Busy Ten Days program to bring Launceston alive

DAME Kiri Te Kanawa at the Princess Theatre,  a flurry of circus acts in 20 minutes, and iconic Tasmanian wilderness photography back in the spotlight.

These, amid a score of other cultural events, are about to bring Launceston alive as part of Ten Days on the Island.

The biennial statewide arts festival was officially launched in Launceston last night and director Jo Duffy's message was ``get ready, Launceston . . . it's going to be a fun ride _ 10 days jam-packed with exciting events''.

While Ten Days on the Island opens on March 15, the first act on the program _  21 Circus Acts in 20 minutes _   actually spins into life a day earlier and some events spin out beyond March 24 as a legacy of the official 10-day program.

``It's a busy program but one we believe offers exciting events for all ages and families and it's happening in  churches, theatres and galleries to cafes and vineyards in and close to town,'' Ms Duffy said.

It's Ms Duffy's first Ten Days on the Island as artistic director and she said she was excited by the expansive program.

While Dame Kiri and other international performers such as Afro-Creole reggae singer Grace Barbe and Corsican polyphonic ensemble A Filetta are program coups, Ms Duffy is also delighted that the program offers many works created in Tasmania as well as world premieres.

Ms Duffy said Ten Days was particularly proud to be among the first to celebrate NBN connection in Tasmania through a courageous collaboration between Hobart playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, Terrapin Puppet Theatre and  the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Called Shadow Dreams, the futuristic work will be performed in Hobart, but will also be screened simultaneously to a live audience in Burnie and Launceston. 

FACT FILE

WHAT: Ten Days on the Island.

WHERE: Launceston and environs.

WHEN: March 15 to 24.

INQUIRIES, BOOKINGS: www.tendaysontheisland  or at the Princess Theatre Box Office on 63233666. 

``It's beguiling theatre about two boys sharing a dream. It's exciting, it's creative ... exactly what Ten Days is all about.''

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