Western BOP residents get chance to Escape!

Cambridge crime novelist Nikki Crutchley.

Rising from the ashes of June’s cancelled event, a slimmed-down version of the popular Escape! festival will take place in Tauranga on October 17-18.

The Tauranga Arts Festival Trust Board was adamant Western Bay of Plenty residents shouldn’t miss the ‘little festival with big ideas’ in 2020 and is staging the event out of its own reserves.

“We’re choosing to take the financial risk as every board member firmly believes the arts are the heart and soul of community,” says board chair Kathryn Lellman. “We think people are ready for Escape!”

Guests include Tom Scott, whose new book is a biography of Kiwi war hero Charles Upham, the only combat soldier to have been awarded two Victoria Cross medals; Te Radar, who plans a jaunt down some surprising byways in our history; Cambridge crime novelist Nikki Crutchley; Annette Lees and her social history of outdoor swimming; business commentator Rod Oram; Taupo writer Tina Shaw, whose novel ‘Ephemera’, published just before lockdown, deals with a New Zealand devastated by a pandemic; and award-winning science communicator Shaun Hendy.

Among Tauranga-area talent on-stage is short story writer and GP Dr Andrew Corin, small-town champion Karen Summerhays, marine scientist Dr Kura Paul-Burke, hospital chaplain Matiu Best and bird expert Paul Cuming.

Panel discussions include the increasing use of Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) alongside Western science; how to talk about death and dying with our loved ones; and a look at the strangeness of 2020 from a political, business, sustainability and community point of view.

The October 17 events take place at Waikato University in Durham St, Tauranga, while October 18’s events are at Baycourt Theatre, also in Durham St. Most tickets are $20. Day passes are $60, student tickets (with ID) $5, however both exclude the Te Radar show which costs $30 per person.

Escape! Tickets are for sale from the Tauranga Arts Festival website or Baycourt box office. See the full programme at: taurangafestival.co.nz



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