17 Kiwi artists are jetting off on a wee trip to the land of haggis, bagpipes, and the biggest arts festival in the world.
A programme born out of a partnership between Creative New Zealand, and the British Council for New Zealand and the Pacific are funding trips for 17 artists to experience, and explore the Edinburgh Festival, while sussing out possible venues for their own future shows.
For three weeks of August Edinburgh is filled with dancers, actors, comedians, writers, poets – artists of every flavour, performing from dawn until dusk.
This is first time since the pandemic the programme has been able to send a delegation of artists. They include Alice Canton, Amit Noy, Ana Scotney, Arlo Gibson, Cian Parker, Eddie Elliott, Sherilee Kahui, Vanessa Immink, Helena-Jane Kilkelly, Joel Baxendale, Julia Croft, Karin McCracken, Leo Gene Peters, Sacha Copland, Stella Reid, Claire Mabey, Taarati Taiaroa.
We met with three Wellingtonian’s in the group to find out what they’ll be up to while they’re there.
Sacha is no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe having choreographed multiple sell-out seasons of Back of the Bus (a dance show performed on a moving double-decker bus) with her production company Java Dance Theatre. She founded Java 20 years ago after graduating from the NZ School of Dance, and since then her CV has continued to expand. In 2022 the dancer, director, writer, and chorographer was named Arts Wellingtonian of the Year. Last July Sacha presented her latest solo dance show called The Emperor’s New Clothes at Circa Theatre, and will be on the lookout for possible venues to bring it to Edinburgh next year.
Writer and director of 15 years Sherilee, will be heading to Edinburgh for the first time. While there, as well as exploring he city, she’ll be keeping an eye out for good venues for her play Mokomoko, which she hopes to bring to Edinburgh in the future. Mokomoko, which explores intergenerational trauma and healing has already shown in the Circa Theatre, and Bats, and Sherilee is exciting to bring it to an overseas audience. Her writing is often influenced by her work at ACC where she focuses on sexual violence prevention. The week-long trip to Scotland will be a little strange for Sherilee, being the longest time she’s been apart from her two young sons Darby and Jethro.
In 2018 Stella took on the Edinburgh Fringe and won – heading home with not one, but two awards, including a Stage Edinburgh Award for best performance, as well as Scotsman Fringe First award for her one-woman show The Basement Tapes. Now she’s back in Edinburgh, to plan her next artistic enterprise in the city. The writer, director and actor has produced several short films for television, including one funded by Māori Television & NZ On Air, titled Drop Down Globe, and developed a YouTube web-series called BURBS – a series of short stories set in Aro Valley, Brooklyn, and Strathmore.