Mad, Sexy And Sophisticated Red Square Programme

Published: Fri 20 Feb 2009 11:41 AM
Mad, Sexy And Sophisticated Red Square Programme
Sizzling cabaret, dazzling musical comedy, and virtuoso performance across musical genres feature in a programme of contemporary music and cabaret that will make Red Square the high-energy entertainment hub of Auckland Festival 2009.
When Auckland Festival 2009 lights up the city’s arts and entertainment venues, galleries, and outdoor spaces this March, the Aotea Precinct will be transformed into the Festival’s party zone, Red Square; a multi-venue hub incorporating The Famous Spiegeltent, the Festival Club, and the Stella Artois Festival Bar.
Programme Manager Jessica Smith says the Red Square line-up, announced tonight with the launch of the Red Square programme brochure, will make the Aotea Precinct Auckland’s most exciting music destination during the Festival.
“We are proud to be bringing some of the freshest, most sought-after international cabaret and contemporary music acts to Auckland, and to programme them alongside an excellent line-up of many of New Zealand’s best musicians, and some of our most exciting emerging talent.” says Smith.
“I urge all music lovers to make the most of the chance to experience the madness, exuberance, and sheer entertainment of the world class Red Square programme”
With up to six performances each night – plus a few spur-of-the-moment late night gigs - the Red Square programme is a feast for music lovers. Auckland favourites, and worldwide sensations, La Clique, are back in Red Square performing at The Famous Spiegeltent, while former La Clique performer, Camille O’Sullivan (recently dubbed ‘the wildcat who made Cabaret cool again’ by iconic London magazine TimeOut), and brilliant, irreverent musical comedian Tim Minchin, headline a spectacular Festival Club line-up.
Equally irreverent and unpredictable are Die Roten Punkte, billed as Berlin’s Prince and Princess of Punk (‘wink wink’), while Tama Waipara’s new alter ego – Sir Plus & The Requirements – promises a fresh ‘musical hangi’ described as the ‘long lost Polynesian cousin of Sergeant Pepper.’ Cultural institutions The Topp Twins guarantee a hugely entertaining night of music, comedy and, of course, yodelling.
Red Square showcases several of New Zealand’s best vocalists. One-night-only performances include soulstress Ladi6 after the successful release of her debut solo album), sparkling soul and jazz singer/songwriter LA Mitchell, the remarkable soulful melodies of Iva Lamkum, the wonderful Anika Moa, a late night Spiegeltent session from SJD, and the legendary Jordan Luck.
Jennifer Ward-Lealand brings the songs of Marlene Dietrich back to The Famous Spiegeltent with Falling In Love Again, first of two glamorous and sophisticated shows; while Parisian-born Caroline Nin’s Hymne Á Piaf has been described as the very essence of Edith Piaf. Rome-based New Zealander Leila Adu, whose seductive, sultry style has earned her a significant international reputation, performs two homecoming concerts, one solo and one with her band, while Greg Johnson returns home with Cocktail Club, a selection of songs from his new album plus old favourites.
New Zealander Darryn Harkness and New Telepathics are also heading home after nine years in London, for a Red Square party that celebrates the release of their new album. Red Square audiences will also have the chance to see the first New Zealand performance of London hit Nosferatu, a screening of the earliest surviving screen adaption of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, featuring an extraordinary new score by Harkness.
The recent renaissance of European folk music is reflected in performances from real deal acoustic folk musicians Paprika Balcanicus; La Clique alumni Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen; local gypsy-style troupe The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band (who hail from Auckland, the ‘Prague of the South’); the heady evocative Balkan-influenced music of Kiwi band Dr Colossus; and the unique Eastern/Psychedelic sounds of An Emerald City, playing one of their final New Zealand gigs before they relocate to Europe in May.
Serious jazz lovers, and those excited by cross-cultural collaborations also have plenty to celebrate with a programme that includes virtuoso group The Wide Alley’s innovative fusion of Chinese and Western sounds, the stunning, experimental cross media show Dogs of Auckland; the Samson Nacey Haines Trio, which boasts three of New Zealand’s top jazz artists; and Zig Zag, an innovative audio-visual homage to the work of Len Lye.
