Kurt Cobain as a teenager, from the new film Cobain: Montage of Heck. Picture / Supplied.

21 Things to Do in May

Where to eat, shop, watch and visit around the country this month

1. Nautilus
Trygve Wakenshaw’s one-man show is stand-up comedy, mime and impersonations all rolled into one 80-minute gig.
Nautilus, Herald Theatre, May 1 and 2, 8.30pm

2. TEDx
There are 16 speakers at this year’s Auckland event and 12 at the dedicated Waiheke edition, which provides a platform for ideas, story-telling, and actionable innovation.
TEDxAucklandVictory Convention Centre, Auckland, May 2 and TEDxWaiheke, Waiheke High School, May 16

3. The Christchurch Food Show
If you fancy tasting the latest local and international culinary delights, need a bit of recipe inspiration or want to learn cooking techniques, the Christchurch Food Show is at your disposal.
— Horncastle Arena, May 1-3

4. The Bread and Butter Letter Clothes Swap
Bring in your old clothes and leave with someone else's at the seasonal Clothes Swap in Auckland. Half the money from the gold coin entry charge will be donated to aid victims of the Nepal earthquake, and any left over clothes will be given to The Koha Shed.
— Pitt St Methodist Hall, May 20, from 6pm

5. Workshop Outlet
Seconds, samples and end-of-line stock from designers such as Helen Cherry, Acne, Isabel Marant Etoile and Alexander Wang are being sold at Workshop’s Outlet, which has reopened this month for a limited time.
— 50 Cook St, Wednesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm

6. Fairtrade Fortnight
There are events all around the country for Fairtrade Fortnight, which aims to raise awarness for farmers and workers in developing countries.
Fairtrade Fortnight runs from May 8-22

7. Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival
There are 20 films included in this year’s film festival, including Maker, a feature-length documentary about Do-It-Yourself communities in the United States, and The Nature of Modernism, a film about architect E. Stewart Williams, who set the tone for Palm Springs’ aesthetic.
The Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival is in Auckland from May 7-20 at Rialto Cinemas.

8. Cobain: Montage of Heck
Never-before-seen home movies, journals, art projects and unreleased music and audio have been used for this fully authorised documentary about Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, taking an intimate look at the legend’s discovery of punk rock in his teens to the 1991 breakout hit Smells Like Teen Spirit, his relationships and his status as a style icon.
Cobain: Montage of Heck is in cinemas from May 7

9. Auckland Writers Festival 2015
An impressive line up of novelists, poets and children’s literary stars are coming to this year’s writer’s festival, which runs over five days in Auckland. Headliner Haruki Murakami’s event is already sold out, although there are still plenty of tickets available for workshops, events and talks with some of the best in literature.
— The festival runs from May 7-13 at the Aotea Centre

10. New Zealand Music Month
May is all about New Zealand music, with some of the best artists performing in venues around the country, including experimental pop musician Princess Chelsea's album release tour.
Princess Chelsea with the Purple Pilgrims, Bespin and The Beths at the King's Arms, Auckland, May 3

Lisa Reihana's In Pursuit of Venus. Picture / Supplied.

11. In Pursuit of Venus
For her latest exhibition, artist Lisa Reihana has transformed a 19th century artwork depicting an idealised European view of the South Pacific and its people into a huge panoramic video.
— Auckland Art Gallery, until August 30

12. La Cenerentola
Rossini’s quirky opera, playing in Wellington this month, is a Cinderella story featuring tyrannical stepfathers, beggar-philosophers, a prince, and a silver bangle standing instead of a glass slipper.
— St James Theatre, Wellington, May 9-16

13. You Can Sense the Desperation
Comedian and TV star Guy Williams’ show at this year’s Comedy Festival aims to “please everyone all the time”.
— Montecristo, 53 Nelson St, until May 16

14. Paintings of the Sun
Over 12 months, experimental artist Simon Ingram used a machine that interprets radio signals to create a series of 30 black-on-white circular works, which are displayed at the Gow Langsford Gallery.
— 26 Lorne St, until May 23

15. Bridal Showcase
Those planning a wedding are invited to visit The Langham in Auckland for one day only, where bubbles, wedding cakes, and flower arrangements will be displayed in some of the hotel’s venues, including The Great Room, the more modest Chandelier Room, and the new Crystal Room. 
— The Langham, Symonds St, Auckland, May 16

16. Pearl Jewellery Exhibition
Taking inspiration from a pearl exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2013, 12 artists have used the oceanic treasures as a starting point for works being displayed at Auckland’s Masterworks Gallery.
— 71 Upper Queen St, Newton, Auckland, May 4-27

17. A Celebration of Cannes
Winners and nominees of the Cannes Film Festival are premiering on the Rialto Channel this month, including Marion Cotillard’s Two Days, One Night, Blue is the Warmest Colour, The Past and The Great Beauty.
Rialto Channel 39, Sky

18. Vita Cochran: Her Abstracts
At the Anna Miles Gallery this month, textile designer Vita Cochran exhibiting a selection of handbags she has created by hand. Read more about Vita Cochran’s techniques here.
— Anna Miles Gallery, 10/30 Upper Queen St, until May 29

19. To Russia With Love
As part of the Documentary Edge Festival, To Russia With Love looks at the law that was passed in the lead up to the Olympic Games in Sochi banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”, and the conflict that created for some of the athletes.
To Russia With Love, Q Theatre, May 21, 8pm

20. Salute
To mark the Anzac centenary this year, The Royal New Zealand Ballet has collaborated with the New Zealand Army Band to bring us Salute, a programme of works including two world premieres.
Salute, Wellington, St James Theatre, May 22-24, and Christchurch, Isaac Theatre Royal, May 28-30

21. Tomorrowland
George Clooney and Hugh Laurie star in Disney’s latest film, which is centred around a former boy genius and an optimistic teen who embark on a danger-filled mission.
Tomorrowland is in cinemas from May 28

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