• Puzzy by Kiki feat. Victor Rodger
    Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Puzzy (Auckland Pride Festival)

    [Poetry from the Puzzy] A major concern in theatre that deals with LGBTIQ identity is often the validity of labels. Which box do we fit into? Do we have to decide? Gay? Lesbian? Bi? These [...]
  • Defending the JJ Mac from Last Tapes Theatre Company
    The Basement

    REVIEW: Defending the J.J. MAC (Last Tapes)

    [Addy in Wonderland] Addy has lost someone close to her, someone she calls her sunshine-maker, and she doesn’t know how to cope, except to withdraw into the safe haven of her imagination. The fantasy world [...]
  • Hart from She Said Theatre
    The Basement

    REVIEW: Hart (She Said Theatre)

    [More to Tell] One week after Australia Day, Auckland audiences are introduced to Ian Michael, a proud Noongar actor and recipient of the Melbourne Fringe Best Emerging Indigenous Artist award; an accolade achieved for the [...]
  • Road-trip to Rotorua!
    Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: The Choice (Rotorua Blue Baths)

    [NZ’s Got Talent] The show’s tagline ’50 characters, 5 actors’ doesn’t even begin to describe the sheer magnitude of skill, talent and hilarity that the ‘TV talent show’ The Choice dishes out for us. Wickedly [...]
Capt. James Hook was honoured to receive the inaugural Pantograph Punch Award for Best Critic at the  2015 Auckland Theatre Awards.
In the Spotlight

Theatre Scenes Turns 5

by James Wenley in The Blog Scene

5 years ago to the day, I launched Theatre Scenes with a post that asked “Why Theatre, Why Now?“, a question that continues to grow in urgency. I had finished my Honours in Drama and would no longer be the Theatre Editor of Auckland Uni’s Craccum Magazine. I hoped that by starting Theatre Scenes I’d be able to keep reviewing and writing about the art form that I love.  I am grateful to the companies big and small that gave Theatre Scenes review tickets in those first months, as I got into thick of Auckland Fringe and Festival 2011. A  conversation with Sharu [...]

REVIEW: Puzzy (Auckland Pride Festival)

February 11, 2016
[Poetry from the Puzzy] A major concern in theatre that deals with LGBTIQ identity is often the validity of labels. Which box do we fit into? Do we have to decide? Gay? Lesbian? Bi? These are the questions  hurled at Mele (Frankie Adams) in the opening sequence of Puzzy, and immediately reflects a relatable plight for young people uncertain of the […]

REVIEW: Defending the J.J. MAC (Last Tapes)

February 3, 2016
[Addy in Wonderland] Addy has lost someone close to her, someone she calls her sunshine-maker, and she doesn’t know how to cope, except to withdraw into the safe haven of her imagination. The fantasy world setup is something you’ve probably seen before, from classics such as Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz to Where the Wild Things Are […]

REVIEW: Hart (She Said Theatre)

February 3, 2016
[More to Tell] One week after Australia Day, Auckland audiences are introduced to Ian Michael, a proud Noongar actor and recipient of the Melbourne Fringe Best Emerging Indigenous Artist award; an accolade achieved for the very show She Said Theatre has brought to Basement Theatre. It is the story of four men, each affected, by some degree or another, by […]

REVIEW: Much Adoe About Nothing (Young Auckland Shakespeare Company)

January 27, 2016
[There’s a double meaning in that!] More Shakespearean productions should do what the team behind Much Adoe do. To wit: the female roles are cast with male actors, the male roles are cast with female actors. We have the experience of watching the men take on Beatrice and Hero, roles written not for women, but for the ‘boy actors’ of […]

REVIEW: The Choice (Rotorua Blue Baths)

January 25, 2016
[NZ’s Got Talent] The show’s tagline ’50 characters, 5 actors’ doesn’t even begin to describe the sheer magnitude of skill, talent and hilarity that the ‘TV talent show’ The Choice dishes out for us. Wickedly written, slickly performed and cleverly directed to parody the current talent show phenomenon that dominates our airwaves, The Choice is undoubtedly the funniest show I’ve seen […]

Theatre Scenes Turns 5

January 24, 2016
5 years ago to the day, I launched Theatre Scenes with a post that asked “Why Theatre, Why Now?“, a question that continues to grow in urgency. I had finished my Honours in Drama and would no longer be the Theatre Editor of Auckland Uni’s Craccum Magazine. I hoped that by starting Theatre Scenes I’d be able to keep reviewing and […]

SCENE BY JAMES: 2015 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 21, 2015
Half Full / Half Empty [by James Wenley] So Auckland, how did we do this year? Were our generously marked up interval drinks full to the brim, or running on empty? If you’d asked me this question at the beginning of September, say between shows at Auckland Live’s decadent Cabaret season, I would have responded gloomily. Programming choices were tepid, and […]

REVIEW: I, Peaseblossom (British Council)

December 9, 2015
Ready! [by James Wenley] When I teach A Midsummer Night’s Dream to first year uni students I test their knowledge of the play in a quiz where, divided into four teams (Lovers, Nobles, Fairies, Mechanicals), they compete to win a block of Cadbury Dream chocolate (of course). When I ask them to name a fairy other than Puck, Oberon, and Titania, […]

REVIEW: Ithaca (The Dust Palace)

December 2, 2015
Against the Aristotelian odds [by Matt Baker] Less of a re-imagining or reinterpretation of Homer’s The Odyssey, and more of a performance piece inspired by the source material, Ithaca by Thomas Sainsbury and The Dust Palace is a true spectacle in the dramatic sense of the word. With a monopoly on home-grown cirque theatre, it would be easy for the company to […]