Those who love music that both stirs your soul, and makes you move your feet, will relish the intoxicating French/Pacifica grooves of The Mamaku Project; the soulful afrobeats of The Hot Grits; one of New Zealand’s best funk and soul revues, The Tornadoes and Tyra Hammond; and the inspired tropical techno-funk, and blazing musicianship of The Recloose Live Band. Night owls will also flock to Club Spiegel, the late night reincarnation of The Famous Spiegeltent, and Club Sessions in the Festival Club featuring the incomparable DJ Manuel Bundy and friends, The Electric Luau Lounge with Brother J, and much, much more. Look for updates on late night Red Square offerings at
Red Square is also proud to host a very special event on 15 March, a musical tribute to Inia Te Wiata. Celebrating the legacy and spirit of this acclaimed artist, the tribute features many of our most gifted Maori musicians and performers, including Rima Te Wiata and Whirimako Black.
From the opening act, an unforgettable journey into the mesmerising sonic world of Richard Nunns’ taonga puoro and Phil Dadson’s inventions (gloop-string-spring-drums, sprongs and zitherum), to the hilarious and moving closing performance Happy Heartbreak from the über talented Sami Sisters (Madeleine, Anji and Priya), Red Square’s mad, sexy and sophisticated line-up is sure to have Auckland City humming.
For Auckland Festival 2009, Red Square has been relocated to the Aotea Precinct, which will be transformed by leading New Zealand designer John Verryt into the heart of the Festival – the place for every festivalgoer to start and end their day. Red Square 2009 will feed into festival events at The Civic, the Town Hall, Aotea Centre, Sky City Theatre, The Maidment Theatre, the Baptist Tabernacle, as well as The Basement, the home of Auckland’s inaugural Fringe Festival
Red Square is part of Auckland Festival 2009, a spectacular programme of theatre, dance, music and visual arts that will bring Auckland alive in March in the city’s fourth biennial Festival. Productions from some of the world’s most exciting arts and entertainment companies sit alongside a rich line-up of New Zealand work.
Highlights of the 18 days of arts, culture and entertainment on offer between 5-22 of March include the world premiere season of The White Body, from international arts star Ea Sola, a modern fairytale from theatrical master Robert Lepage, the New Zealand debut of spell-binding Japanese company Ishinha, the dazzling contemporary Circus Oz, Black Grace Dance Company’s much-anticipated new work Gathering Clouds, and Kate Parker and Julie Nolan’s magical adaptation of The Arrival, by Shaun Tan. Visit for the latest details.
Auckland Festival Board:
Richard Waddel (Chair), Victoria Carter (Deputy Chair), Rick Carlyon, Ilona Rodgers, Vivien Bridgwater, Heather Shotter, Roger King, Roger McDonnell and Toni Millar.
Festival Director: David Malacari
David Malacari has over 30 years experience in the cultural sector in various roles with some of the region’s leading theatre and dance companies. David previously worked for the Adelaide Festival for over 12 years, and has directed and produced festivals of Australian performing arts in India, New Horizons (1996), and London, Heads Up (2000). He has written work for cabaret, produced and directed corporate documentaries, and toured the world as a lighting designer and production manager with companies including The Sydney Dance Company. David joined the Auckland Festival in late 2004, and has now led three Auckland Festivals; 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Associate Director: Mark Burlace
Mark has been the Associate Director, responsible for Programme and Operations, since 2003. His strong technical background includes extensive touring experience with New Zealand arts companies, and he has been Technical Director at Auckland’s Maidment Theatre; North American Representative for Selecon New Zealand (based in New York); and Head Technician, Head of Lighting, and Technical Director at the Assembly Theatre in Edinburgh.
Jessica Smith: Programme Manager
Jessica has worked extensively in the creative sector for the past 15 years, as a tour manager and producer. She has worked with Douglas Wright Dance Company, Pacific Underground, the Watershed Theatre, The Naked Samoans and, more recently Black Grace, and the Topp Twins. Jessica is passionate about music of all genres, particularly the work of New Zealand artists.
Auckland Festival Ambassadors:
Petra Bagust, Judy Bailey, James Griffin, Robbie Magasiva, Catherine Saunders, and Te Radar.

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