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Turning up the heat


Bread & Circus – World Buskers Festival is New Zealand’s largest outdoor festival and one of the hottest highlights of the summer events calendar.

 

BLANC DE BLANC – PAMELA RAITH PHOTOGRAPHY

 

This summer’s selection is even hotter than ever before, with a miraculous mash up of international street theatre, music, cabaret, comedy, circus and genre-bending performance art.

From 23 January to 16 February 2020, Bread & Circus are turning up the heat with some of the best talent from across the world and it all starts with world-acclaimed circus-cabaret act, Blanc De Blanc. Metropol caught up with Blanc De Blanc Director Scott Maidment about what the show has in store for us.

 

BLANC SHOW – NATHANIEL MASON

 

Christchurch is looking forward to seeing you guys hit the city! How much are you all looking forward to coming here?
We can’t wait to spend the summer of 2020 in Christchurch! What better way to spend a summer evening than in a champagne-soaked alternate universe inside the magnificent Spiegeltent?!


What can Christchurch look forward to from the Blanc de Blanc show?
If you loved LIMBO in last years’ Bread & Circus festival, you’re going to go absolutely nuts for Blanc de Blanc. The show is the epitome of hedonistic, glamorous escapism, but the rich aesthetic is backed up by the world’s very best circus and cabaret talent. Blanc de Blanc really has style and substance.

Blanc de Blanc has been all over – from Sydney Opera house to London’s West End, and it’s currently in Las Vegas! The cast and show are so well-oiled now, but every time we come to a new city, the show takes on a slightly different energy. Having the show inside the Spiegeltent and as part of a larger festival is what will make Blanc’s Christchurch run really unique.

 

BLANC DE BLANC – PAMELA RAITH PHOTOGRAPHY

 

What’s the story behind the name?
The show derives its inspiration and aesthetic from champagne both literally and figuratively. Just like the drink, Blanc de Blanc is effervescent, glamourous and intoxicating. This show is guaranteed to pop your cork – it’s a production that pops, fizzes and bangs.


What are you looking forward to about your trip to Christchurch?
Because Blanc de Blanc is being presented by Bread & Circus – World Buskers Festival, we of course can’t wait to check out the street buskers themselves, as well as the other huge international acts that are coming to Christchurch for the festival. It’s going to be an absolute party.

 


 

Reasons to head to Hanmer


Hanmer Springs – that magical place which offers something for everyone! The sub-alpine town is gearing up for holiday time, with entertainment, gourmet dining and an interesting array of boutique shops and galleries to enjoy, not to mention that pivotal attraction – the gorgeous springs, which features six different types of pool systems, topping at 42 degrees. Ahhhhh, fabulous relaxation! And nearby is the spa, which offers the delights of massages, facials and hot stone treatments. Who can resist – and why would they? It’s only a 90-minute scenic drive from Christchurch.

 

 

For those who want entertainment, Acoustic Blues is featuring on 10 November, and on 15 November, the Women’s Adventure Film Tour showcases extraordinary and adventurous women.

If adventure is more up your alley, the beauty and birdlife of the gorgeous Heritage Forest is stunning, with its short and longer trails making it accessible to all.

Special events for the outdoor adventurers include an 8.4km run race from Molesworth to Hanmer on 16 November, and on 7 December, alpine marathons offer full, half or 10km runs. Mountain biking, multisport and fun runs and walks are available at the St James Conservation Area on Friday 17 January and Saturday 18 January.

A huge array of outdoor activities are available daily, including bungy jumping, horse riding, jet boating, fishing, quad bike riding and bush walking. Two ski fields are also nearby for the snow lovers.

 

 


 

Cutting his comedy teeth


We’ve all heard the motivational stories of those who make something from nothing. For Brendan Dooley, making something from nothing has a more literal meaning – after all, making goldfish appear in glasses of water and pulling $20 notes from inside Crunchie bars are all in a day’s work for this local comedy magician. “I was the kid that never grew out of it,” he laughs.

 

 

“I saw a juggler at a circus when I was three and that was my first obsession. My mum got me a magic kit when I was five, I had a magician at my birthday and that was that.”

While he was always the quirky kid at school, Brendan kept largely to himself, but it was on stage – every chance he got – that he would shine. At the age of 11 he made his career choice, in both heart and mind. It was at the Buskers Festival in Nelson when he saw street performer James James – one of the world’s top street performers – surrounded by 200 people. “All he had was a small table and his personality,” Brendan says.

 

 

“It was on that table that he produced six oranges from three cups and a pineapple from his hat! I’d never seen people react to magic like that, just the clapping, the cheering, the energy… it was next level.
“It was in that moment that I knew I wanted to give people that same feeling.”

Brendan now takes the same approach to hosting corporate events. “The job of a street performer is to stop you and make you watch something you didn’t plan to watch.
“Corporate entertainment is so mainstream, so I aim to give them something they didn’t expect.”

The St Bedes alumnus who was born in Dunedin and called Christchurch home since he was three, dropped out of school at 16, did his first national tour at 17 and has since toured New Zealand, Australia and Asia – even Jakarta – doing predominantly corporate events, festivals and theatre touring, after cutting his comedy teeth with private shows. “I haven’t unpacked my suitcase in two years,” he laughs.

 

 

The youngest recipient of New Zealand’s Best Comedy Magician, a nominee for 2018 Variety Entertainer of the year and the youngest member of the world’s longest running magic show, Brendan likes to “approach the line, but not quite cross it” in his comedy and his “quirks” are something he embraces – that includes his love of funky shoes and suits.