REVIEW: Jesus Christ Part II: The Basement’s Christmas Show

December 2, 2015
What will Jesus Do? [by Matt Baker] Director Oliver Driver’s programme quote may be a great pun, but it also makes perfect sense. Based on an original concept by Driver, choreographer Lara Fischel-Chisholm, script coordinator and lyricist Thomas Sainsbury, performer Gareth Williams, and Elise Sterbeck, Gabrielle Vincent, and Sam Snedden of the Basement Theatre staff, Jesus Christ Part II, like Jesus […]

Upcoming Events

Feb
12
Fri
6:30 pm No More Dancing in the Good Room @ Q Loft
No More Dancing in the Good Room @ Q Loft
Feb 12 @ 6:30 pm – 6:30 pm
No More Dancing in the Good Room @ Q Loft
When Chris Parker’s solo show No More Dancing in the Good Room debuted last year, Matt Baker wrote in his review: “An instantaneous standing ovation and two curtain calls later, and the audience is still reeling as they reluctantly leave the theatre. Best not to miss the chance to experience the same”. Now it’s back for the Auckland Pride Festival [...]
7:00 pm The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
Feb 12 @ 7:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
If you missed Silo Theatre’s production of The Book of Everything during Auckland Arts Festival last year, you have another chance to catch this beautiful show. Auckland favourites Amanda Billing and Stephen Lovatt join the cast alongside Rima Te Wiata and Jennifer Ward-Lealand. You can read Matt Baker’s review from the first production here. Thomas sees things that others don’t — [...]
8:00 pm The Legacy Project 3 @ Q Loft
The Legacy Project 3 @ Q Loft
Feb 12 @ 8:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Legacy Project 3 @ Q Loft
The Legacy Project returns for a third year for Auckland Pride with new plays and new voices. Experience a queer kiwi perspective on modern lives with LEGACY PROJECT 3. From some of Auckland’s finest emerging artists come six fresh, bite-sized plays embracing all corners of the queer community and celebrating the unique experiences that define our diverse voices. Stories of [...]
9:00 pm PUZZY @ The Basement
PUZZY @ The Basement
Feb 12 @ 9:00 pm – 9:00 pm
PUZZY @ The Basement
Victor Roger’s Black Faggot and Girl on a Corner have seen sell-outs in previous Auckland Pride Festivals, now he’s back supporting Kiki, a Hawaiian based Samoan-Filipina lesbian writer, whose aim is to give voice to a sector of the Pacific Island lesbian community that has long been invisible. Mele is just your average Samoan Jehovah’s Witness – except she’s a lesbian. After she [...]
Feb
13
Sat
6:30 pm No More Dancing in the Good Room @ Q Loft
No More Dancing in the Good Room @ Q Loft
Feb 13 @ 6:30 pm – 6:30 pm
No More Dancing in the Good Room @ Q Loft
When Chris Parker’s solo show No More Dancing in the Good Room debuted last year, Matt Baker wrote in his review: “An instantaneous standing ovation and two curtain calls later, and the audience is still reeling as they reluctantly leave the theatre. Best not to miss the chance to experience the same”. Now it’s back for the Auckland Pride Festival [...]
7:00 pm The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
If you missed Silo Theatre’s production of The Book of Everything during Auckland Arts Festival last year, you have another chance to catch this beautiful show. Auckland favourites Amanda Billing and Stephen Lovatt join the cast alongside Rima Te Wiata and Jennifer Ward-Lealand. You can read Matt Baker’s review from the first production here. Thomas sees things that others don’t — [...]
8:00 pm The Legacy Project 3 @ Q Loft
The Legacy Project 3 @ Q Loft
Feb 13 @ 8:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Legacy Project 3 @ Q Loft
The Legacy Project returns for a third year for Auckland Pride with new plays and new voices. Experience a queer kiwi perspective on modern lives with LEGACY PROJECT 3. From some of Auckland’s finest emerging artists come six fresh, bite-sized plays embracing all corners of the queer community and celebrating the unique experiences that define our diverse voices. Stories of [...]
9:00 pm PUZZY @ The Basement
PUZZY @ The Basement
Feb 13 @ 9:00 pm – 9:00 pm
PUZZY @ The Basement
Victor Roger’s Black Faggot and Girl on a Corner have seen sell-outs in previous Auckland Pride Festivals, now he’s back supporting Kiki, a Hawaiian based Samoan-Filipina lesbian writer, whose aim is to give voice to a sector of the Pacific Island lesbian community that has long been invisible. Mele is just your average Samoan Jehovah’s Witness – except she’s a lesbian. After she [...]
Feb
14
Sun
6:00 pm The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
Feb 14 @ 6:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The Book of Everything @ Q Theatre
If you missed Silo Theatre’s production of The Book of Everything during Auckland Arts Festival last year, you have another chance to catch this beautiful show. Auckland favourites Amanda Billing and Stephen Lovatt join the cast alongside Rima Te Wiata and Jennifer Ward-Lealand. You can read Matt Baker’s review from the first production here. Thomas sees things that others don’t — [...]
7:00 pm Daffodils
Daffodils
Feb 14 @ 7:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Daffodils
Indie-rock cabaret Daffodils is being made into a movie, but first, it is returning to where it all started – Q Loft – before it goes international. It opens on Valentines day, and its great date material, but we warned, you’ll need to stock up on the tissues. In my 2014 review I wrote: “Watching Daffodils is like watching a little miracle [...]

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