Access is hugely important to us at Capital E.  That’s why we want to make it as easy as possible for you to attend these National Arts Festival shows.

Photo by David Rowland,

The Whale Rider, made famous by the 2002 film, uses puppets to tell the story of a brilliant young girl who is destined to become the leader of her tribe. Her life changes when she rescues an ancient whale beached in Whangara Harbour. The Whale Rider will have a New Zealand Sign Language interpreter, making it ideal for Deaf and hearing-impaired children and their families. This show is recommended for ages 3+, is free to attend, and takes place at Te Marae at Te Papa at 2pm on Saturday 18 March.

Photo by Tom Hoyle

Wellington’s Java Dance Theatre is premiering a delicious fusion of dance, theatre, music and cheese-making at Capital E’s National Arts Festival with Cheese. This delicious, visceral show takes audiences on a magical journey from milk to cheese, and features amazing animals, squirting milk jets, flying hay bales, dancing milkmaids and yodelling goatherds.

Before this show at 11.30am on Saturday 18 March at Mac’s Function Centre, there will be an opportunity for blind and visually impaired audience members to enjoy a touch tour of the set and meet the dancers and musicians. Descriptions of the more visual elements of Cheese will also be discussed during the tour, which will take place from 10.45am until 11.15am. Whanau and siblings of visually impaired audience members are welcome to join this tour. Buy tickets to Cheese and book your touch tour now!

Shu’s Song is returning to the stage in Capital E National Arts Festival. This beautiful story brings young audiences into the magical world of Shu, telling a tale of friendship without using dialog. Tis performance of Shu’s Song provides an important opportunity for people of different abilities to attend. The relaxed performance offers a warm welcome to people with autistic spectrum disorder, learning difficulties, sensory difficulties or anyone else who prefers a more accessible and dynamic performance environment.

Audience members at this show will receive information before the performance about what to expect from the venue and performance, be greeted by staff who can facilitate a relaxed environment, will be free to move around and make noise, will experience less intense lighting and sound levels, and will be given a quiet space outside the theatre to relax at any point in the show. Book your tickets for this relaxed performance of Shu’s Song now!