THEATRE SCENES is an independent and alternative blog for reviews and commentary on theatre productions in Auckland and beyond. Edited by James Wenley, our critics included Sharu Delilkan, Tim Booth, Brigitte Knight, Tim George, Nathan Joe, Rachael Longshaw-Park, Rand Hazou, Cynthia Lam, Maulik Thakkar, Irene Corbett.
If you have a production you would like to be reviewed please contact James Wenley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that our capacity for reviews and pool of available reviewers is limited through the current Omicron outbreak. Our apologies if we are unable to offer a review during this time.
James is the founder and editor of Theatre Scenes, which he established in 2011 to cover the wide variety of theatrical work performed on Auckland’s stages – and beyond.
James has been reviewing theatre since 2008; his reviews have appeared in Craccum Magazine, Theatre Scenes and Metro Magazine. James won the inaugural Pantograph Punch Best Critic award at the 2015 Auckland Theatre Awards.
He has a PhD from the University of Auckland where he researched the international performance of New Zealand theatre. Now based in Wellington, James is a lecturer in Victoria University of Wellington’s theatre programme. He likes his theatre well done.
Prior to blogging for Theatre Scenes, Sharu Delilkan was the freelance Entertainment editor for The Aucklander for 4+ years, writing about and promoting a huge number of arts events. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications (Journalism Major), was co-founder and managing director of BB Showbiz in Malaysia working in the live music scene, and since moving to New Zealand has been highly involved with PR and the arts industry. She has produces under her company Sharu Loves Hats, and has a Master of Arts in Arts Management at Whitecliffe College.
Sharu often co-writes her reviews with partner Tim Booth.
Tim has been a contributor to Theatres Senes for many years now in collaboration with his ‘first wife’ Sharu. As well as doing ‘theatre stuff’, Tim is an engineer by trade and attempts to present a slightly alternate audience member’s perspective in his reviews.
Tim has co-written and co-directed Three plays with Aman Bajaj: Manpreet’s Degustation; Manpreet’s Wedding Night; and Manpreet’s Spicy Emporium, Life Coach and Business Mentor Pvt Ltd PhD. He also co-wrote, The Marriage Bureau and Footprints to New Zealand with Sharu.
His set design credits also include Beauty and the Beast at Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Henry V at The Pop-up Globe, Pah Homestead and The Pumphouse; Northern Glow at The Basement; Hair Today and Sham at Te Pou Theatre; The Manpreet’s Trilogy at TAPAC & Garnett Station Theatres; and The Marriage Bureau & Love ‘N’ Stuff at TAPAC.
Brigitte Knight, MProfStuds Education (Hons, First Class), BA, Dip. Teach (Sec) is an experienced and innovative choreographer, dance educator, adjudicator and critic. She has created work for Okareka Dance Company Summer School, Coca Cola Christmas in the Park, New Zealand Fashion Week, Māori Television, The Auckland Shakespeare Company, Tempo Festival, The Basement Theatre, Aotea Diwali Festival, University of Auckland Diwali Festival, Desi Showbiz International, The Radio Network, Short + Sweet Dance, NZ One Act Play Festival and many more. Brigitte is a fully registered, experienced secondary teacher, and the author of two of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s NCEA resources. She has guested, tutored and choreographed for many of New Zealand’s leading dance education providers. She has recently completed her Masters degree in dance education, with a focus on the value of original choreography, which she achieved with First Class Honours. Brigitte is also the Artistic Director of The Friday Company, senior ballet teacher at AWDA, contemporary and jazz teacher at AAAB, dance educator for the RNZB and TIC Dance at Ormiston Senior College.
Tim loves writing about the Auckland theatre scene, particularly the works by up-and-coming writers and performers. When he is not contributing to Theatrescenes, Tim can be found rambling about movies at denofgeek.com, filmstories.co.uk and his personal blog http://midniteramble.blogspot.
Nathan is a graduate of the New Zealand Broadcasting School and is a Christchurch-based playwright and performance poet.
He has won the Playmarket b425 award twice for his plays Hippolytus Veiled and Like Sex. His most recent plays include: I am Rachel Chu and Scenes from a Yellow Peril.
As a dramaturge, he has worked with the likes of Legacy Project (year 5 & 6), Auckland Theatre Company (Here & Now) and Proudly Asian Theatre (Fresh off the Page).
Rachael Longshaw-Park (she/her) is a theatre maker and writer who is passionate about making impactful, accessible and curious theatre. Rachael is incredibly grateful to live in Tāmaki Makaurau where she gets to collaborate with so many fantastic artists and makers. Rachael loves to perform, you may have seen her in Amber Liberté’s Our Modern Earth(is a f*cking mess), Nathan Joe & George Fenn’s An Open Apology or more recently as a puppeteer at Whoa Studios. Rachael has an MA in theatre from UOA where she found a love for directing and dramaturgy. Rachael has directed Dr Drama Makes A Show & Dr Drama Makes A Show With You and An Organ of Soft Tissue and also worked as a dramaturg on projects such as Legacy Project 5 & 6, Inhospitable, and Minema. One of her absolute favourite things to do is to crack open a piece of work with some fellow makers and see what magic can happen.
DR RAND T. HAZOU
Rand is theatre academic and facilitator with experience working across a variety of creative and community contexts. In 2004, he was commissioned by the UNDP to travel to the Occupied Territories in Palestine to run workshops for Palestinian youths. His research explores theatre that engages with issues of social justice. His research on Asylum Seeker and Refugee Theatre has been published in a series of international journal articles. In Aotearoa he has led teaching and creative projects engaging with both prison and aged-care communities. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Theatre at Massey University.
Cynthia Hiu Ying Lam is a postgraduate student at Massey University. She is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy with a focus on identity and feminist politics within a decolonial and transnational theatre context in New Zealand and Hong Kong. Her Master of Arts thesis examined the works of contemporary female Chinese Kiwi theatre-makers, analysing their works within the bicultural paradigm and the history of Chinese people in New Zealand.
Prior to this, she worked for a regional financial publication in Hong Kong. Her pursuit of theatre began when she began a one-year Musical Theatre Performance programme at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Born in Hong Kong, she has lived and studied in different countries including New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and the United States.
Maulik is a compulsive over-thinker, a sometime actor and and a longtime dreamer. He describes himself as a bratty, spoiled third-culture child of the 1990s who’s had (far) too many privileges in life. He can be found posting a lot of food for thought on Facebook and LinkedIn, diminishing his online reputation for potential employers. He enjoys volunteering his urban planning skills with Generation Zero, a grassroots climate action lobby group that champions youth-led, non-partisan solutions to lead Aotearoa toward a path of emissions neutrality. He’s lived across different continents and spends his time worrying about whether humanity will survive the century. He also makes hommous in his spare time, and is always keen to swap recipes and cooking strategies at any time of day or night.
Profiles for Cassandra De La Croix and Irene Corbett are forthcoming.
Our thanks to previous regular contributors: Matt Baker, Jess Holly Bates, Camilla Walker and Gabriel Faatau’uu-Satiu.