Looking Back: 2014 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 27, 2014
My Favourite Moments of the Year [by James Wenley] With stages empty and the theatrical year in blackout, I’ve planted myself in front of my computer to reflect on the performances that have provoked, challenged, and bought a smile to my face this past year. I’ve already written about happenings this year extensively, in Playmarket’s 2014 Annual (read online) and Metro’s […]

REVIEW: Hauraki Horror (The Basement)

December 4, 2014
Silly Seas [by James Wenley] The Basement Christmas show feels a little less ambitious this year. Long gone are your Kim Dotcoms and entire children’s choirs that have featured in Christmas shows pasts. The most ambitious thing in Hauraki Horror is probably the boat set designed brilliantly by Grant Hall to fill the length of The Basement, and one of the […]

REVIEW: At the Wake (Multinesia Productions)

November 28, 2014
In the Wake of Genius [by Sharu Delilkan and Tim Booth] Victor Rodger’s uncanny ability to write dialogue, that’s often self-censored in real life, is both refreshing and hard-hitting, which captures our attention right from the start. And this is evident as soon as Joan (Lisa Harrow) opens her mouth. The barrage of profanities that emit her gob can only be […]

REVIEW: Sheep (Actors’ Program)

November 28, 2014
Es gehts [by Matt Baker] Selecting a graduation/showcase production for an acting/industry institution is not aneasy task. Numbers aside, gender and the suitability of sensibilities can be a difficult jigsaw to manage. Director Ben Henson has chosen wisely by gifting The Actor’s Program 2014 class with Arthur Meek’s Sheep, which has been adequately expanded to its full cast size. Henson’s tweaking […]

REVIEW: Pure and Deep (Auckland Live)

November 17, 2014
Successful Sequel [by Matt Baker] Breathing and listening. They’re key components to acting, and they feature in Toa Fraser’s direction and latest script, Pure and Deep. Even for those who haven’t seen Fraser’s first full-length play, Bare, the nostalgia embedded in this, its sequel, along with performers Ian Hughes’ and Mia Blake’s trust and familiarity is enough to sense the successful […]

REVIEW: SEP ARATE (The Basement)

November 14, 2014
Beyond the Binary [by Matt Baker] (SAME) From programme notes to performance, choreographer Lydia Zanetti and her performers take an intellectual approach to the subject and theme of gender. The group’s etymological exploration delves much further, with Tallulah Holly-Massey’s haunting hair-masked crawler (designed by Leonie Nicholls) allowing for Freudian interpretations of castration anxiety. That’s not to say that the show doesn’t evoke […]

REVIEW: Famous Flora (Playtime Theatre)

November 14, 2014
Famous Flora Fascinates [by Sharu Delilkan and Tim Booth] Choosing to stage Elisabeth Easther’s premiere about Flora Mackenzie, one of Auckland’s most notorious Mesdames, at the White House was a stroke of genius. The venue not only gave the show added dimension, being totally apt, but also acted as an eight character in the 7-strong cast that entertained us at the […]

REVIEW: The Blind Date Project (Silo)

November 12, 2014
Not just blind luck [by Matt Baker] In a similar vein to last year’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Silo Theatre presents a production that’s success banks almost entirely on each individual show. Appropriately titled, actress Natalie Medlock literally has no idea whom she is about to meet, the show more or less improvised around some narrative points and direction via text […]

REVIEW: Like a Virgin (The Basement)

November 5, 2014
Abstain [by Matt Baker] Contrary to its premise, Like A Virgin does not so much uncover the conversations, secrets, and revelations of people’s first experiences, as it does half-heartedly pontificate on these matters without exploring them alongside its audience. What little narrative exists lacks natural development, with the numerous scenes piling up instead of amounting to anything substantial. Any attempt at […]

REVIEW: Jesus Christ Superstar (Auckland Theatre Company)

November 4, 2014
Jesus Lives! [by Matt Baker] Jesus Christ Superstar is a deceptively difficult musical. What seems at first a song-list with the appropriate momentum to a presumptuously well-known plot can also be exposed as an inadequate foothold for character journeys and development. Thankfully, director Oliver Driver has handled this difficulty with excellent casting decisions. Conceptually, the most important thing interpreting the Superstar […]
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