• Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Jacinda (The Actors’ Program)

    [Angels in Aotearoa] Programming a grad show for any acting program is tricky business, balancing the needs of roles required and finding a suitable showcase, all while crafting a satisfying narrative. In choosing to commission [...]
  • Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Monster Mash (Dynamotion)

    [It’s a Mash] Co-created by Lara Liew and Tom Sainsbury, Dynamotion’s forte is taking b-movie genres and turning them into quasi-musicals with actors doing performing choreography. It’s a great idea, and they have mined it [...]
  • Dance Reviews

    REVIEW: Bad Mood (Basement Theatre)

    [Collage of Womanhood] As artist in residence for the Basement this year, Bad Mood is Tallulah Holly-Massey’s third and final work following Mammoth and Tender is the Night.  I had watched Mammoth earlier during the [...]
  • The Basement

    REVIEW: Such Stuff as Dreams (Basement Theatre)

    [Half asleep] Presented by Dusty Room Productions, Such Stuff as Dreams, by Camilla Walker, advertises itself as a love story between Claire, a “wanderlusting waitress”, and Alfie, a busker with schizophrenia, played by Catherine Yates and [...]
  • Dance Reviews

    REVIEW: The Nutcracker (RNZB)

    [More Seasoning] The quintessential Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, is so beloved by companies and audiences that it is an annual event in some parts of the world. Since the Royal New Zealand Ballet has not [...]
In the Spotlight

REVIEW: City of 100 Lovers (SkyCity Theatre)

by James Wenley in Musicals

[100% Bland] When Phil Goff assumed the mayoralty in 2016, he put the kibosh on a $500,000 branding exercise which had proposed using ‘The Place Desired by Many’ as a slogan for Auckland. An English translation of Tāmaki Makaurau, the phrase was the centrepiece of a rebrand developed by ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) to tell an ‘Auckland story’ that could be marketed to a global audience. The council-controlled organisation was criticised for wasting ratepayer’s money, and the idea quickly fizzled when Goff and the new Council chose not to back it. While a footnote in our history, [...]

REVIEW: Jacinda (The Actors’ Program)

November 20, 2018
[Angels in Aotearoa] Programming a grad show for any acting program is tricky business, balancing the needs of roles required and finding a suitable showcase, all while crafting a satisfying narrative. In choosing to commission a brand new work by Auckland playwright Sam Brooks, rounding off a knockout year in collaboration with director Sam Snedden (Twenty Eight Millimetres and Burn […]

REVIEW: Monster Mash (Dynamotion)

November 19, 2018
[It’s a Mash] Co-created by Lara Liew and Tom Sainsbury, Dynamotion’s forte is taking b-movie genres and turning them into quasi-musicals with actors doing performing choreography. It’s a great idea, and they have mined it for a series of fun parodies, taking in everything from old-school exploitation horror movies, 60s Bondmania and Terminator 2. Dynamotion’s latest finds them tackling classic […]

REVIEW: Bad Mood (Basement Theatre)

November 8, 2018
[Collage of Womanhood] As artist in residence for the Basement this year, Bad Mood is Tallulah Holly-Massey’s third and final work following Mammoth and Tender is the Night.  I had watched Mammoth earlier during the year, and was excited to see how Holly-Massey’s final work would play out.  Performed by four distinguished dancers — Kelly Nash, Nancy Wijohn, Zahra Killeen-Chance […]

REVIEW: Such Stuff as Dreams (Basement Theatre)

November 8, 2018
[Half asleep] Presented by Dusty Room Productions, Such Stuff as Dreams, by Camilla Walker, advertises itself as a love story between Claire, a “wanderlusting waitress”, and Alfie, a busker with schizophrenia, played by Catherine Yates and Tyler Wilson Kokiri respectively. Mental health is a common theme in New Zealand theatre, and such theatrical representations require not only a deft hand, but […]

REVIEW: The Nutcracker (RNZB)

November 2, 2018
[More Seasoning] The quintessential Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, is so beloved by companies and audiences that it is an annual event in some parts of the world. Since the Royal New Zealand Ballet has not staged The Nutcracker since former Artistic Director Gary Harris’ 2010 production, New Zealand audiences are overdue for this festive delight. In an odd twist of […]

REVIEW: Violent Bloom (Basement Theatre)

October 31, 2018
[Reaching Across the Divides of Time] I walk into the familiar environs of Basement Theatre’s larger space feeling particularly absent-minded, and am pleasantly ushered through a series of recurring paper streamers into a black-box space designed to transport us to a new world while leaving all cares of ours at the door. The set (designed by Christine Urquhart and constructed […]

Six Degrees of Gender Separation: The Problems with Auckland Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 Programme

October 29, 2018
[Where are the Women at the Waterfront?] During the uproar over the Pop-up Globe’s decision to use an all-male cast while invoking #MeToo in their promotion, Auckland Theatre Company did a Facebook post “Celebrating the amazing women of our 2017-2018 season!” ATC name checked their lead actors – “phenomenal matriarchs of the stage” – Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Alison Bruce and Jennifer […]

REVIEW: Medusa (Q Matchbox)

October 27, 2018
[Reclaiming Female Rage] Smashing all my preconceptions of what theatre and the mythological story of Medusa are about, co-creators Nisha Madhan, Julia Croft, and Virginia Frankovich have created an aural, visceral and mind-blowing ‘out-of-this-world’ theatrical experience.  There were no snakes in this production, no monstrous females, no men being turned into stone — but there was a lot of female […]

REVIEW: A Lost Cause (Basement Theatre)

October 27, 2018
[Women on the Verge of  a Nervous Breakdown] Despite a ‘Decade of Disruption’ being The Basement’s motto for this year, it’s the prominence of mental health issues that seems most notable in their programming. With works such as Near Death Experience, Breathe and Paper Planes being just the tip of the iceberg. Loren Black’s A Lost Cause may be the […]

REVIEW: City of 100 Lovers (SkyCity Theatre)

October 21, 2018
[100% Bland] When Phil Goff assumed the mayoralty in 2016, he put the kibosh on a $500,000 branding exercise which had proposed using ‘The Place Desired by Many’ as a slogan for Auckland. An English translation of Tāmaki Makaurau, the phrase was the centrepiece of a rebrand developed by ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) to tell an ‘Auckland […]

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For reviews of theatre playing elsewhere in New Zealand, go to Theatreview.org.nz