11 New Zealand and international productions, one mini Film Festival, five world premieres, 169 performances, over 18,000 students anticipated to attend the Festival through their schools, and 4,000 young people and family members expected to attend public performances; now in its seventh outing, the Capital E National Arts Festival makes a much-anticipated return to the Wellington cultural calendar.
Showcasing productions from all over the globe, the Festival opens on Saturday 7 March with the New Zealand premiere of Caterpillars, by Paris-based Kiwi Thomas Monckton and Finland’s Kallo Collective, and begins three weekends of fantastic productions for Wellington audiences.
Following a hugely successful season at the 2014 New Zealand Festival, Australia’s seminal circus ensemble, Circa, presents the New Zealand premiere of Carnival of the Animals, the first of three Australian companies taking part in this year’s Festival. Jens Altheimer, part clown, part mechanic, brings his visual extravaganza-meets-science experiment, Squaring the Wheel, and Windmill Theatre /Barking Gecko Theatre Company, in partnership with Scottish company, Catherine Wheels, present The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk.
Including six New Zealand companies, this coming Festival is certainly a celebration of home-grown talent, with Trick of the Light Theatre presenting the world premiere of Beards! Beards! Beards!, and internationally-renowned Orchestra of Spheres, creating a truly interactive musical experience. Following an award-winning season of Duck, Death & the Tulip at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Little Dog Barking Theatre returns in 2015 with a new adaptation of the children’s book, Guji Guji. Fusing contemporary theatre with Toi Māori, waiata and dance come together in Ngunguru I Te Ao I Te Po, from Taki Rua Productions, in a high energy, exciting and physical performance while other Festival favourites, Java Dance, explore the magic beneath our feet in Dirt & Other Delicious Ingredients.
Especially for education audiences, Java Dance presents its second world premiere of the Festival with the exhilarating and interactive Streets of Gold, while the mini Film Festival, Young & Cinematic, is brought to you by Capital E Digital and Square Eyes – New Zealand Children’s Film Foundation. Also from Capital E, the National Theatre for Children brings the much-celebrated An Awfully Big Adventure back to the Wellington stage, transporting audiences to WWI, where we learn of two young men and how their very different stories collide on Flanders Fields.
For the full Festival programme, visit the Capital E website http://capitale.org.nz/national-arts-festival-shows/