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What Not To Miss At This Year’s Auckland Fringe Festival

By Grace Noles
13th Feb 2019

What Not To Miss At This Year’s Fringe Festival

We love a good festival and, lucky for us, this month is jam-packed with all the arts, entertainment, crafts, music, food, and drinks we could hope for. 

The Pride Festival ends mid-February and it’s closely followed by Auckland’s annual Fringe Festival. 

The arts festival kicks off next week, with something for the artist in all of us. The open-access festival is spread across the city for two weeks, with more than 30% of the events free or for a koha donation.  

This year, Fringe Festival vows to turn the city fluoro pink, so make sure you’re supporting local and international artists and get amongst all the creative minds. 

While there are many great and immersive experiences, Fringe-goers have some serious ground to cover. 

Here are our picks at this year's Fringe Festival.  

Pussy Riot: Riot Days

One of the biggest headliners for this year’s festival needs no introduction—the Pussy Riot trio brings their Riot Days performance to Auckland Town Hall for four nights only. As one the loudest artistic protest voices of the past decade, Pussy Riot have made themselves rebellion icons worldwide. The show combines documentary footage, music, and protest and has been talked about globally. Don’t miss your chance to catch the history-changing collective. 

When: Friday, 22nd February

Where: Auckland Town Hall, 301-317 Queen Street 

Toil And Trouble 

We all know the classic Shakespeare tale, but newcomers Millions Of Deaths want to put a spin on the story of Macbeth. How? With some audience interaction of course. The beginning of the play will let audiences choose exactly who they want to play each character, encouraging the minor characters to take vengeance on the lead roles—cue chaos. Toil And Trouble embraces the mayhem of Macbeth and it’s sure to be a killer. 

When: Tuesday, 19th February – Saturday, 23rd February 

Where: Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street 


It’s important, now more than ever, for women to reclaim all the female icons that have changed history. Rosie Tapsell and Jazmine Rose Philips agree, and they’ve created a way to pay tribute to one of the biggest—the Virgin Mary. Rosemary is a multi-dynamic dance performance that takes a look at the symbol of motherly-love, mercy and wisdom through Tapsell’s and Philip’s gentle and dark performance. 

When: Tuesday 26th February – Saturday 2nd March 

Where: Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave  

Desperate Late Night Energy

If you’re a fan of Kiwi artist Boycrush (AKA Alistair Deverick), then now’s your chance to see his 2018 album Desperate Late Night Energy come to life at Fringe Festival. Join Boycrush and DANCE PLANT for a night of electric music and hypnotising dance moves as they create a night club in the Basement Theatre. The VNZMA nominated artist is on a very fast rise to fame, having previously opened for Lorde, Kimbra and Liam Finn, so we suggest snagging a ticket ASAP before this becomes a sold-out event. 

When: Friday 1st March – Sunday 3rd March 

Where: Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave 

TRIAGE! A Nursing Cabaret

Everyone loves hearing an entertaining emergency room story—welcome to a production based purely off hilarious hospital antidotes. Comedian, writer, and registered nurse, Zuleika Khan is bringing her internationally sold-out show TRIAGE! A Nursing Cabaret to Auckland for one show only. Hearing her unpleasant, awkward, and painful accounts of working in the ER will definitely have you thanking every nurse you know. If you think you can handle the glory and gore, make sure to catch Khan at one of the funniest shows of 2019’s Fringe Festival. 

When: Saturday 23rd February 

Where: Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street 

999: Alchemist Trauma Centre/Power Centre 

Originally born in the Himalayas, the now global show 999: Alchemist Trauma Centre/Power Centre, is making its way to Auckland just in time for Fringe. Described as “feminist meditation, poetic activist activation”, the show brings humour to and shines a light on the chaotic global conditions we’re facing, from changing principles in a capitalist world to ways to remain present amongst all the pandemonium. If you’re after a thought-provoking performance, secure your tickets to the one night only show. 

When: Friday 1st March

Where: Academy Cinemas, 44 Lorne Street CBD 

K-Pop Party 

On the 23rdof February, Auckland Town Centre will be transformed into a full-blown K-Pop dance party. The all-ages dance party will feature all your favourite hits and has been curated by the legendary Rina Chae, who has worked with Justin Bieber, Beyonce, AOA, Cosmic Girls, SF9, and Monsta-X. This is your opportunity to dress up in K-Pop attire and dance the night away.  

When: Saturday 23rd February 

Where: Auckland Town Hall, 301-317 Queen Street CBD 

Router Sidewalker 

Join 2017’s Spirit of the Fringe winner George Fenn for a walk around the city with The Sidewalker, Router Sidewalker. With reviews such as “Fenn is so funny my face nearly fell off”, you are guaranteed an evening of laugh-out-loud commentary as you pace the streets of the CBD. Fenn has appeared in more than 40 public tours in the North and South Island and is known for his whimsical personality, making him something of a hero around town. 

When: Thursday 21st February – Sunday 24th February 

Where: Aotea Square, 50 Mayoral Drive CBD

The Unfolding Of Benjamin’s Misery 

Hideto Akasu, the winner of the Liverpool poetry slam 2018, stars in this one-man show, The Unfolding of Benjamin’s Misery. This comedy examines the everyday freethinker and how they navigate themselves in a world of global capitalism. It follows an undocumented migrant who is more than happy to work for less than the minimum wage—something his boss is quite happy with. The show is Koha and will have you laughing along the entire time.  

When: Tuesday 26th February – Saturday 2nd March

Where: The Vic, 48 Victoria Road Devonport 

Prefer to stay in? Here are all the movies on Netflix to watch right now. 

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