REVIEW: Birdland (Auckland Fringe)

February 28, 2021
[Back in the Cage] Content Notification: Sexual Assault Did you hear about the big star whose only friend is his lawyer? The former sitcom actor who attends a homophobic church? The Oscar nominee who has his own cult? The square jawed wannabe leading man who’s into non-consensual cannibal fantasies? Well, of course you have.  Celebrity was once this unknowable, almost […]

REVIEW: Outta the Mouths of Babes (Auckland Fringe)

February 28, 2021
[Speaking Freely] This year Basement theatre offered the provocation to artists of making documentary theatre for Fringe 2021. This is intended to democratize the theatre space; to make it more accessible and less elite. To put the lives of the everyperson front and centre and explore notions of authenticity. Outta the Mouths of Babes centres Jude Lowry, “a mother, grandmother […]

REVIEW: Sunrise (Auckland Fringe)

February 25, 2021
[New Light] Created by a team many of whom are still in High School, Seed Theatre Company’s Sunrise is receiving a second season this Fringe after a run at Pitt Street Theatre last year. The play is both an exploration of mental health and a plea for open communication about the issues surrounding it, seeing a quartet of young people […]

REVIEW: Scientists Teach an A.I. about Humanity (Auckland Fringe)

February 25, 2021
[A.I. Acting Up] Highly interactive and deeply irreverent, Scientists Teach An A.I. About Humanity: A Sci-Fi Comedy offers a much needed evening of shared laughter and ridiculousness. Writers and performers John Donnan, Patrick Shanahan, and Natasa Popovic, deliver their show in the form of a ‘scientific symposium’. The symposium is hosted by the ‘professors’ Donnan, Shanahan, and Popovic who stage […]

REVIEW: GHOST MACHINE (Auckland Fringe)

February 24, 2021
The Anxious Ghost As the audience enters the Basement theatre there is an anxious ghost waiting for us. It flaps its ectoplasmic limbs about and counts the people attending with neurotic urgency. Apparently even the dead need to worry about ticket sales. In fact, as we’re about to discover, this luminescent spectre is a bit nervy about a lot of […]

REVIEW: Mr. Melancholy (Auckland Fringe)

February 24, 2021
[Keeping the Light On] Three actors are on stage as we take our seats in Studio One Toi Tu. One clicks something on and off. One slowly pours sand into a bucket. One holds balloons and teases the audience with the thrill of popping them, but never does. From this set-up alone, I knew we had entered the realm of […]

TOURING REVIEW: Dakota of the White Flats (Red Leap Theatre)

February 20, 2021
[Gutsy Girls] Ah, how life imitates art. The speed at which the Red Leap Theatre crew bolted out of Auckland on Valentine’s Day to get to Whangārei just before the midnight lockdown – to perform the world premiere of new show Dakota of the White Flats a few days later – must have at least matched the speed with which […]

REVIEW: Two Ladies (Auckland Theatre Company)

February 14, 2021
[Smartest in the Room] It was Lady Bird Johnson who said a first lady is “an unpaid public servant elected by one person, her husband.” Nancy Harris’s 2019 play Two Ladies puts the women in the shadows centrestage. Deliberately not-so-fictional, its titular ladies Hélène (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) and Sophia (Anna Jullienne) are transparently based on Brigitte Macron and Melania Trump; they […]

REVIEW: The Best Roles I’ll [probably] Never Play (Auckland Pride)

February 13, 2021
[Someone Please Cast Them Immediately] The Best Roles I’ll (Probably) Never Play features songs chosen by the actors. We get a small rundown of why each song is selected, detailing why the performer will never get to play the role. Age, gender, and general type castings are the main reasons, with the pieces selected having some personal importance to the […]

REVIEW: I Wanna Be Mark Wahlberg (Auckland Pride)

February 10, 2021
[Brief Examination] Melody Rachel’s description of her solo performance piece I Wanna be Mark Wahlberg talks about it as an exploration of identity and gender and the way her understanding of these was impacted by a conservative Christian upbringing. Her show manages moments of insight into these concepts, but the clarity of the statements she’s made about her work doesn’t […]