• Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Provocation (Auckland Pride)

    [Conversations with the Dead] Set in the afterlife, Aroha Awarau’s latest play Provocation is a study in grief. Not the grieving of others but the grief of oneself. Two gay men in limbo, confronted by [...]
  • Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Odd Daphne Season 2 (Māngere Arts Centre)

    [Dysfunctional Families Meet Cheesecake] Odd Daphne, a semi-autobiographical play by Joshua Iosefo, invites us on a journey to explore the bonds that tie families together, as well as how understanding can morph into drastic reactions [...]
  • Auckland Pride

    REVIEW: Transhumance (Auckland Pride)

    [Gender Training] A solo performance piece by New York-based clown and theatre artist Ania Upstill, Transhumance is the funny and poignant story of one clown’s exploration of gender, as they try on different genders and live [...]
In the Spotlight

SCENE BY JAMES: 2019 – A Theatrical Year in Review

by James Wenley in Scene by James

[What could we do with sustainable practice?] The challenges of making a living out of the performing and screen arts are well known to the industry, but there is something about seeing the facts in black and white that throws the problem into stark relief. I’m talking about research commissioned by Creative New Zealand and NZ on Air released in May this year which found the average wage for creative professionals in Aotearoa is $36,000, below the living wage (42K in 2018). “Most rely on other sources of financial support such as another job or a partner’s income to survive, [...]

REVIEW: The Works of William Shakespeare by Chicks (Auckland Fringe)

February 20, 2020
[Playing with Plays] It’s a story we’ve heard before – Shakespeare’s works were not written by the man named William Shakespeare, but by someone else, or maybe even a group of people. The list of suspects usually ranges from Christopher Marlowe to Sir Walter Raleigh and Francis Bacon. But this show proposes something different: that the plays we all know […]

REVIEW: Get out of my Letterbox (Auckland Fringe)

February 20, 2020
[Theatre Time is different to Earth Time] Two women, a silver survey machine with the power to turn back time, dozens of bananas, and a pair of letterboxes are the difference between knowing who you think you are and finding out you are a quarter Costa Rican. Get Out of My Letter Box builds a world of wild imagination, subterfuge, […]

REVIEW: Provocation (Auckland Pride)

February 15, 2020
[Conversations with the Dead] Set in the afterlife, Aroha Awarau’s latest play Provocation is a study in grief. Not the grieving of others but the grief of oneself. Two gay men in limbo, confronted by the hate crimes committed against them, and desperate to find some sort of peace.  This isn’t the first time Awarau has mined the depths of […]

REVIEW: Odd Daphne Season 2 (Māngere Arts Centre)

February 13, 2020
[Dysfunctional Families Meet Cheesecake] Odd Daphne, a semi-autobiographical play by Joshua Iosefo, invites us on a journey to explore the bonds that tie families together, as well as how understanding can morph into drastic reactions – especially when large families try to intervene to resolve challenges faced by younger generations. Grief, trauma and self-acceptance are explored in the context of coming […]

REVIEW: Transhumance (Auckland Pride)

February 10, 2020
[Gender Training] A solo performance piece by New York-based clown and theatre artist Ania Upstill, Transhumance is the funny and poignant story of one clown’s exploration of gender, as they try on different genders and live through each one’s pros and cons. Clad in gender-neutral one-piece undergarments and a coat, Upstill’s clown is charming and captivating, immediately setting us  at ease even […]

REVIEW: Night of the Queer (Auckland Pride)

February 8, 2020
[A Night Without Fear] I’m in the TAPAC foyer, waiting for my male friend to arrive. The atmosphere around me is light as eclectic and alternative beauties mingle – one woman wears little more that a fishnet body-stocking and a big smile; towards the bar, the crowds part intuitively for numerous wheelchair users as they join friends. Instantly, I know […]

REVIEW: Leather Lungs: Yas Queen! (Auckland Pride)

February 6, 2020
[Queen of Q] “Do you guys like my outfit?” Jason Chasland inquires at the top of the show, swivelling so the stage lights illuminate the bejewelled patterns adorning his shoulders. There’s also a bright pink wig, an embroidered black corset, fishnet stockings, half a purple $2 Shop tutu, and a pair of staggering stiletto leather boots, accented with small red […]

REVIEW: OurGala 2020 (Auckland Pride)

February 4, 2020
[Inclusive we are and inclusionary we will be] It is a delight to attend Auckland’s Pride Gala, marking the opening of the festival in its eighth edition, and offering a glimpse into the marvels on offer in this year’s programme. Our effusive host, Hugo Grrrl, welcomes a packed audience to the scheduled treats.  The headlines declare “a bigger, brighter and […]

SCENE BY JAMES: 2019 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 30, 2019
[What could we do with sustainable practice?] The challenges of making a living out of the performing and screen arts are well known to the industry, but there is something about seeing the facts in black and white that throws the problem into stark relief. I’m talking about research commissioned by Creative New Zealand and NZ on Air released in […]

REVIEW: The WonderWombs (The Dust Palace)

December 20, 2019
Wonder No More Created by Auckland-based cirque-theatre company the Dust Palace, The Wonderwombs is a tantalising performance of aerial acrobatics, challenging our perceptions of womanhood.   Curiosity begins as soon as we take out seats. Hanging from the ceiling of Q theatre are various innocuous pastel pink objects – a rubber glove, a child’s fortune-teller game – and items move towards […]

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For reviews of theatre playing elsewhere in New Zealand, go to Theatreview.org.nz