Farley's Arcade: The Wildest Place in Town
Dunedin marks 150 years of city status with an original multi-media performance event presented by WoW! Productions Trust. Farley’s Arcade: The Wildest Place in Town will be a guided, immersive theatre experience that envisions Dunedin’s former premier commercial district as it might have been in 1865; the year it became New Zealand’s first city.
Presented as the cornerstone event within the biennial Dunedin Heritage Festival.
The audience will promenade through the historic and cavernous Athenaeum Building in the Octagon, through the literal and metaphorical layers of the city and engage with ‘lost’ features such as the Royal Arcade and Toitū stream. Borrowing the retro-futuristic ethos of steampunk, Farley Arcade draws inspiration from an article written in 1862, by a reporter who documented his visit to the original arcade on a Saturday night and concluded:
‘...the Arcade of all Arcades. It is, sui generis, a thing of itself - the creation of a bold speculator, and deep financier - a universal emporium - a public mart - a commercial multum in parvo, and a depot for the reception of every description of merchandise, edibles, drinkables, wearables, and (if the word be good English) smokables. It is an inlet and an outlet; a rendezvous - a trysting place. There is no word or number of words, in the English language which could convey to a stranger what Farley’s Arcade is, or is not like. It is an Otagonian phenomenon...’ - Otago Daily Times Issue 205, 5 August 1862
Members of the local arts community will recreate the carnival and wonder of Henry Farley’s Royal Arcade and its inhabitants, including a troop of Victorian actors presenting a bespoke mini-melodrama, The Golden Handkerchief, by Richard Huber.
Show season runs from 28 August to 6 September.
Athenaeum, Octagon, Dunedin.
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Post submitted by Zoe Robson