• Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Woman of Citrus (Basement Theatre)

    [Peeling back the layers of Aotearoa’s racial divide] Why do you bind our potential so close to our wrists that we slit them? In Woman of Citrus, we join Grace Bennett, a young black female raised [...]
  • Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Before Karma Gets Us (Basement Theatre)

    [Now You See Me, Me, Me] In the mid-50s, a magician (Tess Sullivan) and her two weary apprentices/assistants/props (Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker) attempt to put on their show. As egos flare, the line between [...]
  • Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: The Goblin Market (The Dust Palace)

    [The Market Will Decide] Created by The Dust Palace in 2016 and directed by Mike Edward, The Goblin Market is a narrative circus theatre production incorporating music, film, spoken word and acrobatics. Exploring the Victorian Christina Rosetti [...]
In the Spotlight

SCENE BY JAMES: Resonance and the New Zealand Fringe, Wellington 2019

by James Wenley in Scene by James

[On the Fringe: Shifting and Singing] Content Notification: Discussion of the Christchurch terror attack, sexual violence, and suicide. But also hope, and joy, and singing, and the rejuvenating potential of performance. Can you take the pulse of a city through the shows performed on its Fringe? Can you judge the heart of a Festival by the visitors who have come to play? Can you take stock of the world via the canary call of the artists who have something to say? Pōneke. This is my new home. Wellington’s New Zealand Fringe Arts Festival – that’s my Fringe now. People tell [...]

WELLINGTON REVIEW: This Long Winter (BATS Theatre)

April 14, 2019
[Break the Cycle] James Wenley reviews Sarah Delahunty’s latest play This Long Winter, which issues a renewed challenge for how we do Shakespeare in this country, and whether we should be doing some of his plays at all. Here’s one version of the tale: a pregnant woman is falsely accused by her husband of being unfaithful. She remains dignified, even when […]

REVIEW: Woman of Citrus (Basement Theatre)

April 13, 2019
[Peeling back the layers of Aotearoa’s racial divide] Why do you bind our potential so close to our wrists that we slit them? In Woman of Citrus, we join Grace Bennett, a young black female raised in Aotearoa, as she grapples with racial prejudice and intolerance from the Kiwi community surrounding her. Written and performed by Toi Whakaari graduate Grace Bentley […]

REVIEW: Before Karma Gets Us (Basement Theatre)

April 5, 2019
[Now You See Me, Me, Me] In the mid-50s, a magician (Tess Sullivan) and her two weary apprentices/assistants/props (Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker) attempt to put on their show. As egos flare, the line between illusion and reality begins to break down… Created and performed by Tess Sullivan, Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker, Before Karma Gets Us is like The […]

SCENE BY JAMES: Resonance and the New Zealand Fringe, Wellington 2019

April 1, 2019
[On the Fringe: Shifting and Singing] Content Notification: Discussion of the Christchurch terror attack, sexual violence, and suicide. But also hope, and joy, and singing, and the rejuvenating potential of performance. Can you take the pulse of a city through the shows performed on its Fringe? Can you judge the heart of a Festival by the visitors who have come […]

REVIEW: The Goblin Market (The Dust Palace)

March 31, 2019
[The Market Will Decide] Created by The Dust Palace in 2016 and directed by Mike Edward, The Goblin Market is a narrative circus theatre production incorporating music, film, spoken word and acrobatics. Exploring the Victorian Christina Rosetti narrative poem Goblin Market, the performance aims to develop the original characters and storyline within a contemporary setting. Upon entering the theatre, audience members are […]

REVIEW: HeadSand (Fractious Tash)

March 29, 2019
[You Can’t Ignore It] Director Benjamin Henson has a particular knack for creating worlds. Since co-founding Fractious Tash in 2012, his astute interpretations of classic texts, and dramaturgical practice in company-devised works, have provided New Zealand audiences with ingenious imagery that is as unpredictable, and more often than not shocking, as it is apt. While his work as a director […]

REVIEW: The Bookbinder (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 28, 2019
[Precision in Art and Life] First performed in the back of Arty Bee’s second-hand bookshop in Wellington as part of New Zealand Fringe in 2014, Trick of the Light bring their award-winning production The Bookbinder to the Q Theatre Loft as part of the 2019 Auckland Arts Festival. The dark and magical production written and performed with meticulous care by […]

REVIEW: The Dreamer (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 27, 2019
[Sleep Cycle] I was once told that writing a review is like trying to explain a dream. From symbols and metaphors to narratives and character, the craft of dissecting the sub-textual subtlety of art is not unlike articulating the intangible process of the unconscious mind. How ideas, whether conscious or not, are delivered and interpreted are as vital to their […]

REVIEW: Grand Finale (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 23, 2019
[Another Closing, Another Opening] The Auckland Arts Festival has a lean offering of dance this year, so it’s fair to say that bringing the London-based Hofesh Shechter Company to the festival is a significant event on the industry’s 2019 calendar. The programming of this work, Grand Finale, feels rich with significance as Aotearoa pulses with the fallout of the Christchurch […]

REVIEW: Ulster American (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 23, 2019
[Unvarnished Insight into Sanctimony] Walking into the ASB Waterfront Theatre to a packed audience, I reflect on the title of this piece – an apparent crossover between two geographies – betraying little about a story or the direction that it could go in. The stage has an elevated square performance area furnished like a posh living room, with a comfortable-looking […]

Subscribe2

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