Festival kicks off 17-day-long pro­gramme

The Leader (Tasman) - - OUT & ABOUT - SARA MEIJ

The 23rd edi­tion of the Nel­son Arts Festival is kick­ing off this week with more shows than the city can shake a stick at.

This year’s festival boats 120 events, spread over 17 days.

Com­mu­nity ser­vices com­mit­tee chair Cr Gaile Noo­nan said she loved that there was an eclec­tic mix of lo­cal, national and in­ter­na­tional acts at the Nel­son Arts Festival.

‘‘The Arts Festival is al­ways a wa­ter­shed for me.’’

Other high­lights in­clude Hud­son & Hall Live!, in which the hi­lar­ity and chaos of New Zealand’s quirky TV chefs is recre­ated by ac­tors Todd Emer­son and Chris Parker.

The show will turn the Theatre Royal into a kitchen stu­dio for a Hud­son & Halls Christ­mas Spe­cial, com­plete with turkey stuff­ing and ice cream cas­tles.

Nel­son’s true tale of mur­der, Maun­gat­apu, re­turns to the festival stage this year. The play was a Theatre in Devel­op­ment pro­ject last year and the tale of Nel­son’s no­to­ri­ous gold rush mur­ders will have its world pre­miere at this year’s festival.

For those who like books and crit­i­cal think­ing The Page & Black­more Read­ers and Writ­ers pro­gramme will fea­ture writ­ers from around the coun­try, in­clud­ing Ni­cola Gal­loway, Cather­ine Chidgey and Colin Hogg.

Vis­ual arts fea­ture with a pho­to­graphic ex­hi­bi­tion in Bank Lane which cel­e­brates the rich line up of mu­si­cians who play at the Nel­son Market.

There is also the op­por­tu­nity to watch artists work on large can­vasses at Founders Her­itage Park in ‘‘Art in the Park’’.

The festival winds up with the Masked Pa­rade and Car­ni­vale on Fri­day Oc­to­ber 27.

For those who’s bud­gets do not stretch to tick­eted-shows there is still plenty of chances to ex­pe­ri­ence the cul­ture on of­fer.

Founders is the festival’s head­quar­ters and hosts a se­ries of free gigs at the Gra­nary - in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from blue­grass, sin­ga­longs to disco.

Stu­dents get their chance to shine on Stage One at the 1903 Square at the Top of Trafal­gar St. Shows are on from Tues­day Oc­to­ber 24 to Oc­to­ber 27 from 11am to 2pm and are free.


Ham­p­den St School’s kapa haka group Te Kakano per­form on Stage One as part of last year’s Nel­son Arts Festival.

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