REVIEW: Pleasuredome: The Musical

September 30, 2017
[A Long Way From Home] It’s one of the most audacious and head-spinningly ambitious theatrical endeavours ever mounted in New Zealand. Promising to transport us to 1984 and the notoriously hedonistic underground New York clubs (the last hold-outs from the disco era), audiences arrive in Henderson and enter, via a subway station portal, a NYC wonderland. You walk a block-long […]

REVIEW: Soft Tissue (The Basement)

September 27, 2017
[Madonna/Whore] Wrapped in cloth gauze, a modified hijab of virginal white, Ella Gilbert plummets around the stage in bold and often uncomfortable movements. Imagine an alien shapeshifter forced to become a woman on Planet Earth, to operate under the complex and contradictory behaviours of femaleness. That’s what Gilbert embodies here. A body horror of female sex at war with itself; […]

REVIEW: Velvet (Auckland Live International Cabaret Season)

September 25, 2017
[Everybody Dance!] This show is awesome, this show is great, this show made me want dance like a loon. So much of my love for this show boils down to two things. The first is the totally awesome soundtrack, jam-packed with disco classics, from Chic’s ‘Le Freak’ to Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ and The Tramps’ ‘Disco Inferno’. The second […]

REVIEW: Super-HUGH-Man (Auckland Live International Cabaret Festival)

September 21, 2017
[Nothing Compares to Hugh] One of the more unique offerings at this year’s Cabaret festival, Rutene Spooner’s one-man extravaganza Super-HUGH-Man is a winning if somewhat scattershot look at music, theatre, machismo and pop culture, all refracted through his adoration for Hugh Jackman. Amid the song, dance and comic book in-jokes, Spooner talks of his love for Jackman and his cinematic […]

REVIEW: Starman (Auckland Live International Cabaret Season)

September 15, 2017
[The Stars Look Very Different Today] We begin with a voice-over with some out-of-this-world numbers: the number of people that have lived in all of human history is the same number of stars that there are in our universe. There’s a planet out there for each of us. Here’s something else amazing. What were the odds, out of all of […]

REVIEW: Aunty (The Basement)

September 13, 2017
[Fun Appetiser] Aunty, a solo show by Johanna Cosgrove, feels more like a party than a show. It is the foundation of its success, and a symptom of a fundamental flaw. But first, the good stuff. At the centre of the festivities is Aunty, an obnoxious, self-absorbed but loving woman, who has managed to pull her entire extended family (the […]

REVIEW: The Wholehearted (Massive Company)

September 11, 2017
[So Many Soapboxes, So Little Time] The Wholehearted is a meditation on emotional vulnerability. Devised by its cast (Bree Peters, Milo Cawthorne, Villa Lemanu, Denyce Su’a, Pat Tafa, Kura Forrester and Scotty Cotter), and directed by the team of Sam Scott and Scotty Cotter, the show mixes stories, music and pop culture to examine our hangups about baring our souls to other […]

REVIEW: OTHER [chinese] (Q Matchbox)

September 8, 2017
[Identity and the Chorus] Following her solo show White/Other, Alice Canton has expanded her exploration of identity into a multifaceted production driven by a variety of voices. In her attempt to tackle the question of what it means to be Chinese in Aotearoa, she has made the logical jump to recruit a massive cast of ‘storytellers’ to share their own […]

REVIEW: Peter Paka Paratene (Koanga Festival)

September 8, 2017
[Ask the Paka Anything] Given the multitude of performance credits that Rāwiri Paratene has to his name, it’s almost unbelievable that this is his first solo show.  And yet, he very honestly says he agreed to do a solo show for the first time – if he could have a four-piece back up band! Directed by Tainui Tukiwaho,  Peter Paka […]