Five things to catch at Fringe 2017
The capital's venues will be bursting with boundary-pushing arts offerings from Friday, when the Fringe Festival settles in for three weeks.
Whether meeting neighbourhood cats sounds up your alley, or the latest from theatre geniuses Trick of the Light Theatre is more you, this year's Fringe caters for a wide range of palates.
In case you haven't managed to navigate the meaty programme's 130 offerings yet, we've consulted with Fringe's director Hannah Clarke to narrow down five Fringe treats to look out for this year.
1. The Dark Light (dance, performing arts)
ChoreoCo is a programme devised by Wellington dance institution Footnote to showcase bright new talent.
This year, they bring to Fringe the brand new work The Dark Light, from Berlin-based Kiwi Alexa Wilson, in which six dancers will create a unique world where an extinct species tries to remember itself.
From the Fringe director: "Fringe is the perfect home for Footnote's development of emerging dance talent and this years' choreographer is a personal favourite of mine, her work is bold, challenging and fun. I can't wait to see what she brings to Fringe this year incorporating film and shadow with contemporary dance."
Circa Theatre, Feb 28 - March 5.
2. Crap Music Rave Party (music, comedy)
Tomas Ford returns to New Zealand with his Crap Music Rave Party, a DJ set combining "brilliantly awful music" with video projections, balloons, disco lights, and glowsticks. No music request is too embarrassing at this party, where tracks from the likes of True Bliss, Peter Andre, Crazy Frog, and Barry Manilow are commonplace.
From the Fringe director: "Honestly, this is just so much fun. You, the audience, pick the soundtrack, you pick every 'crap' song played, and the dancing and laughing and fun of this event spectacular is contagious. Get your mates together, wear your dancing shoes and have the best time."
February 25, San Fran.
3. Manifesto 2083 (theatre)
This confronting play looks into the mind and actions of Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, who in July 2011 killed 69 people at a Labour party youth camp on Utoya Island.
After its Danish world premiere in 2012, director Anders Falstie-Jensen brought the controversial theatre piece to Auckland in 2015.
He said theatre was not just for entertainment, but a way to engage with complicated topics in an intelligent way.
Rather than provide answers, Manifesto 2083 is said to be more about the exploration of character, research, how the playwrights went about approaching the story, and what could drive a human to such unimaginable horrors.
Circa Theatre, February 13-18.
4. Open Mike Night (comedy, poetry, spoken word)
Those who have seen poets Michael Howard and Michael Gray perform know that the clever, comedic wordsmiths revell in unapologetic rhyme and pun.
Prepare for hilarious, yet thoughtful syntax and self-depreciation that gets audiences roaring in their seats.
From the Fringe director: "We pretty much love everything about the concept for this show and even though they promise terrible puns and new lows, we know they are both very good."
February 16-18, Cavern Club.
5. The Internet is where Innocence Goes to Die And You Can Come Too (theatre, online, visual art)
This show is breaking the rules of theatre, including the use of cellphones not only being permitted, but encouraged.
Zin Partnership's Harriet Gillies and Roslyn Helper, winners of the Melbourne Fringe Festival touring award, have based their latest show around live internet surfing.
Both performers sit facing the audience with their laptops projected on screens as they delve into new depths of clickbait despair.
With each unique, no-limits performance, the audience participates and soaks up confronting familiarities.
From the Fringe director: "Our whole team unanimously agreed, this show is great. We love the hilarious and relevant use of technology, and was interactive (but not in an 'argh, I'm on stage!' way). The Audience drives where this show goes, and what toppings are good on pizza with internet search suggestions and interaction from your seat. Part theatre, part live art, all internet."
BATS Theatre, February 19-22.
For more information, see Fringe.co.nz.