When I told our travel agent Shelley Madsen back in the USA that we wanted to include the World Buskers Festival on our itinerary, she said, “Whaaat? Ive never heard of that!”
According to Wikipedia, “busking” is the art of performing in public places for a gratuity. Usually money.
The festival began on Jan. 19 with two evening performances, both of which we attended, both being indoors at Christ College.
First. . .the Pants Down Circus–
Four circus performers who amazed us with feats of strength, agility, and courage, all set to rock music. .. .Led Zeppelin, Queen, Kiss. We had paid just 10 bucks for tix, and at the end of the performance one of the guys said that money pays for the set up, staging, etc. and suggested a donation be thrown in the bucket. We did and have a Pants Down Circus sweatband to show for it!!
Next was Nina Conti with a show called In Your Face. IF YOU EVER HAVE THE CHANCE TO SEE HER. . .GO. DON’T HESITATE!!
She and her irreverent monkey, her audience participation, her masks that she puts on people, and her ventriloquist voices.. . .honestly, we were rolling on the floor laughing, crying, peeing our pants within the first 30 seconds. She uses half face masks and gets audience members to come onstage to create a different show nightly.
Her liberal use of poking good fun, remembering details about audience members’ responses, and Monkey’s flat out use of the F word made for an unforgettable evening.
It was out last night on the South Island, and Nina Conti left us with a fun, happy taste in our mouths as we prepared for our flight north.