26 Jul 2017

The countdown is on to the 23rd Nelson Arts Festival

The 23rd Nelson Arts Festival programme has launched, with a stellar line-up of national and international talent coming to Nelson from 11-27 October 2017.

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Hudson & Halls Live! will take to the stage at the Theatre Royal for the 23rd Nelson Arts Festival.
Photo credit: Josh Griggs.

With Early Bird tickets now on sale, it’s time to book your tickets and plan your fill of theatre, cabaret, clowning, music, dance, comedy, the Page & Blackmore Readers and Writers programme, along with free music and fun community events.

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Prepare to have your socks knocked off by That Bloody Woman, as suffragist Kate Sheppard raises hell in a punk-rock-opera, taking on the establishment and changing the lives of women worldwide.

Hudson & Halls Live! (pictured above) recreates the hilarity and chaos of New Zealand’s best loved TV chefs. Join the studio audience of the Hudson & Halls Christmas Special – complete with turkey stuffing and ice cream castles – for a laughter-fuelled homage to these much-loved TV characters.

Don’t miss Maungatapu – Nelson’s notorious true tale of murder brought to life. Last year’s Theatre in Development project is this year’s World Premiere; a story of greed, murder, betrayal and remorse, framed by gold rush era Nelson.

All the way from Switzerland is the award-winning family show Pss Pss, a delightful and captivating performance that harks back to the era of silent films.

Musicians from as far afield as South Africa, Germany, Ireland, the USA, Canada and Australia will be sharing their songs and stories with us throughout the Festival. Big Daddy Wilson will be a blues highlight, with his latest album Neckbone Stew including a song called ‘Peanut Butter Pic’.

The Page & Blackmore Readers and Writers programme again brings famous authors to town. There will be 16 events over two weekends, featuring writers from all around the country in discussion about, and reading from, their own work. Watch out for names like Catherine Chidgey, Nicola Galloway and Colin Hogg. Plus there are two Thinking Brunches, panel discussions sure to challenge everyone who attends. 

Visual Arts are also a feature in this year’s Festival, with a photographic exhibition in Bank Lane, plus the opportunity to watch art being made in Founders Heritage Park with Art in the Park and You do the Maths. And Miriam Hansen’s work will be on display in the Festival venues at Founders Heritage Park.

This year’s Festival runs for 17 days, finishing with the iconic Masked Parade & Carnivale on Friday 27 October. The theme is ‘We are the World’ and will be a joyous, family-centred night of fun to wrap up the 23rd Nelson Arts Festival. Enrolments are open now for everyone to take part in this fabulous community event.

Festivals Team Leader Axel De Maupeou says this year’s line-up will once again bring world-class shows and performers to Nelson.

“We’re very privileged to be able to bring so many brilliant performers to Nelson – it’s such a great annual event.

“The Festival’s home base will be at Founders Heritage Park, with shows dotted throughout our great Nelson venues. I look forward to seeing everyone out and about enjoying this great programme.”

Deputy Mayor Paul Matheson says the Festival is proof of Nelson’s enthusiasm for culture and creativity.

“We are lucky to have this event as an annual feature in our calendars.

“The arts is an important part of who we are – and I look forward to sharing in this Festival with you. I hope to see many of you out enjoying this wonderful programme.”

Early Bird tickets on sale 27 July – 31 August