Karen Koren: Talent search

Orla O'Louglin artistic director, Traverse Theatre
Orla O'Louglin artistic director, Traverse Theatre
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I AM in Wellington, at the New Zealand Festival. It’s a long way to go, at least 30 hours travelling to get here, but absolutely worth it.

It’s nice to enjoy a little heat after the cold of Scotland - the weather is a very pleasant 25 degrees - and the city of Wellington holds such charm.

I am part of a delegation of arts producers and promoters from all over the world and it is a bit scary to be part of such a delegation.

So it was a big relief to see Orla O’Louglin (pictured) was also part of the group. Orla is the artistic director of the Traverse Theatre, where her programming is very much about new writing.

We are both on a panel that will discuss world trends in arts programming. This is pretty daunting from my point of view, as I have spent the last day or so meeting other artistic directors and producers, many of whom I have never met but know of through their festivals.

Another delegate I do know is Wolfgang Hoffman, who created the Fringe venue Aurora Nova at St Stephen’s Church.

The press have said Aurora Nova’s Fringe programme was one that led you ‘straight to the kind of material you don’t know you’ve been craving until you finally get to see it.’

Anyway, the delegation was taken to a welcome ceremony by our hosts. It was at the Museum of New Zealand and we received a Powhiri traditional welcome.

It was very moving - the welcoming party sings a welcome and the recipients have to sing back. Very touching.

Then on the first day, we went to three shows. The last is one I want to bring to Edinburgh. It was surprising that Orla was interested in the same production.

We all sat together after the show and discussed who could do best for the show.

I’m not sure, but I think I won. Time will tell, look out for Sweet Child of Mine, by Bron Batten, at the Fringe.