Tag Archives: fringe

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.

Registrations Open for Auckland Fringe 2013

Auckland Fringe is planning its comeback in February 2013 and is calling all performers, artists and creative types to register to participate in a global arts festival phenomenon.

Following the success of 2011’s festival, which saw 1296 people involved in 99 shows, with an audience of 51,888, Auckland Fringe is looking to once again eclipse that number – building upon the initial foundations laid down in the inaugural 2009 season.

Anything can happen at the Fringe, given its open access arts mentality; performances in the past have ranged from incredible theatrical events (Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, When Animals Dream of Sheep), music (Fringe vs. Mum, Affetto), dance (Weg: ‘A Way’) through to interesting art pieces (The Safety Device of Elisha Otis, Pigs In The Yard). If Auckland Fringe could be summed up in two words, those two words would be “anything” and “goes.”

Registrations for the 2013 season can be submitted via the Auckland Fringe Website, www.aucklandfringe.co.nz.
Artist registrations: 1 August – 28 September 2012
Auckland Fringe: 15 February – 10 March 2013
Auckland Fringe runs concurrently with NZ Fringe in Wellington and is closely followed by the Dunedin and Hamilton Fringes, creating a Nationwide touring network. 

seen | The Spark, the Fire, and the Dark

Faerie Tales Exhibition

Faerie Tales, part of the Auckland Festival of Photography Fringe Programme is quite a different sort of exhibition in that it is as diverse in the mediums used as it is in the topics that it explores.

Joe Macdonald explains in his essay entitled The Spark, the Fire, and the Dark that “Faerie Tales, as an eclectic whole, shifts the focus from singular identities to relationships and connections between embodied beings.”  and further elaborates that “Faerie Tales refuses to cement meanings of bodies or identities, encourages interpretation by context, centres on the interactions between humans.”

The curator of this “provocative” exhibition Rebecca Swan features an interactive photographic installation exploring queer narratives. Rebecca sums up on her blog that “The viewer is privy to the making and un-making of moments, the spark, the fire, and the dark.”

Other artists include composer Charlotte Rose, photographers Katy Jo Carter and Melanie Church, comic artist Sam Orchard and painters Eli Orzessek and Kestin Stewart. With tantalising performances starting at 9pm on opening night.

Faerie Tales Exhibition: 5th- 18th June

Snake Pit Gallery 33 High Street, Auckland CBD

Opening night June 5th 6pm – 9.30pm with performances from 9pm- 9.30pm

Gallery hours Tuesday- Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday noon- 5pm

“Faeries Tales” is part of the Auckland Festival of Photography Fringe Programme.