Pussy Riot Leads the Auckland Fringe Final Programme Announce for a Full Buffet of Fringey Treats

The full programme for Auckland Fringe arts festival 2019 has landed,  with a giant international announcement for the blockbuster programme featuring Russian protest art collective,  Pussy Riot, making their New Zealand debut in Auckland for one night only. 

One of the most important voices of protest this millennium, Pussy Riot have become synonymous with rebellion and freedom of expression. Gaining global notoriety in 2012 when three members – Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich – were imprisoned for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for their performance inside

Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Pussy Riot are known around the world for their provocative guerrilla performances in public places. In Auckland, the feminist protest punk rock group will present Pussy Riot: Riot Days – a live accompaniment to Alyokhina’s memoir Riot Days, that merges punk, electronica, theatre, documentary footage and protest.

Performing in Auckland Town Hall’s Great Hall on Friday 22 February, Pussy Riot are part of Auckland Live’s Fringe Town programme – a collection of innovative and out-of-the-box arts experiences taking over the Auckland Town Hall.

Multi-award winning choreographer Malia Johnston and creative team Eden Mulholland and Rowan Pierce (Rushes, Meremere), return to also headline Fringe Town with Movement of the Human. The formidable trio reimagine the Auckland Town Hall’s Concert Chamber from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 February with an extraordinary series of performances mixing dance, music and light, in a way that will change your perception of the iconic building.

Completing the main Fringe Town line-up is Satellite’s K-Pop Party in the Great Hall on Saturday 23 February. Curated by, and featuring Rina Chae, this all-ages event features dance crews Street Candee and 603 alongside violinist Hannah Lee and singer-songwriter Jua. 

Auckland Live’s full Fringe Town line-up will be announced on Monday 14 January.

The Auckland Fringe programme is now live, with over 91 events happening over 13 days, right across the city. Among the huge range of cool and quirky experiences on offer, punters can indulge in film screenings, one-on-one experiences, guided tours, spoken word and poetry performances, a choose-your-own-adventure family friendly show, fundraisers, cooking classes, performance and installation art, live surround sound experiences, and even dates with ghosts, as well as the classics of theatre, music, comedy, drag and dance shows to whet everyone’s appetite.

More local heroes have also signed up to be part of the fringey fun. Billy T 2018 nominees Two Hearts (Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore) debut their latest extravaganza HEARTcore Karaoke in a late-night show of interactive musical comedy and live karaoke. Ashton Brown’s sell-out Comedy Festival show has its final Auckland run in the return season of Dying To Meet You. Film aplenty in The Bub Club Film Archive – a series of LOL-inducing arthouse films by the likes of Angella Dravid (Billy T winner 2017) and Hamish Parkinson (Billy T winner 2015) that were rejected from art galleries for being too funny, and from TV for being too weird. The online sensation PSUSY, which picked up Best Web Series at the 2018 LA Film Festival, returns to the screen in Auckland, complete with never-before-seen footage (and bloopers!), and a Q&A session with the creators. Award-winning Proudly Asian Theatre premiere their latest offering, Tide Waits For No Man: Episode Grace in a powerful non-verbal show performed by three Kiwi-Asian women. A-capella gospel super group The Jubilation Choir take over TAPAC with some of our finest singers including Jackie Clarke and Jennifer Ward-Lealand stepping up to the mic with a huge range of powerful tunes. And winner of the Most Innovative Work and PAANZ Tourmakers awards at NZ Fringe this year, How To Write An Album comes north when The Undercuts attempt to write and record another album from scratch in 12 hours, with a new song every hour.

Especially noteworthy in the 2019 programme is the calibre of the international artists making their way to Auckland Fringe. Baltimore-based and self-titled ‘sound nerd’ duo Hamerkop, consisting of American Adam Cooke and ex-Bachelorette and ex-Cantabrian Annabel Alpers, make the trek to premiere their latest work Remote; British theatre company Heady Conduct make their international debut at the Auckland Fringe with their physical storytelling, bringing to life Greek myths in TIRESIAS; feminist poetry organisation Girls on Key present a celebration of female poets and poetry film Girls to the Front, featuring Australian Charlotte Raymond and Australian/Belgian Dominique Hecq, alongside local talent in an evening that will also act as a charity fundraiser; and US photographer, author, performance artist and social media sensation Andrew Choate debuts his work to Auckland audiences after winning the Warwick Broadhead Memorial Award at the 2016 Dunedin Fringe.

Festival director Lydia Zanetti says that continuing to attract world-class talent to our shores is a testament to the on-going development of the festival in Aotearoa’s largest city.

"The little festival that could has grown in leaps and bounds, and we are honoured to be presenting Pussy Riot - one of the stand-out events at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 - on our own feisty stomping ground. Fringe festivals represent world-famous names down to artists that are stretching their wings for the first time, and the plethora of talent, bold ideas and pure weirdness is a beautiful encapsulation of everything Tāmaki Makaurau has to offer" - Lydia Zanetti, director of Auckland Fringe


The full Auckland Fringe 2019 programme brings the fest to:

  • 91 unique events, performances and installations
  • 13 days
  • 60 per cent world premieres
  • 52 venue spaces around the region
  • 19 awesome internationals
  • 26 free or pay what you can events - keeping it super accessible!
  • 2nd year of the festival being annual