• Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: The First Time (The Basement)

    [First Foray] It’s the first time The First Time has played in Auckland, and it’s the first play from Wellington playwright Courtney Rose Brown. This season of the show is described as a “mash-up” of [...]
  • Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: The Basement Tapes (The Basement)

    [The Haunted Space] A Basement. A room that is a trope in itself. We all know how the scene plays out: one dim light sets a glow upon forgotten objects, lurking shadows creep up the [...]
  • Auckland Arts Festival

    REVIEW: Body Double (Silo/Auckland Arts Festival)

    [Look Again] Desire as an autonomous experience. Now there’s a novel idea. It’s no secret that sexual education across the board is still lacking, whether we’re talking about sexual orientation, contraception, or even basic female [...]
In the Spotlight

REVIEW: 1984 (Auckland Arts Festival)

by James Wenley in Auckland Arts Festival

[1984, Today] The world is having a 1984 moment. The world has always been having a 1984 moment. When Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan’s stage adaptation premiered in Nottingham in 2013, the backdrop was all about big data and surveillance anxieties. Edward Snowden’s revelations around NSA spying had many turning to George Orwell’s 1984 for literary parallels. Big Brother was watching, privacy was dead. With the dawn of the Trump epoch, the almost 70-year-old novel shot to the top of the bestseller lists. With disputes over inauguration crowd size, and appeals to “alternative facts”, 1984 provided a ready-made narrative to [...]

REVIEW: Your Heart Looks Like a Vagina (The Basement)

April 17, 2018
[No End in Sight] “It began with a pain in the neck, like I’d slept funny, a joke compared with what’s to come…” Your Heart Looks Like a Vagina is an autobiographical theatre show and a lyrical journey through Dominic “Tourettes” Hoey’s experience with developing and living with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). AS is a form of arthritis that over time […]

REVIEW: The First Time (The Basement)

April 10, 2018
[First Foray] It’s the first time The First Time has played in Auckland, and it’s the first play from Wellington playwright Courtney Rose Brown. This season of the show is described as a “mash-up” of Brown’s script and director Stef Fink’s experimentation with physical theatre, inspired by her previous work in devising and working with Massive Company. Brown’s script follows […]

REVIEW: Conversations with Dead Relatives (The Basement)

April 5, 2018
[Badly Remembered or Forgotten?] “If you don’t know where you come from, how do you know where you’re going?” — Alex in Conversations Conversations with Dead Relatives is an intimate and heart-warming play written and performed by partners Alex Ellis and Phil Ormsby, and directed by Jennifer Ward-Lealand. Shifting between oral storytelling and dramatic re-enactment, the play begins all the […]

REVIEW: The Basement Tapes (The Basement)

March 31, 2018
[The Haunted Space] A Basement. A room that is a trope in itself. We all know how the scene plays out: one dim light sets a glow upon forgotten objects, lurking shadows creep up the walls at odd angles; we have entered the resting place for the old, unwanted or unused, and it’s the perfect setting for a horror story. […]

REVIEW: Body Double (Silo/Auckland Arts Festival)

March 28, 2018
[Look Again] Desire as an autonomous experience. Now there’s a novel idea. It’s no secret that sexual education across the board is still lacking, whether we’re talking about sexual orientation, contraception, or even basic female anatomy, but something that isn’t often spoken of is a woman’s power to experience and shape her own desire outside of the patriarchal lens. This […]

REVIEW: The Naked Samoans Do Magic (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 24, 2018
[Truly Naked Magic] Although fully clothed at all times, The Naked Samoans are well and truly naked on stage in their latest show – their first together in many years.  They don’t try to hide the fact that they are novices at magic. In fact, it is their bare-all attitude that endears them to the audience. Watching people walk into […]

REVIEW: Us/Them (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 24, 2018
[Nyet] Rarely have I seen a show with such a clear vision that was so completely at odds with the material it was based on. Written and directed by Carly Wijs, Us/Them is a re-telling of the 2004 Beslan school siege from the point of view of the children who experienced it. The early sequences, in which two children (performers […]

REVIEW: The Far Side of the Moon (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 24, 2018
[Looking Beyond the Mirror] On 17th of July, 1975, over a billion people tuned into their televisions to watch two men shake hands. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov reached through the hatch of the Soyuz into the vacuum of Space to shake hands with American astronaut Brigadier General Thomas Stafford. While the rivalry between the two nations’ space programmes had spurred […]

REVIEW: A Brisk Wind Whistling Down Twin Oak Drive (The Basement)

March 22, 2018
[Fun ’n’ Head Games] Created and performed by Phoebe Mason, A Brisk Wind Whistling Down Twin Oak Drive falls somewhere between one-person show and a Choose Your Own Adventure. The story (if one can call it that) starts out simply enough – our unknown protagonist wanders onto the titular street and finds themselves inside a strange house that feels oddly familiar. In the […]

REVIEW: Jack Charles V The Crown (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2018
[Stories from Uncle Jack] He smiled at me. It was a sunny afternoon in Aotea Square when I recognised the Einsteinian hair and small frame of Jack Charles. I approached him as he puffed away on his cigarette; “Jack Charles, right?”, “That’s right, brother”, he replied, extending his hand to mine. We chatted briefly, I wished him well for his […]

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