SCENE BY JAMES: 2015 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 21, 2015

Half Full / Half Empty [by James Wenley] So Auckland, how did we do this year? Were our generously marked up interval drinks full to the brim, or running on empty? If you’d asked me this question at the beginning of September, say between shows at Auckland Live’s decadent Cabaret season, I would have responded gloomily. Programming choices were tepid, and […]

REVIEW: I, Peaseblossom (British Council)

December 9, 2015

Ready! [by James Wenley] When I teach A Midsummer Night’s Dream to first year uni students I test their knowledge of the play in a quiz where, divided into four teams (Lovers, Nobles, Fairies, Mechanicals), they compete to win a block of Cadbury Dream chocolate (of course). When I ask them to name a fairy other than Puck, Oberon, and Titania, […]

REVIEW: Ithaca (The Dust Palace)

December 2, 2015

Against the Aristotelian odds [by Matt Baker] Less of a re-imagining or reinterpretation of Homer’s The Odyssey, and more of a performance piece inspired by the source material, Ithaca by Thomas Sainsbury and The Dust Palace is a true spectacle in the dramatic sense of the word. With a monopoly on home-grown cirque theatre, it would be easy for the company to […]

REVIEW: Jesus Christ Part II: The Basement’s Christmas Show

December 2, 2015

What will Jesus Do? [by Matt Baker] Director Oliver Driver’s programme quote may be a great pun, but it also makes perfect sense. Based on an original concept by Driver, choreographer Lara Fischel-Chisholm, script coordinator and lyricist Thomas Sainsbury, performer Gareth Williams, and Elise Sterbeck, Gabrielle Vincent, and Sam Snedden of the Basement Theatre staff, Jesus Christ Part II, like Jesus […]