Above: Fitz Bunny sets her sights on Auckland's top job. Copyright Grant Buist 2010.
The news headlines are currently dominated by the hotly contested race to be Auckland's first Super City Mayor. And in the time honoured tradition of 'Snoopy' and 'Howard the Duck', it wouldn't be a major election without a charismatic two dimensional candidate (and no, I'm not talking about John Banks).
Local cartoon character 'Fitz Bunny' has announced her candidacy for Mayor, launching her campaign with the well received musical: 'Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory', currently being performed by the Auckland Theatre Company at The Basement as part of this year's Young & Hungry Festival.
Fitz Bunny was created by cartoonist Grant Buist, first appearing in his long-running student newspaper comic-strip 'Brunswick' in 1993. A staple of Wellington student culture, 'Brunswick' has appeared in almost all of New Zealand's student newspapers, including 'Salient' and 'Craccum'. Proving to be one of the strip's stand-out characters, Fitz Bunny inspired Buist to write the musical comedy 'Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory' as part of Wellington's Young & Hungry Theatre Festival in 2007. An instant hit, the musical set box office records for the Festival, leading to this year's Auckland revival under the direction of Simon Coleman and starring Sara Stone as Fitz Bunny. For the new production, Grant Buist has updated the material to reflect it's new setting and Auckland city's mayoral race hi-jinks.
Above: A production photo of the cast of 'Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory' by Michael Smith. Copyright Michael Smith 2010.
It's ambitious mix of manic musical numbers and camp comedy has already earned it a rave review from the New Zealand Herald, describing the show as '..unlike anything you are likely to experience on stage but vaguely recalls the weird vitality of the Rocky Horror Picture Show or the surreal frenzy of early Split Enz performances'.
The Young & Hungry Festival is playing at The Basement Theatre till the 24th of July, so make sure you book tickets for it's final week! You can check out a trailer for the show HERE. And for more on Fitz Bunny's bid for Auckland's top job, stay tuned for an interview on 'Nightline' this Monday night on TV3 at 10.35pm, where she'll be outlining her political ambitions and policies.