"Eli Kent" in Peer Gynt [recycled]
In the Spotlight

SCENE BY JAMES: The 2017 Auckland Arts Festival in Review

by James Wenley in Auckland Arts Festival

[Giving Auckland Something to Believe in] By the end of Eli Kent’s 3&1/2 hr epic Peer Gynt [recycled], we’ve crashed a wedding, attended a troll kink-party, seen the author give birth to a baby Henrik Ibsen, escaped from a spiritualist retreat, hung out with Milo Yiannopolous, given James Cameron a taste of his Titanic medicine, and confirmed that onions, like the self, don’t have a core. In the final moment though, it’s just Eli Kent and his laptop, and the character delivers his takeaway message: “If we all believe in the lie together, isn’t that as good as the truth?” A [...]

REVIEW: Weave – Yarns with New Zealanders (The Basement)

April 12, 2017
[Kiwi As?] How well do really know your neighbours? Your work colleagues? The mum of two who you see at the local shop? The person sitting beside you on the bus?  Do you know their story? After interviewing a wide range of people throughout New Zealand, Kiwi theatre-maker Kate McGill shares with us the stories of twenty strangers in her […]

REVIEW: Anzac Eve (Armstrong Creative)

April 1, 2017
[Turkish Delight] Written by Dave Armstrong, Anzac Cove is a dramedy that puts our mutual emphasis on Anzac Day under the microscope. Four young people, two Kiwis and two Aussies, arrive at Anzac Cove for the annual commemorations. Maia (Trae Te Wiki) and Lizzie (Ruby Hansen) are longtime friends; Ben (Barnaby Olson) and Phil (Hayden Frost) used to go to […]

SCENE BY JAMES: The 2017 Auckland Arts Festival in Review

April 1, 2017
[Giving Auckland Something to Believe in] By the end of Eli Kent’s 3&1/2 hr epic Peer Gynt [recycled], we’ve crashed a wedding, attended a troll kink-party, seen the author give birth to a baby Henrik Ibsen, escaped from a spiritualist retreat, hung out with Milo Yiannopolous, given James Cameron a taste of his Titanic medicine, and confirmed that onions, like […]

REVIEW: Flaps Retouched (Bits and Pieces Ensemble)

April 1, 2017
[Flaptastic] If you didn’t get to experience the laugh out loud and fiercely proud all female show Flaps last year then thank your lucky stars because the ladies are back again, clad in all pink, and raising the roof once more. Flaps: Retouched offers Auckland theatregoers another look into the squirm inducing hush-hush reality of living with vagina as a […]

REVIEW: Carmen with L’Arlésienne (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

March 31, 2017
[Power of Petit] Royal New Zealand Ballet Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia has a personal reason for bringing Roland Petit’s work to New Zealand – he danced two key roles early in his own career under the ‘Maestro’. Petit’s work is a treat for Kiwi audiences, and a first for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Roland Petit (1924-2011) was a masterful […]

REVIEWS: The Bone Feeder & Rice (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 28, 2017
Nathan Joe reports back about two final shows at the recent Auckland Arts Festival, branching out into Opera and Dance: [The Bone Feeder: No Place Like Home] Let’s get one thing out of the way: an opera with a primarily East Asian cast is a big deal. This is doubly the case in light of NZ Opera’s recent production of […]

REVIEW: Horror (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 23, 2017
[Here’s Johnny (and other references)] If you adore the horror genre, then Jakop Ahlbom’s masterpiece is an absolute must-see. As spectacles go Horror is as spectacular as you can get. The show is a true homage to the horror genre and begs for a cult following. The attention to detail is magnificent in both the set design and costume, and […]

REVIEW: Every Brilliant Thing (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 22, 2017
[Brilliant Clarity] Every Brilliant Thing is not what you would expect…not at all. But it definitely is, as billed, “the funniest thing you’ll ever see about the least funny thing in the world”. It’s important not to give away the format of the show, as part of its joy is how it reveals itself through sweet, funny, poignant scenes and […]

REVIEW: Peer Gynt [recycled] (Auckland Theatre Company)

March 22, 2017
[Postmodern Stress Disorder] In our over-saturated times where media of all forms is available in excess, the idea of originality becomes the ultimate predicament to the storyteller. There’s the notion that every story has already been told, all paths have been ventured, and nothing new can be said anymore. We live in an age where audiences are savvier than ever, […]

REVIEW: Schlunted (The Other People)

March 17, 2017
[Still Stunted] Musicals have notoriously long gestation periods. It takes a lot of chutzpah, then, to think that you can create (and stage) a musical from scratch in one hundred days. Or is that hubris? But that’s the challenge The Other People team (writer/director Adam Spedding, composer Brayden Jeffrey, producer Hadley Taylor) set themselves, and the result, Schlunted, was first […]

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