Tag Archives: fringe

FRINGE 19 | 5 mins with Eden Mulholland

Eden Mulholland is a well-respected composer, gifted multi-instrumentalist and a sound producer for theatre, film and dance. He’s a creative collaborator at Movement of the Human (MOTH) –  a movement and performance design company developed by Malia Johnston that is about to take over Auckland Town Hall’s Concert Chamber for 4 nights as part of Auckland Fringe arts festival.

Eden has racked up some impressive accolades in the last decade. He was the winner of the 2009 & 2010 Best Music at the Tempo Dance Festival and was nominated for a Qantas Media award for Best Music for a TV series for his work on World Kitchen.

We caught up with Eden to talk Fringe, Spirit animals and other weirdness over a cup of tea with milk – just the way he likes it.

1. Is this your first Fringe Auckland?   How different is an Auckland audience to other audiences?

No. Aucklanders stay out later and drink more.

2. Describe your show in three words or less…

Dance AV CrayCray

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?

It’s all a blur sorry..

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

Desperate Late Night Energy
Pussy Riot

5. Where will we find you during the festival?

In a darkened room, or anywhere with a power outlet really, headphones on, being antisocial, but getting lots done…

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

Someone else’s food! I’ve been living with colleagues for 3 weeks. 3 to go before I get home. There is always milk though for my tea. I like tea.

7. Tell us about your spirit animal?

Can it be a spirit comic? Larry David for the win. I love LD

8. Word Association:

Fringe – Plug

Fridge – Fudge

Auckland – Snorkland

Festival – Westeros

Lights – Chihuahua

See Eden Mullholland’s work Movement of the Human as part of Fringe Town during Auckland Fringe festival on 21 – 24 February 2019.

Buy your tickets here

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 18: 5 mins with Emma Sloman

Returning to Auckland Fringe for the first time since their award-winning 2011 show, Opera Factory presents ‘Opera Bites’ – a selection of operatic scenes to feed your soul.  This show will offer a unique opportunity to enjoy a variety of snips including Mozart comedies, Menotti’s dramatic ‘The Consul’, Nicolai’s ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’, Strvinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’ and Rossini’s ‘Barber of Seville’.

Opera Bites’ offers a unique opportunity for everyone to get a slice of opera. We chat to singer Emma Sloman.

Is this your first Auckland Fringe?
This is not our first Fringe Festival, actually! We were involved in 2011 and won the Best Production in the Music category award for performing the dark and gloomy Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten.

How different is an Auckland audience to other audiences?
Opera Factory has always been Auckland based so we know that audiences here are really great at supporting new theatre or performing arts groups and in particular for us, young singers. There is a thriving performing arts scene in Auckland and not just the professional groups -there are a huge amount of independents, amateur music theatre groups and pro-am groups like Opera Factory who all have a fabulous audience base and followers. We feature and provide performance opportunities to a variety of young singers, post-grad singers, professional freelancers so it’s a great to have audience who like to follow the development of young artists.

Describe your show in three words or less…
A vocal feast

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?
Well we did the show about ghosts so that was a pretty unique and weird story – but amazing!. Opera Factory has a regular programme of other shows, concerts throughout each year, but we don’t always go into the Fringe. As we are a boutique opera group, our shows tend to be a bit odd or interesting and unique – for example, our youth opera show several years ago was called Help Help the Globolinks – a story about school children in a broken down bus, who are set upon by aliens making electronic music and the children have to call upon their class mates who play orchestral and band instruments to fight them off! For Opera Bites – we are featuring a huge variety of opera and lighter theatre moments which will keep the audiences fascinated about the breadth of opera – its not just 3hr Wagner and high brown tragedy.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Opera Bites of course, Amalia Hall Plays Ysaye (Amalia is the most amazing young violinist and this will be an incredible performance) and Pan is Dead looks really interesting.

Where will we find you during the festival?
We are performing at the Raye Freedman Theatre in Epsom – better parking and we are only doing two shows 4pm and 8pm on Saturday 24 February

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
Pineapple which is good for the voice, Opera Cake which we are serving during interval at the show and probably a nice bottle of wine perfect to follow rehearsals or show days.

Tell us about your spirit animal?
Would have to be some sort of bird since I’m a singer – perhaps a tui or bellbird

Word Association:
Fringe – The Edge
Fridge – Chilly
Auckland – Too humid
Festival – Fun
Lights – Bright
Chocolate – Dark
Winter – Drab
Theatre – Life

Emma Sloman performs in Opera Bites at Raye Freedman Arts Centre Sat 24 February as part of Auckland Fringe Festival. Buy tickets here.

NZICF 15 | Neel Kolhatkar Truth Be Told

Said to be one of the brightest prospects in the comedy world, Neel Kolhatkar boasts a CV rivalling many seasoned professionals. With a subscriber base that had previously garnered him millions of hits on his videos, Neel sky-rocked to Internet stardom in 2013 with his viral video, Australia in 2 Minutes.

It was that very same year that I first encountered Neel – I was living in Sydney and I was working at a YouTube festival where he happened to be a part of the line-up. Being the non-video watcher I am, I had no clue who he was or how much I enjoyed his material, until after the fact.

This week, Neel made his New Zealand debut with his latest show, Truth be Told, at the NZ International Comedy Festival. A set that covered the lack of positive role models for ethnic Australians growing up, the ludicrousness of needing drugs to enjoy house music (and clubbing), growing up with one of rap’s finest artists (50 Cent), and being gifted Chingy’s Jackpot album at the age of 10…. by his grandparents.

While his jokes about European DJs lacked originality, his dig at indie music was hilarious.

