Your 2021 Christmas Guide to the Festival

17 December 2021

Short on time and looking for that ideal gift that won't end up in the back of a cupboard? Shipping deadlines crept up on you? Make it memorable with a Festival experience that you know will fit just right and won't get lost in a courier van. To help you select the perfect show no matter how tricky the receiver, we've put together a handy Christmas guide for the Festival's Five Christmas Personas.

Whether you're shopping for the music lover in your family, the songbird or a budding bookworm - we've got you sorted.

The Muso

We all know a Muso – they’re never seen without their headphones, and they’ve got a playlist for almost every occasion.

With Wellington now in Orange, there is nothing more thrilling for a Muso than hearing music live and enjoying it with their musical squad.

  1. Avantdale Bowling Club legendary, compelling and a master of rap–jazz fusion, Scott’s practice can only be described as one that’s in a “constant state of reinvention” (The Spinoff).
  2. Resample Tatau is an ambitious new work from award-winning creative producer and sound artist Anonymouz.
  3. Our Revolution a pumping night of performances from political hip hop heavyweights Diggy Dupé and Mazbou Q alongside soul electronica wāhine force Mo Etc.
  4. Black Katz ReVerbz ReVibez Aotearoa Nation experience uplifting and heartfelt waiata composed by a passionate collective of wāhine Māori.

Destination Mars_2.jpg

The Anarchist

Soap on a rope is just not going to cut it for the Anarchist. Their taste is more attuned to unexpected flavours like intergalactic space travel or gritty theatre with a dash of tongue and cheek humour.

The good news is we're big fans of the cutting-edge experience too.

  1. Destination Mars a high stakes adventure packed with humour, travel to Mars and back in 45 minutes and save your space station from danger. And the best bit is that Destination Mars is on now, every day except Christmas Day, so you don’t even have to wait until February.
  2. Lysander's Aunty head into the bush with this Shakespeare classic with a Kiwi twist.
  3. Show Ponies outrageous costumes, bright lights, beats and backup dancers, Freya Daly Sadgrove delivers live poetry that packs a punch.
  4. Pakaru a gritty theatre production that is rooted in dark comedy, brutal tragedy, but is a hopeful nod to our enduring human spirit.

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The Bookworm

They've always got their nose in a book, and last year (and the year before) you got them a book voucher. How can you keep up with this Bookworm's insatiable lust for books?

Our Writers programme has done the hard mahi for you already by curating over 100 literary experiences, right here in Wellington.

  1. The Big Love In Clementine Ford and Emily Writes are joined by an outrageously rich line-up of speakers to talk about that profoundly complex, terrifying, transformative state that is love.
  2. Patricia Grace: From the Centre one of Aotearoa’s most acclaimed writers joins us to discuss her position as a pou of Aotearoa literature and her new memoir, From the Centre: A Writer‘s Life.
  3. Hello Darkness a deeply moving and amusing performance by award-winning playwright Victor Rodger, adapted from the writings of Peter Wells.
  4. Take Five Pass grab a Take Five Pass and save 20% on all $19 Writers sessions (subject to availability). That’s five hours of book-lovers’ bliss for just $76!

The Haka Party Incident
The Modernist

Christmas can be a hard time for the Modernist, who always has a thing or two to say about consumerism. So, why not give them the gift of experience?

With over 100 artistic experiences that will challenge and expand your perspective, this Festival there is a little something for every Modernist.

  1. The Haka Party Incident "An innovative, brilliant piece of theatre all New Zealanders need to see" – New Zealand Herald.
  2. BELLE enter a space mesmerisingly transformed by light and sound. Above and all around you a performance of air is created by internationally renowned aerialists, a live musician and dance artists.
  3. Taurite ‘Pick of the Fringe’, ‘Best Dance’ and Auckland Arts Festival’s ‘Best of the Fringe’ – 2020 Auckland Fringe Festival Awards.
  4. Aliens & Anorexia brimming with intellect, humour and rich visuals, this smart new theatre adaptation of acclaimed writer Chris Kraus’ book will have its World Premiere at the Festival.

The Traditionalist

Kiri Te Kanawa, Bach and Jonathan Lemalu are key words for any Traditionalist who is always seeking out the historical intersections between music, art and performance.

Finding the perfect gift for the person who wishes we were in the good old days can prove tricky, but you're in luck - the 2022 Festival is packed with creative offerings that will excite any Traditionalist.

  1. HIHĪ – A Song of Place showcases some of Aotearoa's most remarkable songbirds and kaihaka (performers) alongside members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
    Mai i ngā ngahere tapu o Te Waihīrere, tatū atu ki ngā hōro nunui o Pōneke, ko te reo puoro o Te Tai Rāwhiti tēnei te haramai nei.
  2. Taonga Moana - a musical and visual journey that transports you across the seas to explore the vulnerable beauty of our oceans, presented by Aotearoa's outstanding national chamber choir, Voices New Zealand.
  3. Chamber Music Spectacular features two of the most iconic and monumental chamber music works ever written, Mozart’s Gran Partita for 13 Winds and the String Octet by Romanian composer and violinist George Enescu.
    Mozart Serenade in B-Flat Major, K. 361/370a Gran Partita
    Enescu String Octet in C major, Op. 7
  4. Bach by Candlelight is an ode to the great composer and a Festival highlight.
    Sonata for flute and basso continuo in E major, BWV 1035
    Aria from Cantata BWV 11: Ach, bleibe doch
    Partita in D minor for solo violin, BWV 1004: Chaconne with chorales (arr. Helga Thoene)
    Aria from Cantata BWV 135: Troste mir, Jesu
    Aria from Cantata BWV 159: Es ist Vollbracht
    Aria from Cantata BWV 78: Wir eilen
    Prelude and Fugue in A minor for organ BWV 543
    Aria from Cantata BWV 115: Bete, bete
    Aria from Cantata BWV 146: Wie will ich mich freuen
    Cantata BWV 102 Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben

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