REVIEW: The Contours of Heaven (The Basement)

June 23, 2018
[Listen] Without doubt this was one of the best performances I have ever seen. The Contours of Heaven is a one woman tour-de-force performed by Ana Chaya Scotney and produced by Zanetti Productions. Originally created for the 2017 Harcourt’s Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival, it went on to win Best Theatre and Best Performance in the Auckland Fringe Festival, and is […]

REVIEW: Yorick! (Binge Culture)

June 19, 2018
[Dance of Death] Neither an overly-intellectual deconstruction of Hamlet (a la Heiner Muller’s Hamletmachine) or an alternative take on the play (a la Thomas Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), Binge Culture’s Yorick! merely uses Shakespeare’s canonical text as a launching pad for their whimsical and absurd exploration of mortality. And mortality, being the wide-reaching topic it is, is a […]

REVIEW: Cellfish (Silo Theatre)

June 19, 2018
[Big Fish] If truth is often stranger than fiction, why is plausibility so necessary in theatrical plot? While Shakespeare was never opposed to using coincidence or serendipity in order to drive the action of his plays, when such treatments are applied to contemporary modes of theatrical style, the resulting juxtaposition between anachronistic action and modern spectacle risks becoming jarring to […]

REVIEW: Dara (Prayas Theatre)

June 17, 2018
[Tales from the Taj Mahal] “What shall I do? I know not what I am, I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor heathen, nor a Muslim.” — Dara Set during the Mughal Empire, India, 1659, Dara is Tanya Ronder’s adaptation of the original play written by Shahid Nadeem.  Based on true historic events, Dara recounts the fierce sibling rivalry and battle […]

REVIEW: The Cherry Orchard (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 16, 2018
[Mana Whenua] Chekhov’s final play finds itself uprooted from both its Russian origins and its familiar place within the Western theatrical canon in ATC’s latest production of The Cherry Orchard. It has been replanted, by several strokes of genius, in 1970’s Aotearoa – a New Zealand experiencing the death of the old new world, and the birth of a recogniseable […]

REVIEW: A Gambler’s Guide to Dying (The Basement)

June 15, 2018
[Winning Bet] Performed by John Burrows and directed by Jennifer Ward-Lealand, A Gambler’s Guide to Dying is a tribute to the powers of story-telling – to inflate, immortalise and inspire. Written by Gary McNair (who originally performed the solo himself at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival), A Gambler’s Guide to Dying tells the story of a young man and his […]

REVIEW: Morningstar (The Pumphouse)

June 8, 2018
[Dramatic Archangels] For the next eight nights, The Pumphouse stage is heaven – one year since the creation of Eden. In this first production of Albert Belz’s Morningstar, directed by Romy Hooper, a passionate host of archangels battle it out in a family feud of epic proportions. The gang are all there, though perhaps not quite as we know them […]

REVIEW: Precious Little (The Basement)

June 1, 2018
[Koko’s Legacy] Precious Little is a play about language. Written by American playwright Madeleine George and directed by Patricia Wichman for Navi Collaborative, it explores questions surrounding the ways language connects us, but also what other types of communication become necessary when words aren’t enough. When talented linguist Brodie (Jessi Williams) discovers her sperm donor pregnancy may be affected by […]

REVIEW: Tampocalypse (Te Pou)

May 29, 2018
[Tampocalypse now needs a Redux] “At the end of the world, not everything stops.” So claims Embers Collective, a daring new production company set up by Unitec grads, Ashleigh Hook and Rebekah Dack, the dynamic director-producer duo behind Tampocalypse, which concluded Te Pou Theatre’s Rangatahi development season 2018. The show’s tagline couldn’t be more fitting. Tampocalypse gives us a world […]
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