Tag Archives: poetry

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

NZICF15 | piecesandbits by Paul Amos

Piecesandbits is by far one of the most random shows I have ever been to, random in a good way that is with pieces and bits of everything. Paul is one man who plays three characters, Paul, Paul & Bruce.. or what ever he feels like calling himself.

Paul is bit nerdy with hair that needs a bit of trimming and thick rimmed glasses in jeans and a t-shirt. You don’t go to piecesandbits to love the comedy but to fall in love with his character. You learn very quickly that he obsesses over Sultana Bran, Pam’s, collects time and uses it like currency. He likes a bit of ranting, brand marketing, singing, poetry and improv acting. And by the end of the evening you would of heard quite a lot of ranting, brand marketing, songs, poems and seen his ‘okay’ acting.

This was another show held at Q Theatre’s Cellar and this time it was much much cooler (temperature wise) to be in. Upon entering the room we were asked to sit near the front, fearing the possibility of being picked on (cause you can never trust a comedian) we sat in third row. But be warned, attending this show doesn’t mean you are safe from being pelted by OXO cubes (2 x chicken stock, 1 x beef stock to be exact), I caught one and was nearly pelted by two others so bring some eye protection. Apparently Paul is “very, very, very, very, very, very okay” at doing comedy, well that was what it says on www.comedyfestival.co.nz. I agree and disagree with that, first of all yes it is very okay comedy as you don’t go rolling around with laughter, but he exceeds ‘okay’ by keeping us amused throughout his performance. His awkward stage persona is loveable, and his nutty actions and quirky behaviour kept me grinning. Paul has a unique way of making a somewhat rehearsed performance appear as it was all improvised, or was it? If you’re the type who is open, quirky, creative, loves a bit of randomness and this show is for you. It is worth heading along just to hear his random songs, you will be standing by the end of the show singing and rocking along to his tunes.

Piecesandbits is an Auckland only show and is on till Saturday (9 May) in the Cellar at Q Theatre. Don’t miss out book your tickets online here at Q Theatre’s Sessions Page. Click on NZ Comedy Festival’s website here to view Paul Amos’ listing or scroll down to view show details:


WHEN:  7:15 pm Thursday (7th May) – 7:15 pm Saturday (9th May)

WHERE: Cellar, Q Theatre 305 Queen Street, CBD AUCKLAND



Adults   – $18.00

Concession   – $15.00

Group 6+   – $15.00


LIKE his Facebook page Paul The Amos to stay up to date with his work.