Today in New Zealand International Arts Festival history: The Overcoat (2004), Body Movies (2008) & The Arrival (2010)
Another three-show day, today; this time, starting in 2004 with a production from my old home town of Toronto! One of the few times English-Canadian theatre has visited New Zealand - in fact, I'm hard pressed to think of another - this was The Overcoat, an entirely wordless work that totally won audiences over, and possibly paved the way for The Sound Of Silence in 2010 now that I think about it. (Having proved a silent show could work, I mean!)
In 2008, Body Movies brought the outside of Te Papa to life each night, allowing passers-by to project giant shadows of themselves onto the Taranaki Wharf side of the building. Sounds simple, but people really went to town on it, and made some pretty interesting vignettes over the course of the installation. Good fun!
Red Leap Theatre's production of The Arrival would have to have been one of my favourite shows of 2010, and one that caught me by surprise I have to admit. (Though looking back, was some amazing theatre that year!) Somehow I'd placed it in my head as a kids' show, and wasn't expecting the depth of the story, or the charming simplicity of the design that worked so well. Great piece of theatre, and I'm glad it kept touring for some time after this to festivals in New Zealand and overseas.