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 […]

SCENE BY NATHAN: Auckland Pride and Fringe 2020

March 17, 2020
Community Makeovers LOUD AND PROUD 2020 marks my first Pride and Fringe in Tāmaki Makaurau not as a resident but as a mere visitor. Both events also took on new directors and new directions as they entered the new decade. While I still find myself deeply invested in the arts ecology of the city, and undoubtedly see my future here, […]

REVIEW: Jelly Baby (Auckland Fringe)

March 3, 2020
[Are We Ready for this Jelly?] (And by this jelly I mean the joyful deconstruction of symbols of diet culture and fat discrimination) The Oddballs’ latest experiment Jelly Baby, starring co-founder Alice Kirker, can be called nothing less than that, as 1 of 5 experimental entrants in The Basement’s 2020 Fringe Provocation ‘Duration’. Each of these four shows is a one-night-only, […]

PREVIEW: Basement Theatre Season of Duration (Auckland Fringe)

February 25, 2020
[Time Lords] Critic and practitioner Nathan Joe previews the five 4-hour long durational shows taking place at Basement Theatre for Auckland Fringe 2020.  With the official announcement of Nisha Madhan as the new programming coordinator of Basement Theatre, it seems appropriate that the 2020 Auckland Fringe Basement Programme (her first Fringe in this position) has her artistic fingerprints all over […]

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 […]

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 […]

SCENE BY NATHAN: Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival

December 5, 2019
Size Isn’t Everything This past Saturday (30th Nov 2019), over the course of 14 hours, Christchurch audiences were treated to a lineup of live performance at CoCA art gallery. The Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival is a first-ever event, presented by Movement Arts Practice (curated by artistic director Julia Harvie).  Appropriately nicknamed Tiny Fest, reflecting its short-lived existence and the intimate scale […]

REVIEW: Welcome to Thebes (The Actors’ Program)

November 9, 2019
Ambitious Push to Marry Myth to Modernity It is no easy task to choose a capstone play for the conclusion of an intensive actor’s training program. In pursuit of an elusive equilibrium between adapting a compelling dramatic script and putting on display the diverse talents of a gifted group of emerging actors, for the 2019 cohort The Actors’ Program have […]

TOURING: A Doll’s House (Twist Productions & Tour-Makers)

September 9, 2019
Architecture of Happiness “You must change your life” –Rainer Maria Rilke, The Archaic Torso of Apollo It’s great to be wrong sometimes.  When I reviewed Emily Perkins’ A Doll’s House (in ATC’s production) the first time around, I found fault with the play and production. It seemed to take place in a nowhere land, despite the New Zealand references. The […]

REVIEW: Bold Moves (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

August 17, 2019
[Decade Defining] Bold Moves presents a mixed bill of contrasting dance works, each definitive for its decade, each contributing to the living vocabulary of ballet in the modern era. The Royal New Zealand Ballet website promotes the show as a triple bill of ensemble works featuring George Balanchine’s Serenade, Andrea Schermoly’s Stand to Reason, and William Forsythe’s Artifact II. At […]
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