What to experience at Auckland Arts Festival 2019

Theatre, dance, circus, cabaret, music, visual arts and family shows, Auckland Arts Festival 2019 has it all. There's a lot to choose from, so here are our top recommendations.

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Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland Arts Festival will once again bring together artists from across New Zealand and the world to inspire, provoke, and entertain. Across it’s 2.5 weeks, the Festival will become a place for ambitious ideas to be shared by storytellers, provocateurs, and creators.

Auckland Arts Festival reflects our contemporary, cosmopolitan city with its many communities. It challenges artists and audiences to be bold and take a risk, while aiming to unify, enlighten and inspire the people of Auckland and its visitors.

The Festival will run from Thursday 7 March until Sunday 24 March, showcasing a vast programme of over 42 individual events that celebrate people and culture, investigate important issues facing the world today, and offer audiences a chance to escape.

There’s a lot of choice, but we’re here to help with our top picks for 2019.


The Magic Flute

This breath-taking and fantastically fun contemporary interpretation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute will have an exclusive New Zealand season at the Festival. The brilliant production that fuses the virtuosity of live opera with interactive, animated projections has been seen by over half a million people in over 22 cities across the world. It’ll come to ASB Theatre from Friday 8 March until Sunday 10 March.

A Synthesized Universe

A unique collaboration between critically-acclaimed musician Anthonie Tonnon and Stardome’s planetarium, A Synthesized Universe is a show of total wonder and immersion – a 360-degree performance using awe-inspiring science and a surreal sense of storytelling to take audiences on an interstellar journey through the known universe. Travel away at Stardome Observatory from Wednesday 20 March until Sunday 24 March.

Death Cab For Cutie

Let us indulge our emo hearts for a minute, because Seattle icons Death Cab for Cutie are heading our way. From their acclaimed breakthrough LP 2003’s Transatlanticism to their emotionally engaging new album Thank You For Today, Death Cab for Cutie have had our attention. They’ll bring their impressive catalogue to The Civic on Thursday 14 March.



Astroman is a funny and delightful coming-of-age story by one of New Zealand’s most respected playwrights, Albert Belz. Hemi ‘Jimmy’ Te Rehua is the king of the Whakatāne Astrocade Amusement Parlour but, while his there is no limit to his domination of the Pac Man and Galaga high-score charts, the boy genius hasn’t yet worked out how to beat the game of life. There will be laughter, mischief, and an epic ’80s soundtrack when Astroman comes to Q Theatre from Saturday 16 March until Sunday 24 March.

Wild Dogs Under My Skirt

A brand-new production of the widely-acclaimed stage adaptation of New Zealander Tusiata Avia’s fearless and vivacious poetry collection Wild Dogs Under My Skirt is set to empower. Alive with the energy and rhythm of raw and lyrical performance poetry and oral traditions, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt will challenge your perceptions of culture, life, and love and celebrate what it is to be a Samoan woman. It’ll take place at Q Theatre from Tuesday 5 March until Monday 11 March.

A Man of Good Hope

After playing to audiences across Africa, UK and Europe as well as seasons in New York and London, A Man of Good Hope will touch down in Aotearoa. An epic musical theatre production with 22 performers who tell, sing and dance the remarkable true story of Asad, a boy who must escape the ravages of civil war in his home of Somalia as he seeks refuge in South Africa, A Man of Good Hope is uplifting and enlightening. It’ll run at ASB Waterfront Theatre from Thursday 14 March until Monday 18 March.


Blanc De Blanc

From the creators of LIMBO and Cantina comes BLANC de BLANC, an adults only circus-cabaret gem that will be making its home in the beloved Spiegeltent. It’ll be a wild and fizzy night of breathtaking acrobatics, swinging tunes, bare skin and more than a few surprises. Performances take place from Thursday 7 March until Sunday 24 March.


As It Stands

As It Stands is a powerful, awe-inspiring new dance work from New Zealand dance visionary Ross McCormack, and his company Muscle Mouth. It’s a bold, breathtaking, and powerful dance masterpiece that places eight world-class dancers in a sculptural landscape and pushes the limits of virtuosic dance and design. It’ll transform ASB Waterfront Theatre from Friday 8 March until Sunday 10 March.

Auckland Arts Festival will run from Thursday 7 March until Sunday 24 March. Early bird tickets are available until Monday 3 December via