The Fuel Pass, which costs $110, gives you a ticket to four shows. Festival director Sarah Nathan shows there's something for everyone when it comes to the Fuel Festival, whether you're a bloke, a bunch of girls, a theatre newbie or a vastly talented theatre-goer who the cast really should thank simply for turning up.
Top Four for Blokes
1. Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man: The ultimate tribute to all that we love about our hardy New Zealand fellas. How often do you get to go to a show that puts you up on a pedestal where you belong?
2. Mates and Lovers: I don't care if you're gay, straight or undecided, you will love this. An extraordinary look at how gay men have experienced New Zealand over the last 100 years. You will laugh, learn and laugh again – it is wonderful.
3. The Second Test: The dream team of sport, New Zealand history and theatre. The most touching of true tales – bring your man hanky.
4. Cirque Non Sequitur: Just about the sexiest thing to come to Hamilton, ever. What these performers do is nothing short of dribble-making. You may be heading to Bunnings straight after to install a hanging hoop by the marital bed.
Top Four for a Girls Night Out
1. On the Upside Down of the World: Pure girl power. In 1841 she gets on a ship, travels to New Zealand, learns te reo Maori, immerses herself in the local Maori population, builds a hospital and becomes a mother. Uplifting and heartbreaking. Perfect.
2. Cirque Non Sequitur: Two words, Mike Edward. Two more words, Almost Naked. Enough said.
3. Drowning in Veronica Lake: Sexy, sassy, sensational. Veronica is 1940's Hollywood hotty. Best of all, the set is a dress. Veronica is trapped in its gorgeousness. The kind of woman you'd have loved as a BFF.
4. Five Go Mad on Improv: Enid Blyton re-imagined. Play with George, Anne, Dick and Julian once more, but maybe not quite how you remember it.
Top Four for Theatre Virgins
1. On the Upside Down of the World: As perfect as theatre gets. No point popping your cherry on something that's not just right. No-one can watch this performance and leave dissatisfied.
2. Standstill: If going to the gym and contemplating the consequences of your life is not unfamiliar territory, then you will slide into this theatrical experience with ease. Three actors, three treadmills, 60 minutes. Very, very, very funny.
3. Kevin The Musical: If TV is your thing, then you'll know Steve Wrigley. One of New Zealand's hottest comedians and star of TV3's 7 Days. This is Steve's funny tribute to small-town New Zealand, local body political bickering, traffic lights and the rise of the underdog, again all strangely familiar subjects.
4. Ka Hao Te Rangatahi: Start gentle with a production for kids, but be assured you'll love it. Warm-hearted and with a lesson for everyone, you'll leave smiling, even if at a minimum it is for watching the dozens of kids giggling and jiggling with glee.
Top Four for the Adventurous
1. Cirque Non Sequitur: We are talking a menagerie of mythical gods, creatures, sirens and spiders. Mix it with circus, cabaret and sex. Adventurous indeed.
2. Atonal Heart: The star of last year's Fringe Festival. Four monologues. Subjects ranging from the etiquette of the vigilante to the most unexpected Oscar speech of all time. Stunning local production.
3. Mates and Lovers: The history of gay men in New Zealand. Extraordinary stories told with extraordinary heart and humour.
4. Poetry Idol: For the first time ever the hugely popular poetry event comes to the Tron. Prepare to be astounded at just how good slam poetry can be.
Top Four for Brain Boxes
1. Frequently Asked Questions: Wallow in the almost simultaneous delivery of at least five of Shakespeare's best works. Impress your friends with your working knowledge of the text and appreciate just how clever this piece is.
2. Finding Frances Hodgkins: New Zealand historians and art buffs will love the subtle detail in this rarely told story of New Zealand's most accomplished contemporary artist.
3. Atonal Heart: Your massive intellect will ensure you don't miss a single nuance of this clever, clever writing, and you will appreciate the significance that this is all made in Hamilton.
4. Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man: Reviewed as "fizzing with braininess" this is your kind of show. Fast-paced, quick-witted and politically cutting, you'll be a veritable pig in muck.
- © Fairfax NZ News