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Carnivals and coming treats

Time might fly when you’re having fun, but it flies faster when you’re mega-busy. Of course, the ideal is when you’re having fun being busy, and the last month has seen plenty of that. NZ Book Week, Bookshop Day and the inaugural HB Arts Festival filled a frantic but fabulous three weeks in late October-early November: action packed, event-filled and totally entertaining.

The Festival was held in the globe-trotting Spiegeltent, a 1920s confection of fancy woodwork, stained glass, mirrors, theatre flats and canvas that captures and combines the vibe of carnivals, circuses and speak-easy nightclubs. It certainly drew the crowds and most event were booked out; HB audiences enjoying the best of theatre, kids shows, music, dance, and writers from the current touring circuit. The programming was great and the Spiegeltent proved perfect for all.

Highlights for me included my session in the Spiegeltent with authors Virginia Pawsey and Janice Marriott, Mark Hadlow’s accomplished performance in a one-man play of ten characters, ‘Mamil’, and The Eastern’s foot-stomping full-on finale of folk-rock-punk-political music, delivered with a good dash of showmanship.

Even bigger and better will be the NZ Festival in our capital city next March. I’ll be chairing and performing. Can’t wait! Watch this space! Teachers: why not take a couple of classes to the Festival? They run an absolutely fab schools programme, offering an immersion in a full-on blast of culture and exposure to new ideas, perspectives, worlds.

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