• Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Mammoth (The Basement)

    [Hair and Now] As artist in residence for the Basement this year, Mammoth is Tallulah Holly-Massey’s second work following Tender is the Night.  Mammoth is a poetic and intimate display that combines the art of [...]
  • Highlights

    REVIEW: First World Problems (The Basement)

    [Energy and Heart] In the curator’s own words, First World Problems is “a mischievous anthology of a show” – mischief abounds and anthology is the perfect structural description. Ahi Karunaharan has curated a project designed [...]
  • Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Upu Mai Whetū (The Basement)

    [Celestial Navigation] Upu Mai Whetū literally means words from stars. Under the direction of Fasitua Amosa and curated by Grace Taylor, the performance showcases poems from our Pasifika and Māori literature pioneers using Māori and [...]
  • Highlights

    REVIEW: The Chairs – Pākehā Season (Te Pou)

    [Park your Bum] Te Pou Theatre presents a night of absurdity, hilarity, and larger-than-life character work in its inaugural Pākehā season of Ionesco’s The Chairs. Opening Te Pou’s quadruplet of productions of The Chairs in [...]
In the Spotlight

REVIEW: First World Problems (The Basement)

by Camilla Walker in Highlights

[Energy and Heart] In the curator’s own words, First World Problems is “a mischievous anthology of a show” – mischief abounds and anthology is the perfect structural description. Ahi Karunaharan has curated a project designed to explore and explode some of the contradictions, injustices, comedy, confusion and conflict belonging to South Asian experience in Aotearoa. With a cast of twenty in the Basement’s Studio space, whose voices we hear both collectively and individually, First World Problems is alive with a sheer human density that is inescapably watchable. Producer Ankita Singh describes the work as ‘energising and innovative’, and she’s right [...]

REVIEW: Mammoth (The Basement)

July 19, 2018
[Hair and Now] As artist in residence for the Basement this year, Mammoth is Tallulah Holly-Massey’s second work following Tender is the Night.  Mammoth is a poetic and intimate display that combines the art of dance, story-telling and multi-media.  A ‘supernatural hair dance’ presented by four talented performers — Sione Fataua, Ariaana Osborne, Arlo Gibson and Benjamin Mitchell — Mammoth is an investigation […]

REVIEW: First World Problems (The Basement)

July 19, 2018
[Energy and Heart] In the curator’s own words, First World Problems is “a mischievous anthology of a show” – mischief abounds and anthology is the perfect structural description. Ahi Karunaharan has curated a project designed to explore and explode some of the contradictions, injustices, comedy, confusion and conflict belonging to South Asian experience in Aotearoa. With a cast of twenty […]

REVIEW: Upu Mai Whetū (The Basement)

July 13, 2018
[Celestial Navigation] Upu Mai Whetū literally means words from stars. Under the direction of Fasitua Amosa and curated by Grace Taylor, the performance showcases poems from our Pasifika and Māori literature pioneers using Māori and Pacific stars of stage and screen. The set-up is simple but effective. The seating block is end-on and laid out front are tables and chairs […]

REVIEW: The Chairs – Pākehā Season (Te Pou)

July 13, 2018
[Park your Bum] Te Pou Theatre presents a night of absurdity, hilarity, and larger-than-life character work in its inaugural Pākehā season of Ionesco’s The Chairs. Opening Te Pou’s quadruplet of productions of The Chairs in different languages – Te Reo Māori, Samoan and Cantonese are to follow – the English language Pākehā show sets things off to an outrageously energetic start. […]

REVIEW: The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu (Māngere Arts Centre and Q Theatre)

July 11, 2018
[No Place like Home] Over the last five years, every April school holidays, a movement has been growing at the Māngere Arts Centre. Repurposing canonical children’s stories with a Tāmaki Makaurau twist, each year directors Alison Quigan and Troy Tu’ua have held open auditions to cast the shows from the community. The first shows were produced in association with Auckland […]

REVIEW: Te Waka Huia (The Basement)

July 6, 2018
[History Lesion] Excavating history for the purposes of storytelling is a tricky business; a balancing act between telling the truth while being respectful to the real people. The 1963 Brynderwyn bus accident is a particularly sensitive subject, being both from our shores and the not-so-distant past. Playwright (and supporting actor) Naomi Bartley cleverly sidesteps direct commentary on the accident by […]

REVIEW: Maumahara Girlie (The Basement)

July 6, 2018
[A Hopeful Encounter and a Question Mark] Maumahara Girlie is pitch-perfect Matariki programming: a young, wāhine-driven interdisciplinary work unfolding the matrix of what it means to be Māori, disconnected, urban and educated. It is a fiercely contemporary conversation, which should come as no surprise. Writer and first-time director Mya Morrison-Middleton (Kai Tahu) is a sardonic, critical and connected force in the art […]

REVIEW: Super Hugh-Man (Q Theatre)

June 30, 2018
[MT Origins: Wolverine] Here’s a Hollywood what-if for you: what if Hugh Jackman was never cast as Wolverine? He wasn’t the first choice. In fact, Jackman famously got the part after X-Men (2000) had already begun filming, when the original actor was injured shooting another movie. There was some disquiet about the choice of 6 foot 3 Jackman to play the […]

REVIEW: Living Large with Marge (The Basement)

June 27, 2018
[Easy Living] There have been many strange and idiosyncratic characters to visit The Basement Studio. The latest occupant is the karaoke and sex-crazed septuagenarian, Marge. Written and performed by Hamish McGregor, Marge is a narcissist who loves to hold court and dish on her rise from sex-crazed groupie to… sex-crazed hairdresser. If you are a fan of eighties power ballads, and […]

REVIEW: The Contours of Heaven (The Basement)

June 23, 2018
[Listen] Without doubt this was one of the best performances I have ever seen. The Contours of Heaven is a one woman tour-de-force performed by Ana Chaya Scotney and produced by Zanetti Productions. Originally created for the 2017 Harcourt’s Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival, it went on to win Best Theatre and Best Performance in the Auckland Fringe Festival, and is […]

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