Friday, April 27, 2018

Escape Festival in Tauranga

This year’s Escape! festival in Tauranga offers an intriguing mix of the up-and-coming as well as established names in fields as diverse as politics and food.

“It all came together fairly easily,” Tauranga Arts Festival director Jo Bond says, “which is, I think, a reflection of the reputation our sassy little festival with the big ideas is gaining as a thought-provoking and fun weekend.”

In its third iteration Escape!, which takes place at Queen’s Birthday weekend (June 1-4), has attracted young guns Max Harris (politics), Monique Fiso (food) and social issues writer Emma Espiner, alongside political cartoonist and columnist Tom Scott, activist Sue Bradford, comedian Michele A’Court, food writer Allyson Gofton, novelists Laurence Fearnley and Paula Morris, doctor-poet Glenn Colquhoun, founder of the Te Araroa Walkway of New Zealand Geoff Chapple, financial journalist Bernard Hickey and Middlemore Hospital intensive care specialist Dr David Galler.

There will also a healthy contingent of locals on stage, including Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, climate change activist Mary Dillon, poet and businessman Harold Jones, singer Marion Arts and physicist Dr Simon Taylor.

Workshops are being taken by Laurence Fearnley (writing), Tom Scott (cartooning), Michele A’Court (comedy) and Monique Fiso (identifying native food plants), while Fiso is serving a 5-course dinner at Somerset Cottage in Bethlehem and Allyson Gofton is hosting a French-theme morning tea and talking about her travels.

As well, there are two performances of the poetry-inspired ‘My Best Dead Friend’, an innovative one-woman show by Anya Tate-Manning which this year won the title, Best of Wellington Fringe Festival.

Tickets to Escape! (June 1-4), from or phone 0800 842 538. See the full programme at

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