Christchurch City Centre, Christchurch

26/10/2013 - 27/10/2013

Production Details

Following on from the success of LUXCITY, this year’s main event for FESTA 2013 is the carnivalesque Canterbury Tales, conceived and led by Free Theatre Christchurch. This extravaganza of light, colour and interactivity will delight, stimulate and offer reflection as we explore the past, present and future of Christchurch. 

At 8.30pm the procession of large puppets and masked performers will assemble near the Bridge of Remembrance and follow a specific path through the central city at night: along the river to Worcester Bridge before ending at the heart of the city in Cathedral Square. 

Spectators can join the procession at any point as it moves through different sites that come alive with diverse performances, soundscapes, lights, hospitality, interactive architecture and installations. 

This unique experience is the major event for this year’s festival, creating a city-within-a-city based around different Canterbury tales – expect to see the city like you’ve never seen it before! 

Dress up, wear a mask and come join the carnival of Canterbury Tales.

George Parker writes about the potential of Festa 
Philip Matthews writes about the Transitional City 
Editor of The Press cites Festa in relation to Chch revival 

6pm-Midnight Saturday 26th October 2013 
6pm-Midnight Saturday 27th October 2013 
PROCESSION STARTS AT 8.30pm at the Bridge of Remembrance. 

Free Theatre Audio/Visual Design Coordinator - Stuart Lloyd Harris
Free Theatre and FESTA Project Coordinator, Canterbury Tales - George Parker
Free Theatre Project Manager - Naomi Campion
FESTA Studio Coordinator - Nick Sargent
FESTA Comms and Marketing - Emma Johnston
Production Management - Matt Ayton (Greenhorn Company)

Free Theatre Christchurch 'Procession of Puppets':
Puppet Designers: Stuart Lloyd-Harris, Chris Reddington, Richard Till, Mica Doljnikoff
Free Theatre Procession Coordinator: Ryan Reynolds

The Scholar: George Parker
The Knight: Ryan Reynolds, Coralie Wynn
The Merchant: Stuart McKay, Naomi Campion, Greta Bond
The Wife of Bath: Helen Moran, Marian McCurdy, Amy Bowie
The Millers Cart: Marian McCurdy, Morehu Solomon, Jessica Shaw
The Friars: Gijs Ochsendorf, Mica Doljnikoff
Roaming Masks: Chris Reddington, Fidiria Tan, Sally Airey
Bouffons: the students of Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti
A multitude of volunteer puppeteers from the Christchurch community:
Scholar: Duncan Craig, Pip Jerram, David Poulsen, Laura Taylor, Petra van der Linden-Ross, Gwilym Wogan, Andrew Clarke, Deirdre Johns, Vicki Anderson, Grant Wells, Harry Knight, Jason Mill. Knight: Richard Sewell, Richie Lorgelly, Stefan Jaeckel, Greg Quinn, Mira Hansen, Luis Castillo, Ana Pearson. Merchant: Michael Cook, Andrew Bridges, Helena Wittchow, Abby Walshe, Brie Sherow, Grant Cattermole, Nicolas Pau, Francois, Natalie. Wife: Sarah Miller, Chontelle Tuck, Tracy Scarrott, Learne McArthur, Rozena Hallum, Andrew Paul Wood, Kate Hamilton, Marian Dewar, Robin Bond, Tom Harris, Tynam Mcculloch.

'Under the Fale'
Pacific Underground
Coordinators: Tanya Muagututi'a & Posenai Mavaega

Architecture Department, Unitec, Auckland
Design Team: Georgia Hay, Matthew Beneka, Michael Wong, Penny Mu, Nicole Ge
Unitec Tutors: Peter McPherson, Annabel Pretty, Julian Rennie 

'The River'
School of Landscape Architecture, Lincoln University
with Keri Whaitiri and Mark McEntyre
Lecturers: Neil Challenger, Erica Gilchrist, Andreas Wesner 

'Angel of History':
Coordinators/Performers: Bruce Russell, Zita Joyce, Julia Milsom, Emma Johnston. 

