Artists from New Zealand will be taking over Scotland’s cultural capital for the annual Fringe Festival this summer.
Nearly 200 creative exports from the land of the long white cloud will be making the journey in August to perform on stages such as Assembly Festival and Summerhall. Actors, dancers, writers, musicians, Maori performing artists, painters and spoken word showfolk are amassing forces in the largest ever cultural collaboration of Kiwis performing together outside of New Zealand.
Supported by Creative New Zealand, established Kiwi companies such as Auckland Theatre Compay and dance group Black Grace will perform alongside Te Matatini, the national Kapa Haka champions, as well as lesser-known acts such as Little Dog Barking, who will bring storytelling, mime and magic to the streets of Scotland with Duck, Death and the Tulip.
Various themes will emerge throughout the three week summer theatre season, including national identity, war, commonwealth and survival – all issues poignant in Scotland at this time, who will be holding a referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country this September.
Amongst the presentation of NZ arts and culture is Aeotaeroa’s first ever Pacific musical, The Factory. Performed by Kila Kokonut Krew – NZ’s only theatre company with a sole focus on the Pacific voice – the show, which has been described as ‘the Pacific Les Mis’, explores the Samoan migrant experience through funk music, song, dance and narrative.
Other works concentrated on national identity include HAKA, Te Matatini, a poignant piece showcasing the original war dance of New Zealand in celebration of those who fell and those who returned.
See award-winning play On the Upside Down of the World by Auckland Theatre Company and Laurel Devenie, based on the true story of Lady Mary Ann Martin, an intrepid adventurer who emigrated from England to New Zealand, where she campaigned against injustice to Maori’s in the late 1800s.
Be sure to book your tickets to see Black Grace’s collection of choreography by Neil Ieremia based on South Pacific storytelling traditions. The dancers make their Edinburgh debut with an innovative program – Minoi, which fuses traditional Samoan and contemporary styles; Pati Pati, utilising body percussion and children’s hand games; Gathering Clouds, a personal response to comments on immigration issues and diversity and Mother Mother, originally choreographed for a video for Fat Freddy’s Drop.
For an intense and immersive theatrical experience, be part of the show with The Generation of Z. Royale productions are bringing a Zombie inspired site-specific show to the festival, where the audience will have to fight for their own survival in a post-apocalyptic world.
Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Kath Mainland, said: “As the world’s largest arts festival, and one of the most significant international arts markets, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the perfect place to show off New Zealand’s cultural wares to the world.’’
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