But along with belly laughs, there’s been plenty of tears too. There was bullying in school for his unique passions and sense of style, but even more poignantly, Brendan lost his mum, who had raised him alone, to cancer when he was just 18.
Interestingly, it is the hard times that have made him such a good performer, by forming the basis of what is a beautifully refreshing attitude to life. “For me the main point is that bad things are going to happen; it’s all about how you deal with it,” he says.

“We don’t have a choice over what happens, but we do have a choice over how we react. It’s about whether we get ‘bitter’ about it or ‘better’ about it.” And there’s no doubting, Miss Dooley would have been proud.

 


 

Giant Game Hire

Putting the fun in memories: Giant Game Hire don’t want your wedding to be boring

What’s worse than a boring wedding, function, or event? It sounds like the start to a bad joke and in a way, it is. But fear not! Giant Game Hire is here to elevate the enjoyment factor on your important day.

Giant Game Hire
You may have seen the giant Tumble Tower down at the Night Noodle Markets, but there is so much more to Giant Game Hire than that. No longer stuck at the wrong table talking to Great Aunt Ethel, you can join in with other like-minded fun seekers and play some entertaining games to get some great conversation started and, we’re sure, a few fun memories.
Don’t subject your guest to a BOMB (Bored Out of My Brain) event. Spice it up with the challenge of Giant Tumble Tower, Pick up Sticks or Noughts & Crosses. Go to Giantgamehire on Facebook for more information or call Simon on 021 892 098. Let the games begin!

Easy Money

A laugh a minute: The Court Theatre presents “Easy Money”

They say the best things in life are free… But that’s not so for con-artist couple Trudi & Stephen in Roger Hall’s newest play, Easy Money.

Easy MoneyMaking its worldwide debut this March at The Court Theatre, Easy Money is a laugh-a-minute satire about greed, with playwright Hall describing the play as having “no moral, no message – just entertainment.”
Adapted from the 17th Century play The Alchemist; Easy Money is a hilarious romp which follows the two con artists as they try to fool their prestigious Auckland neighbours into buying shares in the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The duo claims that there’s a congestion toll coming that will send shares skyrocketing… If, in fact, there are any shares at all.
Featuring Roy Snow, Luanne Gordon, Lynda Milligan, Bruce Phillips, Geoffrey Heath, Jared Corbin, Gregory Cooper, Susannah Kenton, Melinda Joe and Albany Peseta, director Ross Gumbley has assembled a dream cast. “I’ve got a cast who are wonderful actors and packed with funny bones.”
Will Trudi & Stephen’s neighbours fall for it? The question on Hall’s mind is whether or not audiences will. His aim is for audiences to walk away wondering, “…would we have been taken in by them?”
To find out, you’ll just have to go and see it all play out…
Easy Money opens at The Court on 17th March and runs through until
14th April.

American Express Openair Cinema

Events guide: Five things well worth leaving home for

The temperatures may have begun their downward descent, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to lock yourselves inside! We’ve gone in search of some of the hottest events around that will be sure to bring some warmth to your autumn.

American Express Openair Cinema
American Express Openair Cinema

Food, fun and flicks:

American Express is bringing the Openair Cinema festival of food, fun and flicks to Rauora Park from 15 March to 1 April.
There will be an array of alternative entertainment, live music and DJ performances before the latest and greatest feature films light up the big screen.
Better yet, you can bring along a ‘Doggy Date’! Pampered pooches will receive the VID treatment with a pawfect picnic platter of doggy delights and their own canine couch. Tickets start at $13 and are on-sale now at www.openaircinemas.co.nz.

Jump for charity:

Some of the country’s leading horse and pony riders are getting in behind the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation with the second annual Jump for Cancer Hagley charity event at North Hagley Park on 25 March.
St. Margaret’s College students will be collecting donations on behalf of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and food vendors will be selling everything from coffee and gelato to gourmet pizzas and potatoes.
General admission is free with VIP tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.nz. To find out more, head to the Jump for Cancer Hagley Facebook page.

Middle-aged man in lycra!

Following a sell-out premiere season across New Zealand, much-loved Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow remounts for a final ride into Christchurch in the acclaimed one man show, MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra), in all its lurid lycra glory for ‘Le Tour d’Isaac’, from Thursday 31 May to Saturday 2 June at the Isaac Theatre Royal.
Shining as the affable, yet uncomfortably relatable anti-hero in the one-man show, Hadlow commands the stage. With his energetic presence and childlike enthusiasm to the character, he breathes life into the cleverly crafted monologues to delight even the most stoic of MAMIL-phobes.

Colourful fun :

All the colour and fun of a carnival is coming to Cathedral Square on Saturday 24 February.
The popular Latino market is heading into the city from 4pm to 8pm on so you can enjoy a delicious culinary collection of Latin street food, live music, art and craft and, of course, the warmth of the local Latin community.
There will also be workshops, a dance floor and performances with Latin rhythms (including capoeira and samba do Brasil). So bring your most colourful clothing – and your dancing shoes – and prepare for a night of colourful fun.

A catwalk crusade:

Designers and celebrities are set to hit the catwalk on Thursday 12 April wearing the latest New Zealand fashion.
Guests at the annual M Factor Fashion Show will see collections from the likes of Annah Stretton, Augustine, Repertoire, Trelise Cooper and many more to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities New Zealand and Ronald McDonald House South Island.
Held at 7pm on Thursday 12 April at The Transitional Cathedral, tickets are available at ticketmaster.co.nz and are priced at $75 for VIP, $55 for General Admission and $20 for children and students.