Festival even gets bad guys grooving

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 21/02/2014
dr who robot
ALEX LIU/Fairfax NZ

WOO-OO: Wellington Girls’ College students, from left, Ellen Scott, Kate Johnston and Mia Alonso-Green meet a cyberman on the waterfront. ‘‘It’s just so intense,’’ Kate said of the Dr Who TV series.

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All that was missing was the Doctor - but no doubt he'll turn up just in time to save the world.

The Wellington waterfront was treated to a display of Doctor Who baddies yesterday, as a dalek, a cyberman, and The Silence paraded in front of Frank Kitts Park.

A crowd of about 50 fans turned up to see them, in advance of the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular at the TSB Bank Arena tonight and tomorrow as part of the New Zealand Festival.

Wellington Girls' College students Ellen Scott, 15, and Kate Johnston, 16, were among them. Asked what was the appeal of Doctor Who, Kate said: "It's just so intense."

She knew all the characters. The Silence, for example, walked "like you were sleeping in bed and someone was walking towards you".

For others, such as Max Field, 3 - who had his windmill temporarily taken by the cyberman - the Doctor Who legend was less daunting - he did not know what the show was.

"He is a fan of the costumes," mum Linda Wang said.

Tonight's show features the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra performing music from the BBC television show, and scenes from actor Matt Smith's performance as the Doctor.

Other highlights in Wellington's biennial arts festival include circus Beyond, and A Midsummer Night's Dream (As You Like It), which was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and features giant puppets, acrobats and a performing dog.

It all kicks off at 8.30 tonight at Civic Square with The Big Bang, featuring the Cook Island drummers - 200 youngsters led by percussion group Strike, a choir of 200, and local band Kora.

By The Numbers

 347 – performances in the festival

1220 – artists involved

24 – days the festival runs

6 – world premieres: The Crimson House, Age, Paniora!, Tales from the Forbidden City, Requiem For the Fallen, Pasefika

126 – dollars, for the most expensive tickets, for opera Ainadamar

5 – dollars for the cheapest tickets

40 – dollars: average ticket price

300,000 – people expected to attend a festival event

56m – dollars: estimated economic impact on Wellington city from the last festival

5 – the age of Akirata Short, youngest performer in the festival. She is in a Cook Islands drumming troupe.

Tickets are available at ticketek.co.nz, from Ticketek outlets, or by calling 0800 842 538.

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- The Dominion Post

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