Our 2019 Festival will open with A Winter's Tale – a free public event that over two nights will see Oxford Terrce and Ōtākaro, the Avon River transformed into a carnival of street-party revelry – featuring light, sound, music and performance.
From 6pm on both nights, Oxford Terrace will be transformed as lively Shakespearean scenes are presented by giant puppets, against a backdrop of colour, movement and skyscraping video projections.
The event will be book-ended by two stages, one near the Bridge of Rememberance and the other by the new Riverside complex.
These will pulse with the sounds of six diverse local performers and bands, including:
- the velveteen voice of multi-instrumentalist Mark Vanilau
- the gothic psychedelia of post-punk veterans Dark Matter
- the charm of the UC School of Music led by Mark Menzies
- the power pop of rising Rangiora 4-piece, Best Bets
- the gypsy and Balkan rhythms of Yurt Party
- the indie, classic rock of The Eastern songwriter Adam Hattaway.
Along the riverside, roaming amongst the audience and from the balconies of the bars and restaurants lining The Terrace, masked actors and over-sized puppets will parody scenes from the classic Shakespearean films being projected onto the former Rydges Hotel.
Leading this spectacular performance is Christchurch's legendary Free Theatre. Celebrating its 40th year, this ensemble love nothing more than transcending convention and producing mesmerising, sensory theatre.
So grab your friends, get the kids off those screens and prepare to see the city's new civic promenade transformed, in a family-friendly opening spectacle like no other.