The first Rotorua Fringe Festival kicks off tomorrow, with an abundance of talent set to perform.

The week-long inaugural performing arts festival will run until April 13.

Performances will be shown at different locations, including at the Rotorua Little Theatre, Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa Marae (Taharangi), a pop-up artist space at 1201 Eruera St, the Rotorua Night Market and Te Manawa.

First to perform will be a new work from Waikato emerging artists Cian Paige Gardiner and Karina Nathan with their theatrical offering titled Rauru.


The play follows three generations of Māori women in one whānau surrounding a major family event. The title takes its name from the traditional rauru weaving pattern and in te reo Māori means umbilical cord.

This inaugural festival is led by local arts company Kōpēa Rotorua in partnership with Arts and Culture at the Rotorua Lakes Council.

Alex Lodge, one half of Kōpēa, says a great thing about Fringe Festivals for artists is being able to take risks.

She says there are some exciting events on offer, and encourages people to go along and support New Zealand artists and stories.

Rotorua Lakes Council performing arts director Cian Elyse White says the fact Rotorua is the first town in the Bay Of Plenty to establish a Fringe Festival is hugely exciting.

She says it is a fantastic opportunity to back local artists.

For the full festival programme, go to Rotorua Fringe Festival on either Facebook or Eventbrite.
The Fringe Festival programme includes
- Local theatre collective Big Picture Minor Deets
- Kingi Biddle with original storytelling in his one-hour programme Ki Tua o Taharangi at Taharangi Marae, Tārewa Rd
- Tour-de-force Wellington Actress Katherine McGill with her one-woman show Weave
- Ahānau country/folk band the Harmonic Resonators at The Night Market on April 11 from 6pm
- Famous vampire Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) from What We Do in the Shadows with this one-man comedy show about bringing his ex-girlfriend back from the dead
- Big Little Circus with two free shows at Te Manawa (the old city focus)