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Updates from the 2011 Artistic DirectorElisabeth EastherSchools Review CompetitionReviews
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Elisabeth Easther's Festival Pick N Mix

By Elisabeth Easther - 17 Dec 2010
Elisabeth Easther drops some hints as to what she'd like for Christmas. Elisabeth Easther is an actor, writer, arts-lover, broadcaster, mum – and now, blogger. Over the next few months, Elisabeth will be sharing her opinion on all things Festival.

All I want for Christmas are two front row seats!

Some people I know can't wait for Christmas to come, some can't wait for it to be over - ditto the school holidays - but me, I can't wait for the Auckland Arts Fest to kick off in March 2011, because this is surely the best array of events ever.

Which means I'll be blocking out my diary (note to self: obtain 2011 diary) from March the 2nd to the 20th during which time I intend to immerse myself in culture, saturate myself in stage-craft, and clog my art-eries with music, dance and drama.

I want to get my creative licence.

I'll take my son Theo, who'll be 5 and newly in school to as many productions as appropriate for his age, and blow his little mind with wild things, weird things and just plain wonderful things.

So Santa, if you're listening, we'd like tickets to the following in our stocking.

Vietnamese Water Puppets Thang Long Troupe

This looks mesmerising. Set outdoors, this enchanting show tells stories of village life, featuring dragons, puppets and a live band. Reviewers hurl superlatives at them wherever they go. Get in quick for this popular show.

Gaff Aff Zimmermann & de Perrot

The Swiss company Gaff Aff described as being like physical theatre meets silent-movie-style comedy, with touches of circus and live DJing. Some have called it an awe-inspiring, theatrical rollercoaster ride - and judging by the trailer on youtube, that'd be about right.

Paper Sky - A Love Story Red Leap Theatre

These guys are on a roll after the huge success of The Arrival in 2009 that has thrilled audiences around the globe. This festival they'll be telling the fairytale story of Henry, a loner, and the mysterious Lumina, and you can guarantee there'll be magic in abundance.

New ZealandSymphony Orchestra Family Concert NZSO

There's no way we'll miss the NZSO's family concert. They'll be playing the themes from Star Wars and ET, amongst other things, which will endear them to anyone who sleeps with a light sabre. If this does tickle your fancy though, you'll want to book for now, as these concerts always sell out.

Passing Wind Linsey Pollak

Linsey Pollak blow minds when he blows his musical vegetables. Who knew there was a band inside the vegetable crisper? From carrots to garden hoses, musical magician Linsey Pollak transforms everyday objects into a dazzling array of instruments.  And kids who like to help can participate in the creation and playing of these instruments.

And because we're not all made of money, there is a fabulous event on March 13th, the Auckland Arts Festival Family Day, a feast of free stuff including art, music and stories for the entire family, including a free Festival Garden Party with workshops, competitions and fun activities.

Clearly, this brief list is just the tip of the festival's iceberg. But if you're struggling with what to give loved ones this Christmas, do try a few festival tickets, you just cant go wrong and it'll astound people with your thoughtfulness.



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