Winter Fest ready to roll in Taranaki

Taranaki’s newest festival kicks off this week and organisers are promising there’s something for everyone.

Winter Fest starts on Thursday August 15 and offers a fortnight of unique shows celebrating stories and the ways they are expressed.

TAFT chief executive Suzanne Porter says with a collection of comedy, theatre, dance, live music and author talks there is more than 32 hours of entertainment for audiences to enjoy. 

TAFT staff Sophie Kelly, Suzanne Porter, and Lisa Haskell are gearing up for Winter Fest. (Supplied)

“We know there is something for everyone in our first presentation of Winter Fest,” she says.

“If you haven’t already checked out the programme and secured your tickets, do so now, before the two weeks fly by.”

Over the nine day festival Taranaki will welcome more than 70 performers and support crew to the region from across New Zealand, Australia and Scotland.

The Good Oil – Comedy Debate – August 15, 7.30pm (Supplied)


Kicking off the festival is Arthur Meek’s Erewhon, in which the New York-based playwright takes audiences on a time travelling adventure with a magic lantern projector.

Following that is a panel of Aotearoa comedy heavy weights in The Good Oil – Comedy Debate – including Kura Forrester, Jesse Griffin, Michele A’Court, Pax Assadi, Ginette McDonald and Jeremy Elwood, hosted by Mark Sainsbury. 

The second day of the festival also includes the hit cabaret Valerie, and top kiwi actresses Renee Lyons, Bronwyn Turei and Amelia Reid-Meredith starring in Rants in the Dark.

Rants in the Dark – Fri 16 and Sat 17 August, 7.30pm  (Supplied)

The first Saturday of the festival boasts author talks, prolific musician Delaney Davidson, a second showing of Rants in the Dark, and The Ballad of the Apathetic Son and his Narcissistic Mother.

All up there are 12 shows coming to the TSB Showplace from August 15 to 25, with 23 Taranaki schools participating in the Schools to Festival programme, six author talks, one workshop and two performances of Still Life with Chickens in Stratford and Hawera.

  • Winter Fest 2019 is on at the TSB Showplace 15 – 25 August. Tickets are on sale now www.winterfest.co.nz.