REVIEW: Future’s Eve (The Basement)

August 31, 2018
[Do Toasters Dream of Electric Loaves?] A free-form look at the (dis)respectable tradition of women created by men – from Pygmalion to that creepy sexbot of Scarlett Johansson that somebody built in their parents’ basement – Future’s Eve is a lot to process. There are so many ideas and tones at work in Michelle Aitken’s one-fembot show: sentient toasters, the […]

SCENE BY JAMES: Why New Zealand Theatre Month Matters

August 30, 2018
[September is for Theatre] New Zealand theatre history can be divided into two distinct periods: Before Roger Hall (BRH) and After Roger Hall (ARH). In the year 0 ARH (that’s 1976 in our usual calendar), Roger Hall’s Glide Time – a close to home satire of the Wellington public service – debuted and was a smash hit for Circa Theatre. […]

REVIEW: Filthy Business (Auckland Theatre Company)

August 28, 2018
[Business Smarts Required] It’s East London, 1968, and against all the odds, Jewish entrepreneur and matriarch, Yetta Solomon (Jennifer Ludlam) has built a thriving rubber business. A lavish set vivifies the business’s premises and shop – its worn bricks and mortar seemingly impregnated with the East End’s spirit of elbow grease and hustle, while offcuts of rubber and derivative belts, cushions, […]

REVIEW: I Ain’t Mad At Cha (The Basement)

August 23, 2018
[Rejecting a Bad Rap] “Change, shit / I guess change is good for any of us” begins Tupac’s 1996 anthem ‘I Ain’t Mad at Cha’. Tupac answers his haters – critical of his ghetto-to-celebrity journey – by turning the other cheek. Even though he keeps a glock beside his head for protection from friends turned against him, “I ain’t mad at cha”, […]

REVIEW: Strength & Grace (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

August 21, 2018
[Suffrage Embodied] Royal New Zealand Ballet Artistic Director Patricia Barker commissioned four new ballets in recognition of the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, coinciding with the company’s 65th year. Strength & Grace brings together one local and three international choreographers, comprising a balance of contemporary and classical vocabularies who view the season’s provocation through different lenses. Unusually, […]

REVIEW: I, Will Jones (The Basement)

August 9, 2018
[Me, Myself and I (Will Jones)] If you are familiar with the Auckland theatre scene (drink!), the Basement Theatre is the most exciting place to check out. Sometimes Q will get some braingasm of absurdity like Frank the Mind-Reading Hot Dog on one of its smaller stages, but generally if you want something more lo-fi and harder to categorise, The […]

REVIEW: SIBS (The Basement)

August 9, 2018
[O Sibling, Where Art Thou?] The concept of sibling rivalry dates as far back through history as Romulus and Remus (750 BC), and the conflict it produces has been the subject of theatrical narratives from Shakespeare’s King Lear (c. 1606) to Jess Sayer’s Wings (2013). A meta-theatrical, autobiographical comedy, SIBS presents Chris Parker, an award-winning actor and comedian with a […]

REVIEW: Hir (Silo Theatre)

August 7, 2018
[Transitory Spaces] When prodigal son Isaac (Arlo Green) returns from Afghanistan to find his family home turned upside down, he’s rightfully shocked. Having spent his last three years in the Marines’ Mortuary Affairs division, and dishonourably discharged, it’s no surprise he longs for something familiar and recognisable. Mommy Paige (Rima Te Wiata) has done away with all the rituals and […]

REVIEW: Burn Her (Q Matchbox)

August 6, 2018
[From the Ashes, we Rise] The world has changed since the first reading of Sam Brooks’ latest play, Burn Her, at The Basement Theatre two years ago. At the time, there was no way Brooks could have anticipated the climate in which his play would debut in the Q MATCHBOX 2018 Season. While the election of Trump has publicly highlighted […]

REVIEW: 等凳 – The Chairs – Cantonese Season (Te Pou) [Two Reviews]

August 3, 2018
[Ashes of Time] by Nathan Joe Te Pou’s language-spanning season of The Chairs ends with an exemplary Cantonese version of the play. The prescriptiveness of Eugene Ionesco’s text is respectfully toyed with, recontextualising the space for a traditional Chinese context. Those with even only the slightest understanding of the culture will find resonances in abundance. The basic scenario stays true […]
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