close by noticed and were as surprised as I was! So it must be a Fox right? I often see Foxes walk home late at night from shows.
I feel the pop up as a little guide or a messenger. Though I have had many underwater dreams with Whales. One particularly special with a Blue Whale.

Word Association:
Fringe – Creativity
Fridge – Fresh
Auckland – New Zealand
Festival – Fabulous
Lights – Shining
Chocolate – Raw
Winter – Wonderland
Theatre – Spectacle

See Amber Topaz perform in Rude Awakening 1 – 3 March at Q Theatre. Buy your tickets here.