REVIEW: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (The Basement)

August 28, 2017

[Beauty and the Sea Monster] There’s something beautiful about an actor returning to direct a pivotal play in their career, coming full circle and all that. While I can’t speak for the quality of Sara Wiseman’s performance in Silo’s 2004 production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, she brings a deep understanding to the characters in her directorial debut […]

REVIEW: A Streetcar Named Desire (Silo Theatre)

August 28, 2017

[A Streetcar Named Trump?] The cry that has resounded through the ages, courtesy of an iconic performance by Marlon Brando, is Stanley’s forceful “Stelllaaaaa” as he hollers for his wife to come back to him. Stella had taken refuge with the upstairs neighbours after Stanley had struck her. But in Silo’s production, Stella’s anguished and defeated cries of “Blanche” at […]

REVIEW: Matilda the Musical (The Civic)

August 27, 2017

[Children will Listen] Matilda the Musical asserts its ambitions in the opening number, ‘Miracle’. Precocious children at a birthday party, dressed as ballerinas, princesses and superheroes, sing about the positive messages they have internalised from their parents as they make havoc about the stage on an ADHD sugar high: “Ever since the day doc chopped the umbilical cord, it’s been […]

REVIEW: Non Flower Elements (The Basement)

August 23, 2017

[‘There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea…’] A meditation on the concept of interconnectedness? Or an unintentional send-up of artistic ego? Created by Arlo Gibson and Ash Jones, Non Flower Elements is a wonderful mess, a mix of audience participation, musical, monologue and jacked naked men. The show feels like a brainstorm, a bunch of ideas and set […]

REVIEW: Te Waka Huia (Te Pou)

August 21, 2017

[Grief and Belonging] It’s a hard thing, to write something from tragedy and history, knowing that a lineage of survivors will be reviewing your best attempts to honour them.   Directed by Chris Molloy, and written and produced Naomi Bartley, Te Waka Huia responds to New Zealand’s worst road incident: the 1963 Brynderwyn bus crash. It follows an interpretation of historical tragedy, […]

REVIEW: Nell Gwynn (Auckland Theatre Company)

August 20, 2017

[The Rebirth of the Theatre] Of the many great responses from liberal tweeters commenting on the backlash to Jodie Whittaker’s casting as the thirteenth Doctor, my favourite was from playwright Dan Rebellato: EXT. PLAYHOUSE. 1660. AUDIENCE MEMBER runs from theatre. PASSER-BY: What ails you sir? MEMBER: ’Sblood, they have a WOMAN playing DESDEMONA. — Dan Rebellato (@DanRebellato) July 16, 2017 […]

REVIEW: My Dad Wrote a Porno Live

August 17, 2017

[Let’s Get Physical] Like radio, podcasting can create a sense of intimacy. If you listen to a particular programme long enough, it can lead to a sense of false familiarity with the voices of the hosts. That illusion of companionship is especially true with My Dad Wrote A Porno, a podcast in which Jamie Morton reads his father’s self-published erotica, […]

REVIEW: The South Afreakins (The Basement)

August 17, 2017

[Super Gold (card)] When I think of white South Africans, a couple things come to mind: Apartheid, the Springboks, the religious psychos who used to live up the street and, of course, the bad guys in Lethal Weapon 2. It says something that The South Afreakins managed to win me over. To cut to the chase, this show is great. Written and […]

REVIEW: Old Tricks New Dogs (Black Sheep Productions)

August 9, 2017

[Wonder Dogs] Old Tricks New Dogs successfully and fully explores its theme of dogginess through movement, sound, props, personalities and proximities. This non-narrative dance-theatre work follows a thread rather than a storyline, but nevertheless feels complete. The performance begins while the audience is still milling around at the bar; a hi-vis performer with a whistle shepherds us upstairs and into […]

REVIEW: The Effect (Fractious Tash)

August 7, 2017

[May induce euphoria and drowsiness] Creative Producer Jason Hodzelmans and Artistic Director Benjamin Henson have created a very particular brand with theatre company Fractious Tash. They’ve been called ‘innovative’, ‘imaginative’, and ‘outstanding’ – all theatrical buzzwords, but ones that are nonetheless justified. You recognise a Henson production, not because of anything expected, but because of his innate ability to create […]

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