September is proving to be a month packed with a line-up of exceptional cultural events to keep you happily busy. From a series of incredible theatrical events to orchestral wonders to an at exhibition you really don’t want to miss, our September Culture guide is filled with everything you need to visit or book tickets to this month.
Liam Gerrard at Sanderson Contemporary
In his latest exhibition, Unfurling at Sanderson Contemporary, artist Liam Gerrard invites viewers to contemplate the delicate dance of existence through his masterful artistry. Renowned for his exquisite renderings of hydrangeas in various stages of bloom and decay, Gerrard has also, over the last year, ventured into new territory by exploring the fleeting beauty of moths and is now adding the timeless allure of roses to his repertoire. Intricately detailed and executed with pastels and charcoal, Gerrard’s larger-than-life moth depictions serve as a poignant reminder of life’s transience (as some moths live for just a single day). In contrast, his roses, symbolising love, beauty and courage, capture the essence of their cyclical existence, spanning from six to a hundred years, mirroring the seasons of spring and winter.
Titled after the locations where these flowers were discovered, such as ‘Haggerston Park I & II,’ Gerrard’s newest works not only showcase his technical prowess but also delve into profound themes of time’s passage and the significance of fleeting moments in our lives. Unfurling is a testament to Gerrard’s ability to harness the fragility of existence into breathtaking works of art. On now until the 24th of September.
Dubbed ‘pitch-perfect’, this thrilling rendition of Switzerland stars Sarah Peirse as Patricia Highsmith, the best-selling and brilliant author responsible for penning The Talented Mr Ripley, who is now living as a recluse in the Swiss Alps, filling her days with cats, chain-smoking and a growing collection of antique weapons. But, when faced with a visit from her publisher, who insists she write one more Tom Ripley novel and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, a game of cat and mouse ensues, one that calls into question ideas of identity and the art of creation. Written with brilliant intelligence and enthralling tension, this white-knuckle meta-thriller from the Auckland Theatre Company in on from the 19th of September until the 7th of October at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, and will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
After a sell-out run at the New Zealand Comedy Festival, Gabby Anderson is bringing her Billy T nominated show back to Auckland audiences this September. Bad(ish) Teacher will land at Basement Theatre on Tuesday the 19th of September and run until Friday the 22nd of September, promising an hour of hilarious stand-up comedy, jam-packed with a range of side-splitting antics from Anderson’s years as a teacher. Set to be a seriously memorable night, this is one event you don’t want to miss.
Returning to where the phenomenon that is Synthony began, Synthony No.1 is taking audiences right back to the beginning. In this unmissable show, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra will team up with live vocalists, instrumentalists, DJs and a range of visual and sound effects to take us on a journey through a generation of dance music, with rousing, reinvented renditions of all the biggest club classics including Eric Prydz, Avicii, Energy52, Fat Boy Slim, Darude and many more. Taking place on Friday the 15th of September at the Auckland Town Hall, we suggest securing your tickets immediately, as this one is sure to sell out.
This high-energy comedy-drama, with original music and larger-than-life characters, is set in Paris in the summer of 1733, where protagonist Émilie du Châlet’s work has stalled and she feels she cannot face another, gossip-fuelled social event. Little does she know she is about to fall in love with a poet, and he, in turn, is about to meet his intellectual match. This is the untold story of the famed mistress of Voltaire, France’s most revered philosophers and writers. Taking place at Q Theatre from the 19th until the 23rd of September, this entertaining and enthralling play should be high on your list this September.
Australian country music sensation, Morgan Evans, is set to bring his electrifying country sound to Auckland’s Powerstation in an upcoming concert that is sure to leave fans in awe. Performing with his signature loop pedal, Evans will deliver a solo set that showcases his exceptional talent. The audience can expect a night of infectious melodies and heartfelt lyrics, with chart-topping hits like ‘Kiss Somebody’ and ‘Day Drunk’ creating an electric atmosphere. Evans’ upcoming performance at Powerstation is poised to solidify his status as a rising star in the country music scene, and fans are eagerly anticipating an unforgettable night.
Half of the Sky
Promising an exquisite theatrical experience, Half of the Sky blends the masterful storytelling of internationally renowned writer and actor Lennie James with the raw talent of the Massive Theatre Company ensemble. Taking place at the Aotea Centre from the 12th until the 16th of September, this emotionally charged production weaves a tapestry of love, loss and the unbreakable bonds of family, all set against the stunning backdrop of a weekend celebration by the riverside. With a delicate balance of humour and heart-wrenching moments, this play delves into the essence of human connection, offering a poignant exploration of life’s profound complexities. Prepare to be captivated by a cast that brilliantly portrays a range of gritty and multifaceted characters, making Half of the Sky a must-see event on this month’s cultural calendar.
Prepare to be enraptured by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra’s upcoming performance featuring Mozart’s Symphony No.40. Under the baton of conductor Eivind Aadland and accompanied by the virtuoso violinist Ilya Gringolts, the evening promises an unforgettable musical journey.
The programme also includes Andrea Tarrodi’s ‘Lucioles’, an enchanting tone-poem inspired by fireflies, and Prokofiev’s exhilarating ‘Violin Concerto No.1′, which showcases Gringolts’ dazzling talent. Mozart’s ‘Symphony No.40’, filled with urgency and passion, will transport audiences through its haunting melodies and moments of light, ultimately revealing a profound sense of tragedy and anguish. This is a night of music not to be missed, offering a blend of artistry and emotion that will leave a lasting impression.
In a highly-anticipated musical event, pre-eminent singer, songwriter and international artist, Tim Finn, is making a triumphant return to the stage in Auckland this September. Celebrating his illustrious career with The Lives and Times Of Tim Finn concert tour, Finn’s enduring legacy in Australian and New Zealand music takes centre stage once more. With a setlist spanning over four decades, the concert promises a mesmerising journey through the iconic hits of Split Enz, Crowded House and of course, his prolific solo career. This is a rare opportunity to witness a living legend in action, and promises to be a grand night out for all music enthusiasts.
Dirty Dancing in Concert
Take yourself back in time for a cinematic and musical extravaganza as the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra presents Dirty Dancing in Concert. This groundbreaking event offers a unique film-to-concert experience, featuring the digitally remastered classic film on a full-sized cinema screen. As you relive the timeless love story of Baby and Johnny set in the enchanting summer of 1963, a live band and singers will perform the iconic soundtrack that marked a generation. After the film, an encore party will keep the nostalgia alive, allowing you to sing and dance to your favourite songs from Dirty Dancing. This is an evening of pure, cinematic joy, not to be missed.