REVIEW: The Gangster’s Paradise (ATC Here & Now Festival)

April 29, 2019
[A New Turf] A bass beat plays and a rap song booms through the ASB Waterfront Theatre. Young actors dressed in school uniform rip up the stage with a hip hop number, battling it out in a Stomp the Yard set. Half of the students wear red bandanas and the other half wear blue bandanas with coloured shirts under their […]

REVIEW: 8 Reasonable Demands (ATC Here & Now Festival)

April 27, 2019
A sobering look at the underbelly of Auckland’s queer community In 8 Reasonable Demands, playwright Joni Nelson asks the audience to consider the extent to which we take fundamental living standards for granted. At the ASB Waterfront Theatre, six characters find their lives upended by a life-changing decision to hold the government to ransom using leverage acquired by the use […]

REVIEW: Watch Party (ATC Here & Now Festival)

April 27, 2019
[It is Watch Party my dudes] I hold the ATC ‘youth’ shows in high regard, attending in the past primarily to take a sneak-peek at the hot new talent rising within the ranks of the Auckland theatre scene. I also have a soft spot for devised theatre and the inclusive platform this type of theatre making can offer to a […]

WELLINGTON REVIEW: This Long Winter (BATS Theatre)

April 14, 2019
[Break the Cycle] James Wenley reviews Sarah Delahunty’s latest play This Long Winter, which issues a renewed challenge for how we do Shakespeare in this country, and whether we should be doing some of his plays at all. Here’s one version of the tale: a pregnant woman is falsely accused by her husband of being unfaithful. She remains dignified, even when […]

REVIEW: Woman of Citrus (Basement Theatre)

April 13, 2019
[Peeling back the layers of Aotearoa’s racial divide] Why do you bind our potential so close to our wrists that we slit them? In Woman of Citrus, we join Grace Bennett, a young black female raised in Aotearoa, as she grapples with racial prejudice and intolerance from the Kiwi community surrounding her. Written and performed by Toi Whakaari graduate Grace Bentley […]

REVIEW: Before Karma Gets Us (Basement Theatre)

April 5, 2019
[Now You See Me, Me, Me] In the mid-50s, a magician (Tess Sullivan) and her two weary apprentices/assistants/props (Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker) attempt to put on their show. As egos flare, the line between illusion and reality begins to break down… Created and performed by Tess Sullivan, Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker, Before Karma Gets Us is like The […]

SCENE BY JAMES: Resonance and the New Zealand Fringe, Wellington 2019

April 1, 2019
[On the Fringe: Shifting and Singing] Content Notification: Discussion of the Christchurch terror attack, sexual violence, and suicide. But also hope, and joy, and singing, and the rejuvenating potential of performance. Can you take the pulse of a city through the shows performed on its Fringe? Can you judge the heart of a Festival by the visitors who have come […]