Neel’s comedic timing and stage presence is beyond his twenty (something) years of age. His confidence and ability to interact and engage with his audience makes him a delight to watch. I can see why audiences around the world (Edinborough, New York, Los Angeles, London) have loved him, and why New Zealand will too.

He has two shows remaining, including tonight. Log out of YouTube and go to Q Theatre where you can see him live.

seen | Hummingbird

We meet Phoebe, standing on a doorstep in the rain, three months after her boyfriend’s disappearance, and, it is assumed, death. With nowhere else to go, she flees to her sister’s dairy farm. Once there, after a rude wake up call from her brother-in-law, Phoebe decides it’s time to pull herself together and do something. So, she decides she’ll fly away – “with wings and shit”.

Hummingbird deals with three people’s losses, three people’s hopes, and three variations on sanity. Phoebe wants to fly away; her sister wants a baby; and her step brother doesn’t know what he wants, until Phoebe gives him a wake up call of his own. It is a story of transformation and realisation, which anyone who has lost or found something will relate to. What could be a weighty subject is tempered with well-timed humour and a touch of the absurd.

The three young cast members (Sophie Vowell, Chelsea McEwan Millar, and Barnaby Fredric) have received just praise from the local theatre industry. They have a natural affinity for each other, yet some of the strongest parts were their monologues, where each of these actors came into their own. Despite a few fumbled lines and a script that, once or twice, felt a little contrived, these three do an admirable job of bringing complex characters to life. Playing out on a creatively realised set, to a well-executed live score, Hummingbird comes together for a fun and absorbing hour that Fringe-goers would do well to see.

Hummingbird is playing from the 7th to 10th of March, at The Basement Theatre, 8:30pm. Tickets are $20, or $15 on concession. For more information, check out http://www.aucklandfringe.co.nz/Fringe-2013_2/Fringe13Master/Events/Theatre/Hummingbird.aspx

seen | Home

Home (full title Home  / The Hilarious Comedy About How I Nearly Killed Myself / A Play About How I Nearly Died But Didn’t Then Learned A Lot About Life Afterward) starts awkwardly. Freya, the sole character, is sitting on a bed staring at you, awkwardly, prompting you to laugh (awkwardly) because this is not How Theatre Goes. You may spend the first five or ten minutes getting used to the fact that you are in an audience (which is like a mob, of sorts) laughing at girl who is very much not in a mob, rather, is standing alone, barefoot, with bags under her eyes; but you will get used to it, because this is Freya and she is hilarious, and she will shortly enact her fathers sperm using creatively homemade props and disco music.

Home/Etc is structurally clever. Freya plays with the traditional roles of actor and audience, not by pulling people on stage, awkwardly (which all too often is How Theatre Goes) but by pulling herself off, taking a few judiciously-timed steps outside of herself. Like most Fringe shows, Home has some little imperfections, but these let in an intimacy that’s hard to find in more polished productions.

This is a good play.

It is a good play because you will laugh a lot, probably in an inelegant fashion. It is a good play because you will want to hug Freya very tightly (even though you realise this is not How Theatre Goes) because she is standing in front of you (alone, barefoot) telling you the details of how she was going to kill herself. It is a good play because, for most of it, you are only a metre or two from Freya, close enough to see the little bruises on the tops of her feet, and the drips of water on her t-shirt. Also, it is a good play because, if you sit in the right spot (like I did), you will get hit on (awkwardly), and everyone likes to be hit on on a Monday night when they’re wearing the wrong gender’s clothes.

Home is only on for another two nights, which is a shame, but only if you fail to see it. Go watch Freya. Have a laugh. You will probably want to hug the alone, barefoot girl very tightly, even though this is not How Theatre Goes, but, to be honest, I think she’d be cool with that.

Find out more here.

heard | Only 5 Days to go until Auckland Cuts its Fringe

In five days Auckland Fringe 2013 takes over the City of Sails with a myriad of incredible performances from a diverse pool of local and international performers and artists.  Already,  Auckland Fringe 2013 has a sell out season– Swan Song by the Wet Hot Beauties!

The festivities officially begin on Friday 15th February from as early as 12pm, as we see Aotea Square shake with Fringe fever. With performance from Relevancy With Kemari, The Wailing Chamber and Sal Valentine and The Babyshakes vs. Fringe, audiences will get the chance to win tickets to some of this year’s most hotly anticipated Fringe shows.

If that wasn’t enough – you’ll also have the chance to relive the days of having a Nokia monophonic mobile phone as Snake The Planet starts it’s trilogy evening performances on the 15th. Fringe fans, retro-gaming enthusiasts and even the slightly curious are given opportunity to play the legendary video game “Snake” projected onto large constructions in and around the CBD.

(For those wondering what “Snake” is – watch this)

Fringe In The Park, kicking off midday on Saturday 16th February, is a entirely free family day out set in Myers Park. Audiences can travel through the “Gateway to The Fringe” at St. Kevins Arcade and into the park as the Fringe offer a taste of what’s to come from this year’s programme until 4pm.  Brimming with activities for kids and over 40 Fringe acts sharing their spoils, this village-fete like event is a live Instagram of the Fringe to come.

Fringe In The Park also conveniently finishes in time for many to make the pilgrimage up to Ponsonby Road for the highly anticipated Auckland Pride Parade – demonstrating the welcome relationship between Pride and Fringe, which includes acts that crossover both programmes.

For locations for Snake The Planet and the full programme visit http://www.aucklandfringe.org.nz

Auckland Fringe: 15 February – 10 March 2013
Fringe In The Park: 16 February – 12pm – 4pm

Auckland Fringe runs concurrently with NZ Fringe in Wellington and is closely followed by the Dunedin and Hamilton Fringes, creating a nationwide touring network.