SCENE BY JAMES: 2023 – A Theatrical Year in Review [Part 2: The Shows]

December 30, 2023

This year’s commentary is split into two parts. CLICK HERE for 2023 – A Theatrical Year in Review [Part 1 – The Issues]. Theatre Scenes’ recent annual Year in Reviews have focussed on big sector issues, broadening our focus beyond the theatre performed on our stages. But it is always a relief to turn the attention back to the shows, […]

SCENE BY JAMES: 2023 – A Theatrical Year in Review [Part 1: The Issues]

December 30, 2023

The good news: For the first time in four years, 2023 was marked by the absence of widespread disruption and cancellations of performing arts events caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Buoyed by Government investment, festivals were back in force up and down the country. There were plenty of sold out shows. Theatre is back, baby! The not-so-good news: Extreme weather […]

REVIEW: Jingle Bellethon Telethon (Basement Christmas Show)

December 19, 2023

It’s Christmas. And every day Australia steals more of our Kiwi kids. But you, kind caller, can stop this! Donate today to the Jingle Bellethon Telethon and we will send a parcel of Christmas kiwiana to remind our Kiwi kids of just what it means to be a Kiwi!  Created by Janaye Henry (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) and Bea Gladding […]

REVIEW: Ngā Reta (Te Pou)

December 7, 2023

Ngā Reta is a poignant and humorous solo performance piece, which explores the individual nature of relationships and identity, in total-immersion reo Māori. The play follows Mia’s journey after receiving a box of letters, ngā reta, in the mail. The letters, from Kuia, detail her mother’s life and hint at the identity of her father. This throws Mia into turmoil, […]

REVIEW: The Clay Cart (Prayas Theatre)

December 7, 2023

Prayas Theatre Company returns to TAPAC with their production of The Clay Cart. The play opens with a meta twist; on stage the Prayas ensemble are rehearsing their own production of The Clay Cart, ready to bring this classic in Indian theatre to the New Zealand stage for the first time.  However, it’s no simple task. The cast is struggling […]

REVIEW: Heartbreak Hotel (Q Theatre)

November 30, 2023

[Find Some Room For Broken Hearted Lovers] Take a walk down Lonely Street to Heartbreak Hotel at the Q Theatre, the latest creative venture by Eleanor Bishop and Karin McCracken.  It’s hard to know what to expect when you arrive at the Heartbreak Hotel. When our hotelier and host (Karin McCracken) comes on stage in a bedazzled lilac suit, backed […]

REVIEW: Limited Time Only (Te Pou)

November 29, 2023

Limited Time Only is an entertaining and heartfelt exploration of love, loss, and what is important in life.  The play follows three siblings who meet up on the one-year anniversary of their mum passing. Opening a mysterious envelope thrusts the siblings into a reluctant journey through the nearby wilderness, with the promise of treasure. The story is funny and emotionally […]

REVIEW: CHAIRS! (Basement)

November 17, 2023

[Chairs: Sit up and take note] In a world of wheels, Molly is stuck in place. What’s worse is no one in her life seems to recognise her plight, or they think it is merely a temporary state of mind. Shows like Chairs! are the reason why the Basement is my favourite theatre in Auckland.  From the outset, it has […]

REVIEW: Concerning the UFO Sighting Outside Mt Roskill, Auckland (Te Pou)

November 15, 2023

[My Love is Alien] Reon Bell’s (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa) Concerning the UFO Sighting Outside Mt Roskill, Auckland returns to the stage after appearing in the Auckland Pride Festival, and the Kia Mau Festival to kick off the 2023 Rangatahi season at Te Pou Theatre.  Immersed in sci-fi and kiwiana, it’s Auckland, but not as […]

REVIEW: Skin Hunger (Q Theatre)

November 8, 2023

[Like a Prayer] Grief, masturbation, and the catholic church – the holy trinity of Tatiana Hotere’s Skin Hunger, a one woman show that explores life after the death of a spouse and how grief can make you unexpectedly horny. Returning to Q theatre after a sell-out season earlier this year, the show has been reimagined — transformed from a three […]

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