REVIEW: Leo (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 20, 2013
An Uncanny Spectacular [by Matt Baker] A man in a box. It’s an elementary premise, but it is from within the confines of these walls, designed by Flavia Hevia, that actor, dancer, trampolinist, gymnast, and clown, Tobias Wegner explores a unique world and finds a seemingly limitless variety of play. And play he does. Wegner evokes a childlike quality in […]

REVIEW: Hui (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 19, 2013
Whānau ties [by Matt Baker] Family is an intrinsically universal concept, one to which all – regardless of (and sometimes in spite of) one’s upbringing – can relate. Instigated by the ultimate qualifier of death, Mitch Tawhi Thomas explores this concept, and the dynamics surrounding it, in the world premiere of the appropriately titled Hui. Said dynamics are illustrated through […]

REVIEW: One Man, Two Guvnors (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 15, 2013
One Man, Two Guvnors, Lots of Laughs [by James Wenley] I’m not sure who laughed the most: the audience’s belly laughs competed with Owain Arthur’s gleefully mad bray as he delighted in his mischief-making as journeyman and modern day harlequin Francis Henshall, bagman to two Guvnors. One Man, Two Guvnors is a theatrical blockbuster from The National Theatre, writer Richard […]

REVIEW: And I Was Like (The Basement)

March 15, 2013
And I Was Like: Whatever [by Matt Baker] In his programme notes, writer and director Sam Brooks puts forth the question, ‘What happens  when you take one of the fundamental pillars of relationships, the words, out of the equation?’ He  summarises by saying that ‘when it gets from the stage to your faces, maybe you’ll get your  answer.’ If there is […]

REVIEW: One Man Guy: Dirty American Decade (The Basement)

March 14, 2013
America Calling [by Matt Baker] 22 years on, Jon Pheloung returns to perform the self-proclaimed sort of sequel to his one-man show, One Man Guy. This, of course, raises the question of what, if anything, has changed. Having not seen the original production, I couldn’t say, but there is certainly a distinct feeling of the show not only taking place, but […]

REVIEW: Rhinoceros in Love (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 11, 2013
Love Saturation [by James Wenley] The sentiment is expressed by one character within Rhinoceros in Love that all love stories are the same. Certainly in mainstream western media we are constantly fed the boy-meets-girl-boy-eventually-wins-girl narrative. It was invigorating then to discover in Rhinoceros in Love a love story quite unlike any other I had ever seen. The visual spectacle, including […]

REVIEW: I Heart Alice Heart I (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2013
Too clever by Alice [by James Wenley] The thinking goes: everyone has a story to tell, everyone has a potential theatre show in them. When Irish Theatre maker Amy Conroy oversaw a kiss between two 60-something women snatched in the aisle of Tescos, she thought she had stumbled upon a story worth telling, and the theatre show she had been […]

REVIEW: The Factory (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 8, 2013
Pacific Side Story [by James Wenley] The chance taken on Kila Kokonut’s Krew The Factory – “New Zealand’s first Pacific Musical” – should prove the biggest statement of this year’s Auckland Arts Festival. Dedicated to the parents and grandparents of the creatives and cast who moved to New Zealand from the islands, The Factory began as a modest workshop production […]

REVIEW: Darling, Today We’re Going To Die (Auckland Fringe)

March 7, 2013
It’s a short journey [by Matt Baker] With the Sky Tower prominent in their backdrop, the rear windows of St Kevin’s Arcade next to Alleluya are an appropriate performance space for this apocalyptic piece set in a central Auckland flat. Written and directed by, and starring Lucia Farron-Diamantis, Lewis Gregory, and Lana Mackintosh, collectively known as Three Queens, the writing […]

FRINGE DISPATCH: Taniwha, Parts, Home, Gorge

March 7, 2013
Choose your Own Adventure [by James Wenley] Planning your Fringe schedule is akin to the choose-your-own-adventure stories in childhood. There are different venues, several shows are on at the same time, and you (or at least I) agonise over which path to take. Unfortunately in the Fringe choose-your-own-adventure, you can’t go back to the start and begin it all again: […]
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