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March in the Park

The War Memorial Park was the venue for this two-day event on the weekend of March 1st and 2nd.

Slip of the Tongue
"Slip of the Tongue" performing Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

On Saturday evening "Slip of the Tongue" returned to Te Awamutu for the third time to perform outdoor Shakespeare. "The Tempest" is set on a lost island where Prospero weaves his magic over all who enter.
The lost Prince, the grieving court and the drunken butler are all subject to his 'art'. The Tempest was directed by Alec Forbes, with local connections Graeme Cairns (The Laird McGillicuddy) playing Prospero and Tania Smeaton playing Ariel. Other key characters were Miranda (Penny Wilson) and Caliban (Adrian Holroyd). The play started at 7:00pm, ran through a stunning background sunset, finishing under lights at 9:30pm.

Kelly Tauroa

The Free Concert in the Park was held between 3:00pm and 7:00pm Sunday.

Opening the show at 3pm was blues and jazz singer Kelly Tauroa (right) of Te Awamutu, who performed a mixture of original material and covers. She was joined for some numbers by jazz guitarist Cameron Olsen, also originally from Te Awamutu.

Mr Olsen's Raglan-based band Heavy Lounge Suite followed (below). The band played a mix of jazz tones, moody blues and Latin grooves. Also included in their repertoire was an impressive didgeridoo piece.

Heavy Lounge Suite
Heavy Lounge Suite


Third act was Te Awamutu's own Irish band Shenanigans (above), featuring banjo player Brian Jeffs of Te Awamutu, Kihikihi's Jane Blackler on fiddle and Hamiltonians Keith Maynard (guitar and vocals) and Denise Hudson (bass). Adding to the Celtic flavour, they were joined at the end of their set by piper (and Waipa District Councillor) Gaidyn Flay.


Closing the show was Pennydrop (above), the band featuring musicians from Te Awamutu, Ohaupo and Hamilton.
Pennydrop played originals in the style of melodic pop.
While the band has been around for about four years, the current six piece line-up playing original Kiwi pop and rock music is just a year old. It features Colin Jacobs of Te Awamutu on trumpet, Hamiltonians Brad Wallbank (songwriting, guitar and vocals), Tobin Pescud (guitar), Martin Finney (bass) and from Kaipaki Sue (vocals) and Luke (drums) Elliot.

New Zealand comedian Roso (Grant Rosoman) was guest MC for the concert. Roso has been part of the New Zealand comedy scene since the 1980's, and is also well known through his various television appearances as actor and advertising star.

This event was organised by Dean Taylor and supported by Te Awamutu Alive and sponsors Curtains Plus, Temco, Rhapsody Outdoor Furniture, McDonald's Te Awamutu, Livingstone Building, Roadrunner Motel, The Redoubt Comedy Club, The Warehouse Te Awamutu, Couplands Transport, Mystery Creek Events, Y99.3 and Te Awamutu Courier.