Auckland University's Drama Studio: It's one of the city's smallest theatres, often the venue for university classes and invite-only performances but this weekend one of our most experienced theatre-makers moves in to show what you can do with a talented cast of new and emerging actors, a 400-year-old script and a dollop of inspiration from the kind of psychological dramas you're likely to see on Netflix. Michael Hurst's been let loose on The Changeling, an intense Jacobean tragedy where sexual betrayal combines with insanity and the horrific cost of payback, as the new-look Auckland Summer Shakespeare — only it's not Shakespeare, summer or performed outdoors.
The Changeling, Auckland University's Drama Studio, Saturday, June 30 — Saturday, July 6 followed by performances at the Pumphouse Theatre, Vault @ Q Theatre and Uxbridge Theatre.
Pah Homestead: The film Waru was a landmark achievement in our cinema history; now, for Matariki, comes a celebration of Māori women in film where eight shorts, all by the makers of Waru, screen as part of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival. The Women of Waru includes shorts by Katie Wolfe, Renee Maihi, Ainsleigh Gardiner and Briar Grace Smith while the film festival itself is a celebration of Māori and indigenous cinema spread across nine days and five venues.
Women of Waru, Pah Homestead, Sunday (suitable for ages 13+); check out matarikifestival.org.nz for more
Auckland Live: If you've got young children, chances are your nights out are a little limited by the availability of babysitters and sleep deprivation. But, for the past 10 years, Auckland Live has given families a much-needed chance for some time-out with Pick & Mix, winter weekend performances and workshops put on by the likes of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, NZ Opera, theatre companies, comedians and even K-Pop dancers. It kicks off again this weekend with the chance to learn some new dance moves courtesy of Rina Chae, who's danced with Beyonce and Justin Bieber. Saturday's show is sold out, but there's plenty of room on Sunday at the Bruce Mason Centre.
Pick & Mix, Saturday, June 30 — Sunday, September 2, Aotea Centre, Bruce Mason Centre and the Mangere Arts Centre.
The Ding Dong Lounge: The rock community has been hit hard with the loss of a number of icons in recent years, and this weekend gives a chance to remember one of the founders of grunge rock. The Ding Dong lounge will play host to a tribute show for late grunge icon, Chris Cornell, this Friday night, which will feature some of New Zealand's biggest up and coming rockers who played at Homegrown earlier in the year. Band members from Skinny Hobos and Dead Favours will be part of the tribute, which doubles as a fundraiser for mental health organisations Youthline, Lifeline and the NZ Mental Health Foundation.
Chris Cornell Memorial Night, Friday, June 29, Ding Dong Lounge.
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Herald Theatre: With Matariki upon us, events will be scattered all around Auckland showing off the best of New Zealand culture. Over at the Herald Theatre, He Kura E Huna Ana is one of the only theatre shows that will be touring the country fully in te reo Māori. The production highlights many issues that are often overlooked such as mental health and alcoholism, creating a thought-provoking piece delivered entirely in te reo Māori. Early reviews have promised that even for those who are unable to understand the dialogue, the emotion on the stage is intense and captivating. He Kura E Huna Ana is one of a kind.
He Kura E Huna Ana, until Saturday, June 30, Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre.
Stardome Observatory: Although winter has brought its ice cold weather to Auckland this week, the weekend will be a perfect opportunity to see planets and stars only visible in winter. Stardome Observatory is hosting its Winter Night Sky experience, offering the chance to sit back and look at the stars in the 360-degree theatre dome. If the weather performs a miracle and manages to stay clear, the use of the courtyard telescopes is included in the admission price, or, for an intense stargazing experience, there will be a special tour through the Large Zeiss Telescope Dome.
The Winter Night Sky, Stardome Observatory, Wednesdays-Sundays until August