Biggest Fringe lineup yet unveiled

Last updated 15:21 04/12/2013

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Wellington will be awash with theatre, comedy, cabaret and music during next year's Fringe Fest.

The full programme of 121 events for Wellington's homegrown artistic festival was revealed today at the Wharewaka on Wellington's waterfront.

Festival co-ordinator Hannah Clarke said it was the biggest Fringe Festival since its small beginnings 24 years ago.

This year there were shows across 45 venues in the CBD and surrounding suburbs, out into the Hutt Valley.

''We've got music, cabaret, street theatre, visual arts, digital arts, poetry and comedy,'' she said.

''We're really lucky, we've got a real mix of emerging and established artists. That's the beauty of the festival, you don't know what you're going to get.''

The festival was a celebration of Wellington's creativity, and was often a launching pad for artists, she said.

Flight of the Concords Bret MacKenzie and Jermaine Clement performed their first gig ever at a Fringe Festival.

''Over the last few months I've been asked quite a few times, 'Are arts in Wellington dying?', and I think this is a true demonstration of the fact that it's not. The city is just stacked with creativity, and the festival is a way for this to be expressed.''

The festival runs from February 7 to March 2. Almost half of the events are free.

Some of the highlights include:

■ The Bookbinders (Arty Bees Bookshop, February 19 to March 1) is a show about a bookbinder, performed in a bookshop. Created by theatre company Trick of the Light. 

■ Playing Nicely (Bats Theatre, February 15-19, 6.30pm). Pinwheel Dance Theatre's new show sets out to show that girls can do anything.

■ Suddenly Shakespeare (Gryphon Theatre, Wellington, February 15 and 22, March 1) will be a play by William Shakespeare without a rehearsal.

■ Welcome Home (Viva Mexico, Newtown, February 21, 22, 28 and March 1) is described as a "celebration of the every day through dance, music".

■ Kumutoto Stream (The Terrace at Woodward St Pedestrian Tunnel, February 16 to March 22) asks visitors to imagine Woodward St before cement took over The Terrace. A soundscape of birds and water will fill the Woodward St pedestrian tunnel.

■ Famous Sharron - The Fame Game (Gryphon Theatre, February 25 to March 1). Think Whose Line is it Anyway with sparkles and spandex.

A full programme is available at the Fringe Festival website.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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