There’s nothing quite like combining our favourite pastimes – eating, drinking and repeat – with the Fringe. It’s also a chance to enjoy a taste of our former home, with many New Zealanders making their mark on the world’s biggest arts festival. Here are some of the shows we’re looking forward to:


Modern Maori Quartet: That’s Us!

These boys we really can’t wait to see. Putting their spin on music both old and not-so-old, they’re best described as the Maori “Rat Pack” – a talented group who are handsome, hilarious and harmonious.

Their inspiration is New Zealand’s show-bands of the 60s & 70s, which merged the style of Sinatra with Maori strum. A unique genre boasting the likes of Dalvanius & the Fascinations, the Maori Hi Five, and The Howard Morrison Quartet.

It’s with a skilful mix of humour, dance and killer harmonies the Modern Maori Quartet pays a loving tribute.


James Nokise: Britain, Let’s Talk About the Golliwogs

Who better to tackle Britain’s race relations than a Samoan / Welsh comedian from New Zealand? On second thought, don’t answer that. Instead, go see James Nokise address the mixed-race elephant in the room.

Having befriended this talented comedian at last year’s Fringe, we can assure you he’s both extremely funny and great fun at parties. He’s also rather adept at multitasking, as this is just one of three shows he’s performing in. See also Puppet Fiction (featured later in this article) and Too Soon: Jokes from the Future.


Binge Culture:

For a start we love the name, but more importantly, the men and women of “Binge” delight in bending the rules of traditional theatre. This year they’re bringing three very different productions to Edinburgh.


Break Up (We Need to Talk) charts a relationship from beginning to bitter end. A non-scripted piece that – like most relationships – promises comedy, devastation and emotional blackmail. Now don’t freak out, but it’s also five hours long, with audience members encouraged to come and go as they please.

Meanwhile the award-winning Whales offers a conservation theme. Imagine, if you will, a pod of these amazing creatures stranded in George Square Gardens. Under the guidance of the Response Team (armed with water and towels), it’s then up to the audience to save them.

And finally there’s Ancient Shrines and Half Truths which, thanks to a smartphone app, sends you on an unsettling tour of Edinburgh. En route you’ll discover actors and landmarks intended to mess with your head. The journey begins at Summerhall.


David Correos & Matt Stellingwerf: Chaos & Order


Making their Edinburgh Fringe debut, these boys promise two shows for the price of one, as well as comedy that’s both smart and stupid.

On the one hand we have Matt Stellingwerf (pictured right), a thoughtful and intelligent satirist. He’s also a trained criminologist, which has seen him mix with serial killers and other death-row inmates. We happily suspect his comedy may be equally as dark.

And then there’s David Correos, who has little time for subtlety. In fact, he’s much more likely to strap a bread knife to his head and dance like a madman. Renowned for taking risks, and properly putting his body on the line, we’re most definitely intrigued.


Juan Vesuvias: I Am Your Deejay

Now this man is either mad as a bush, or a total genius. Actually, perhaps both. Juan Vesuvius is a calypso comedy legend created by actor Barnie Duncan, offering the strangest DJ set you’re likely to experience.

Sexy, original, and in your face (sometimes quite literally) it’s billed as an eruption that cannot be plugged. Yes, well, fair enough. We saw him in 2016, and can promise you he’s offbeat as f**k.

Adding to the excitement, Barnie is also performing a show with Trygve Wakenshaw called Different Party. What it’s actually about we’re not quite sure, as all the official publicity says is to call Ruck’s leather interiors for more information.

We did, but are still none the wiser. Suffice to say it too will probably be offbeat as f**k.


The Road That Wasn’t There


While family viewing isn’t too high on our priority list, this dark fable combining puppetry and live music looks rather promising. From Trick of the Light Theatre, the show has already picked up a stack of awards, including: Best Children’s Event at both Fringe World Perth, and Adelaide Fringe 2016.

In the vein of Neil Gaiman and Pan’s Labyrinth, it’s pitched at adults and older children, telling the story of a girl who follows a map off the edge of the world. Then things really get complicated.


Puppet Fiction


Though if you are leaving the kids at home: Everybody be cool, this is a motherf*cking puppet show!

Yes the fabulous and award-winning homage to Pulp Fiction is returning to Edinburgh. We saw it last year, and absolutely loved it.

Jon Coddington, who makes the amazing marionettes, is joined by Anya Tate Manning and James Nokise. Together they offer a show that’s genius, with each performance tackling a different story arc from the movie. Expect plenty of laughter, ad-lib, and the occasional puppet-related mishap.

Like its inspiration, this show is cult viewing.