My Festival Picks: Angela Green

30 January 2024

Angela Green is the Executive Director of Tāwhiri, the creative force behind the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts, Wellington Jazz Festival, Te Hui Ahurei Reo Māori and Lexus Song Quest.

With the Festival less than three weeks away, I sat down with Angela to try and narrow down what should be on my must-see list by asking her what her top picks are and why.

Meow Meow's Pandemonium


Meow Meow is a consummate performer who will have the audience in the palm of her hand. She is absolutely naughty. You know the frisson you get when you’re watching a show and the performer is so good you can’t possibly predict what might happen next? That. I can’t wait to see the combination of energy between Meow Meow and the NZSO.

The Savage Coloniser Show

Savage website.jpg

I am in awe of Tusiata Avia MNZM: full stop. She has the heart, insight and bravery to call a spade a spade in such a way that had me cackling with laughter then gut-punched a minute later. I know we have an audience in Wellington that is open to the conversation Avia and the creators of this work generously invite us into. This is what poetry and theatre is about, right? A clarity of thinking told through metaphor and performance that is literally world-changing.

Lost Lear

Lost Lear 1600 x 800.png

If you're looking for an incredible example of theatre making, Lost Lear is it. It's about the bond between an estranged mother and son. Cleverly, it riffs on the themes and characters in King Lear - “madness”, loyalty, grief and pride - so we travel between this epic drama and a family story of navigating ageing and dementia.

This is made by a really exciting new company out of Ireland and it will be perfect in our new performance space in Newtown, Tāwhiri Warehouse.

Arooj Aftab

Arooj 1920x1080.png

I first heard Arooj Aftab three years ago when she released Vulture Prince and I was mesmerised by her vocal quality. Listening to her is like being lifted into a new plane of existence. The band she is touring with are amazing too.

Morning Rave

Morning People 1600 x 800.png

20 years ago I'd be out dancing until 3am. Now, in my mid-40s, I get my kicks first thing in the morning, with sneakers and a flat white. The Morning People experience has reached cult status around the country and I really can't think of a better way to kick-start a morning mid-Festival at our Tāwhiri Warehouse. Get your endorphin hit before work!

House on Fire

House on Fire 540x630.png

Poets are soothsayers and truth tellers and I’ve found myself drawn to poetry more and more lately. Perhaps as a way to try and make sense of WTF is going on in the world right now. A friend of mine said recently “the way to get through this is to keep finding the beauty in our lives” and writers can offer us this as well. In the Writers Programme, House on Fire is the perfect way to experience multiple poets and writers in one session. Poet, essayist and novelist Sandra Cisneros from the USA features alongside some of the sharpest minds around, including Tayi Tibble and Samuel Te Kani. I’d recommend buying a Take 5 pass and dipping into the many events on offer across the weekend.