'Eye of the Storm'
Interior and Spatial Design Studio, School of Design, University of Technology Sydney
Design Team: Kate Campbell, Alison Canare, Lachlan Cuthbert, Rebecca Kim, Ester Langley, Nicola Light, Sophia Nay, Janine Perez, Grace Tame,
Jesue Valle, Sarah Wilkins, Vivian Wong, Jessica Yunarko
Studio Leader: Professor Thea Brejzek
The Darkroom (Jasper Bryant-Greene and T'Nealle Joie)

(Architecture Department, Unitec, Auckland)
Design Team: Kriselle Patriarca, Zahra’a Emhail, Solo Faamoetauloa, Aseel Al-Azi, Fiorella del Carpio, Ameline Liew, Seth Baguion
Unitec Tutors: Peter McPherson, Annabel Pretty, Julian Rennie
Smash Palace (Johnny Moore) 

'Anamorphic Shadows'
Design Team: Renier Oliver, Steven Han, Tom Mclean, Linda Li, Tamisn-Lee Harley and Ming Fu
Cassels and Sons (Zac Cassels)

'Medieval Fare'
The Barony of Southron Gaard, Society of Creative Anachronism
with The Twisted Hop (Lisa and Martin Bennett)

Ngai Tahu Coordinators/Performers: Puamiria Parata-Goodall, Manni Stirling, Brian Potiki,

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra:
Karl Margevka – Sackbut
David Wallace – Sacbut
Ben Rainey – Sackbut
Mark La Roche – Tabor
Coordinator: Gretchen La Roche 

'Tales of Canterbury'
A Different Light Director: Tony McCaffrey
A Different Light Performers: Damian Bumman, Glen Burrows, Andrew Dever, Rebecca Flint, Kim Garrett, Theresa King, Tony McCaffrey, Ben Morris,
Josie Noble, Louise Payne, Matthew Phelan, Peter Rees, Isaac Tait

Architectural Studies, CPIT
Design Team: Ellen Burgess
Tutor: Irene Boles
with Black Betty and Lost and Found night market

Mobile Shelters: Unitec's Department of Design and Visual Arts

Living Loops Installation: Ryan Walker
Elder Flame: Ryan Walker,
The Monster: Dan Heaphy
The Wolf: Rachael Travaille
The Christchurch Youth Recorder Ensemble: Neville Forsythe

Creative Partners:
Placemakers Riccarton (Grant Close)
Philips (Allan Stephenson)
McConnell Dowell (Kimberly Jupp and Lauren McKenzie)
Theatre and Film Studies Department, University of Canterbury (Sharon Mazer)  

Theatre , Spectacle , Outdoor ,

Pilgrimage achieves the miracle of wonder

Review by Lindsay Clark 29th Oct 2013

In spite of its extraordinarily complex composition, the theatrical appeal and inspiration of this mobile production is always to the fore. Limited to one performance after impossibly high winds created worse than hazardous conditions for the performers, the carnival procession nevertheless establishes a high point in public memory and in the way many of us feel about our city.

At the heart of things, the Free Theatre’s creative team, Peter Falkenburg (artistic director), Stuart Lloyd-Harris (lead designer, including coordinating the design team and creating the sound and lighting plan for the whole event), Chris Reddington (designer and maker) and George Parker (performer) must be credited with the highly effective core structure, namely a group of giant puppets based on Chaucer’s fourteenth century band. In that case, they told all manner of diverting tales to while away the journey. In our case we have encounters with all manner of wondrous sights, sounds and doings, so that the distance from the Bridge of Remembrance where, fittingly, it all began, to the open space in Cathedral Square seems all too short.

Watching the puppets – each with a team of operators – come alive is a fascinating appetiser. George Parker as the Scholar – a huge wooden articulated figure complete with mortar board, flowing beard and piercing blue eyes – introduces each in turn and it is difficult to do them justice in a few lame words. 

The Knight, leader of the pack, rides an inventively engineered steed featuring bicycle parts. This wondrous beast can snort steamy vapor and respond to many a ‘walk on’ or ‘woah!’ He is followed by the Merchant, a dazzling, gaudy creature with tentacle like arms ready to harvest our assets. The Wife of Bath towers into the night sky, robed in red velvet and batting her eyelashes, ahead of the Miller’s chariot and six benevolent Friars: gigantic fingers set in perpetual blessing, smiling for all and engaging the crowd all the way.

Thus the journey to confirm our identity as a people and a city begins, heading along the river bank before turning in to the Square to be called on by a fine karanga performed by Ngai Tahu artists and a fanfare from Christchurch Symphony Orchestra players. 

In between, we listen to vibrant Pacific music and are amazed by creations of light and sound from too many talented collaborators to detail here. Against the background of razed remains and unfamiliar spaces, the generous spirit of festival is all the more telling. As a pilgrimage, the event and its creators achieve the miracle of wonder.


James Levy October 31st, 2013

That's a pretty review, but doesn't say that the whole studenty thing was a complete fiasco caused by really bad weather, poor planning and a weak confused concept. Everyone is being very kind about it though for some unknown reason.

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