In the Spotlight

REVIEW: A Streetcar Named Desire (Silo Theatre)

by James Wenley in Silo

[A Streetcar Named Trump?] The cry that has resounded through the ages, courtesy of an iconic performance by Marlon Brando, is Stanley’s forceful “Stelllaaaaa” as he hollers for his wife to come back to him. Stella had taken refuge with the upstairs neighbours after Stanley had struck her. But in Silo’s production, Stella’s anguished and defeated cries of “Blanche” at the end of the play, are what linger in the memory. These painful sobs for her sister continue to haunt me as I write this. Tennessee William’s 1947 masterpiece used a domestic setting to reveal the fractures in the wider [...]

REVIEW: Starman (Auckland Live International Cabaret Season)

September 15, 2017
[The Stars Look Very Different Today] We begin with a voice-over with some out-of-this-world numbers: the number of people that have lived in all of human history is the same number of stars that there are in our universe. There’s a planet out there for each of us. Here’s something else amazing. What were the odds, out of all of […]

REVIEW: Aunty (The Basement)

September 13, 2017
[Fun Appetiser] Aunty, a solo show by Johanna Cosgrove, feels more like a party than a show. It is the foundation of its success, and a symptom of a fundamental flaw. But first, the good stuff. At the centre of the festivities is Aunty, an obnoxious, self-absorbed but loving woman, who has managed to pull her entire extended family (the […]

REVIEW: The Wholehearted (Massive Company)

September 11, 2017
[So Many Soapboxes, So Little Time] The Wholehearted is a meditation on emotional vulnerability. Devised by its cast (Bree Peters, Milo Cawthorne, Villa Lemanu, Denyce Su’a, Pat Tafa, Kura Forrester and Scotty Cotter), and directed by the team of Sam Scott and Scotty Cotter, the show mixes stories, music and pop culture to examine our hangups about baring our souls to other […]

REVIEW: OTHER [chinese] (Q Matchbox)

September 8, 2017
[Identity and the Chorus] Following her solo show White/Other, Alice Canton has expanded her exploration of identity into a multifaceted production driven by a variety of voices. In her attempt to tackle the question of what it means to be Chinese in Aotearoa, she has made the logical jump to recruit a massive cast of ‘storytellers’ to share their own […]

REVIEW: Peter Paka Paratene (Koanga Festival)

September 8, 2017
[Ask the Paka Anything] Given the multitude of performance credits that Rāwiri Paratene has to his name, it’s almost unbelievable that this is his first solo show.  And yet, he very honestly says he agreed to do a solo show for the first time – if he could have a four-piece back up band! Directed by Tainui Tukiwaho,  Peter Paka […]

REVIEW: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (The Basement)

August 28, 2017
[Beauty and the Sea Monster] There’s something beautiful about an actor returning to direct a pivotal play in their career, coming full circle and all that. While I can’t speak for the quality of Sara Wiseman’s performance in Silo’s 2004 production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, she brings a deep understanding to the characters in her directorial debut […]

REVIEW: A Streetcar Named Desire (Silo Theatre)

August 28, 2017
[A Streetcar Named Trump?] The cry that has resounded through the ages, courtesy of an iconic performance by Marlon Brando, is Stanley’s forceful “Stelllaaaaa” as he hollers for his wife to come back to him. Stella had taken refuge with the upstairs neighbours after Stanley had struck her. But in Silo’s production, Stella’s anguished and defeated cries of “Blanche” at […]

REVIEW: Matilda the Musical (The Civic)

August 27, 2017
[Children will Listen] Matilda the Musical asserts its ambitions in the opening number, ‘Miracle’. Precocious children at a birthday party, dressed as ballerinas, princesses and superheroes, sing about the positive messages they have internalised from their parents as they make havoc about the stage on an ADHD sugar high: “Ever since the day doc chopped the umbilical cord, it’s been […]

REVIEW: Non Flower Elements (The Basement)

August 23, 2017
[‘There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea…’] A meditation on the concept of interconnectedness? Or an unintentional send-up of artistic ego? Created by Arlo Gibson and Ash Jones, Non Flower Elements is a wonderful mess, a mix of audience participation, musical, monologue and jacked naked men. The show feels like a brainstorm, a bunch of ideas and set […]

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