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 are Matt Baker, Sharu Delilkan, Tim Booth, Brigitte Knight, Tim George, Nathan Joe and Rachael Longshaw-Park.
If you have a production you would like to be reviewed, or would like to suggest something to be featured on Theatre Scenes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
James Wenley is a theatre critic and enthusiast. He began reviewing theatre for Craccum Magazine in 2008, and was the Theatre Editor 2009-2010 before establishing Theatre Scenes in 2011. While continuing to edit and review for Theatre Scenes, he joined Metro Magazine‘s review team in 2014. James won the inaugural Pantograph Punch Best Critic award at the 2015 Auckland Theatre Awards .
He has a PhD in Drama from the University of Auckland and is currently teaching at the same institution. James is a producer for Theatre of Love. He likes his theatre well done.
Matt studied as an actor at the UNITEC School of Performing And Screen Arts and has performed in theatre, musical theatre, short films, television, and commercials for the past 11 years. In 2013 he completed a Meisner technique course with Neighbourhood Playhouse representative Mike Saccente, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts with Merit specialising in Drama. Matt began directing in 2014 with critically acclaimed productions of Mo & Jess Kill Susie and An Unseasonable Fall of Snow by New Zealand playwright Gary Henderson. He is represented by Kathryn Rawlings & Associates, is a member of New Zealand Actors’ Equity, and is the inaugural New Zealand member of the International Association of Theatre Critics.
Matt began reviewing in 2011 for Craccum Magazine, and won the Hackman Theatre Award for best review quote of the year for a pithy comment on that year’s Othello.
Matt offers this quote towards his reviewing philosophy: “Criticism is the first word, not the last.”
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 Theatrescenes for a number of years now in collaboration with his ‘first wife’ Sharu. Tim is an engineer by trade and attempts to present a slightly alternate audience members perspective in his reviews.
Tim co-directed and co-wrote Manpreet’s Spicy Emporium, Life Coach and Business Mentor Pvt Ltd PhD (with Aman Bajaj) in 2017, and co-wrote, The Marriage Bureau (2015) and Footprints to New Zealand (2014) with Sharu. All three plays reached the Short + Sweet Gala Finals.
His set design credits also include Henry V (Sharu Loves Hats and ShakeItUp!) at The Pop up Globe, Pah Homestead and The Pumphouse; Northern Glow (Working Class Productions & Agaram) at The Basement Theatre; Hair Today (Te Rehia) and Sham (We Three Productions, Dan Williams original set design) at Te Pou Theatre; Manpreet’s Spicy Emporium (Junglee Productions) TAPAC & Garnett Station Theatres; and The Marriage Bureau (Sharu Loves Hats) and Love ‘N’ Stuff (Prayas Theatre Company) 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 George enjoys writing and watching plays. He has two Masters degrees because of low self-esteem and a fear of gainful employment. When he is not analysing plays you can find him contributing self-important discourses on pop culture on denofgeek.com, theragnz.com and at his own blog http://midniteramble.blogspot.co.nz.
In 2015, Nathan was awarded the Playmarket b425 award for Hippolytus Veiled and shortlisted for the Playmarket ADAM NZ award for Who is Sada Abe? Part One: Bullfight of Love.
Rachael Longshaw-Park, who has an Masters of Arts in Drama from the University of Auckland, divides her time between teaching, studying and devouring theatre, whether that be by reading, directing or viewing – as long as theatre is involved she’s content.