REVIEW: Everest Untold (Ffynroc Productions)

September 25, 2014

Scaling different heights  [by Matt Baker] It’s easy to forget that the 1953 British Mount Everest expedition consisted of 13 men other than Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. With an equally warranted respect amongst the expedition members, and without the chance of generating jingoistic reprisal, playwright Gareth Davies offers us the narrative voices of expedition leader Sir John Hunt […]

REVIEW: Bug (The Real Theatre Company)

September 24, 2014

Insect Repellent [by James Wenley] I’ve admired Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts’ work in Dallas trailer-trash set Killer Joe (his first play in 1996) and pill-popping American domestic-epic August: Osage County (2007). The Real Theatre Company, under Director David Coddington, have produced Bug (1997), Lett’s second play, and the first of which I haven’t been impressed by. Don’t expect Osage, it’s more […]

REVIEW: Don Giovanni (NZ Opera)

September 23, 2014

Striking set sizzles [by Sharu Delilkan] When I heard that the NZ Opera was finally staging Don Giovanni, after it had been performed at the Christchurch Arts Festival last year, I was adamant not to miss this larger than life production. And unlike some productions that promise a lot and deliver very little, this NZ Opera production not only met […]

REVIEW: …him (Theatre Beating)

September 17, 2014

And us  [by Matt Baker] Tuesday 16th September 2014: a day like no other. For one, it was the only opportunity to see that evening’s performance by Barnie Duncan. While this is always true of the transient pleasure of all theatre, it is reinforced in …him, as that day’s newspaper held the cryptic key to this ingenious, ever-evolving theatrical experience. I […]

REVIEW: Wild Bees (Flaxworks)

September 17, 2014

Political Swarm from Elections Past  [by James Wenley] It’s the final week for the left and the right to duke it out in the election campaign. If this campaign had been written by a playwright and presented it at The Basement, it would have been criticised for its implausible plot twists (Snowden, Assange, and Eminem?) and rapid genre shifts. What’s […]

REVIEW: Hubbub (The Basement)

September 5, 2014

Clarity in chaos  [by Matt Baker] You’d be hard pressed to find someone who can’t relate to some degree with the premise of Hubbub. Whether you’re an advocate or only ever use it as a last resort, we’ve all been, at one time or another, in the socially confronting circumstance that is public transport. Hubbub, an all-female devised piece, is […]

REVIEW: The Illusionists 2.0 (The Civic)

September 4, 2014

Age of Illusion  [by James Wenley] The Avengers of Magic are back in Auckland, and they’re changing their line-up faster than the continuity of a Marvel comic book. Charming trickster and watch thief Jeff Hobson is the sole returnee from The Illusionists’ original line-up. This time he’s joined by magicians with names like ‘The Unusualist’, ‘The Deceptionist’, and ‘The Illusionist’ […]

REVIEW: Bellevile (Silo)

September 1, 2014

Ça Va  [by Matt Baker] Other than its professed Hitchcockian style and some season-orientated pensive posters, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Silo’s production of Amy Herzog’s Belleville other than a psychological relationship thriller. Hitchcock, however, was the undisputed master of suspense. Red herrings are not MacGuffins, and where Hitchcock would show, Herzog tells. There are, of course, moments […]