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Books, Irishmen, Singers & Magic - Kokomai Creative Festival update

Featherston Booktown (photo credit Pete Monk)

On Saturday we headed over to Featherston Booktown & were delighted to find a town abuzz with creative energy, all centred around books. We started at the quirky emporium Mr Feather's Den & worked our way around town from Anzac Hall - full to the brim with book sellers & book lovers - to St Theresa's school where we witnessed a range of activities, including paper marbling & book binding. There were stations of activity set up at various point around the town, historical talks, creative workshops, murals & artistic window displays with literary themes we adored.

Featherston Booktown was inspiring, creative & most of all a fantastic demonstration of community action at it's finest. The background work in putting this together was evident in the passion on display & the engagement of the town, not a computer in sight - it was all about books, creativity & inspiration. We are definitely looking forward to the next "Featherston Booktown", huge congratulations to all involved in this event which is most definitely one of the finest we've seen in our region.

Roesy & The Seisiún - at the Village Café Martinborough

Saturday afternoon we called into the Village Café Martinborough for an Irish music extravaganza, just in from Ireland Roesy & the Seisiún, kicked off their New Zealand tour right here in Martinborough. Headed by acclaimed Irish musician Roesy & the incredibly talented Seisiún - an entourage of singers, musicians & dancers filled the Martinborough Village Cafe with authentic Irish tunes, songs & jigs - we were all humming along as they played, danced & joked their way through a 75 minute set.

We laid back & enjoyed gorgeous harmonies with impeccable strings, accordion, concertina & strong vocals. Interspersed with Irish humour such as "here's an Irish jig we wrote, if you can think of a name for it, write it down on a $50 note & give it to me!" The players were relaxed but never missed a beat, despite having a near wardrobe catastrophe when their luggage didn't quite arrive in time for the show. In fact Liam Scanlon, their champion Irish dancer, had to wear someone else's clothes for the show, but worst of all his dancing shoes had not arrived. In true Irish style he borrowed shows from colleague David & the show went on. We loved every moment & recommend you see them if you can as they tour NZ.

Sing it to my Face, Martinborough Town Hall

Sunday - "Sing it to my Face" by Jo Randerson (director/writer), Julian Raphael (composer/musical director) & performed by community choirs, this event took us on a journey which was mesmerising, thought provoking & reflective. The intergenerational singers expressed through song issues of relevance to each age group. Each generation sang to their theme, middle age enduring, questioning, the older adults peaceful! reflective wisdom, young adults, feisty, challenging, ready to face anything & last to perform were the children, refreshing, magical, the innocence of youth....their catch phrase "hoping the dinosaurs will come back"....in the end all age groups admitting working to understand each other was the key, agreeing "it's not gonna happen easily".

We found this performance incredibly moving, a privilege to witness, a credit to the production team & the hard working community choir. Speaking to producer Gina Moss of Barbarian productions after the show it was evident hours of work had gone into this polished show, Count yourself lucky to have been part of this, acknowledment to all involved.

Squaring the Wheel - Monday night at Carterton Events Centre

This quirky, endearing & clever Monday night performance was truly impressive & a great show for the kids. Weaving a magical spell of puppetry, quirky contraptions & clever audience engagement over 60 minutes then followed by an interactive session, this showis every tinkers dream! We could just imagine children having witnessed the magical vaudeville style show going home to tinker, juggle & create!

We're loving the Kokomai Cretiave Festival, each performance unique & inspiring still so much more to come. Make sure you go along to as many of the shows as you can!

Comments from the Festival

"We're really pleased with how things went for the first weekend of the Festival. It's hard to pick a highlight because we've had such great feedback and very professional events.

A special shout out must go to Featherston Booktown who managed to put on such a great event in difficult weather conditions and to the performer from Leo who got off a 25 hour flight and then performed two highly physical, mind bending shows in front of over 500 people. Two stunning performances"

There is still 5 days of events to go to and tickets are left to most including Promise and Promiscuity and The Road That Wasn't There Thursday night."

Tickets here

Trish Higginson & Karina Hailwood Creative Directors
Martinborough Village
"Let us show you the magic of our town"

Copyright MV 2015
enquiries to karina@martinborough-village.co.nz