REVIEW: Soft n Hard (Tempo Dance Festival)

October 12, 2018
[Woman v Shrill Man] The story of a relationship between a man and woman, Soft n Hard is based on movement and song, but to call this Tempo work a dance show feels reductive. Created and performed by Jo Randerson and Thomas LaHood (and directed by Isobel MacKinnon), Soft n Hard is about juxtaposition and conflict over assumptions and expectations around […]

REVIEW: WMBADx: Ideas Worth Spreading (Basement Theatre)

October 8, 2018
[Performers Worth Watching] WMBADx: Ideas Worth Spreading (WMBADx) is a perfect Basement show: a symbiosis of the weird and wonderful, with unexpected freaky twists and turns along the way. Billed as a ‘TEDesque’ experience, this show epitomises a TED Talk gone wrong in practically every way.  From the script, lighting, to the trolls, every aspect is pivotal in creating a […]

REVIEW: Paper Planes (Basement Theatre)

October 6, 2018
[A dog, a moon and a Belarusian walk into a bar…] Late one night, Fran (Holly Hudson) lies awake in bed while her neighbours party the night away. Unable to sleep, her insomnia is exacerbated by her canine companion Dog (a superlative performance by puppeteer Tamara Gussy), who insists on playing while her Belarusian landlady, Mrs Withers (another puppet performed […]

REVIEW: Rendered (Auckland Theatre Company)

September 26, 2018
[Trapped in a World of Opposites] The great 13th century Persian and Muslim poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī said: ‘Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field. I will meet you there’. While there is some dispute about the accuracy of these translated words, the sentiment nevertheless expresses the Sufi desire to transcend binaries, to move […]

REVIEW: A Few Things I’ve Learnt about Dating and Death (Basement Theatre)

September 20, 2018
[Basic Instincts] I put my hand up to review this show based solely on the poster: A snarling woman puking Black bile while her eyes scream bloody murder. Sold. The moment actress Acacia O’Connor was screaming at me in German while covered in black war paint and pouring wine into an imaginary glass, I think this might be my favourite […]

REVIEW: Mr Burns (Silo Theatre)

September 19, 2018
[Will The Simpsons Save the World?] This play reminds of a fantasy David Mamet told in one of his books about working in Hollywood. If the apocalypse ever happened, he could make a living telling stories around the campfire, while the studio executives he worked for would starve to death. The power of storytelling to act as a vehicle for […]

SCENE BY JAMES: Stars, Sex, Scares and Sisters: Auckland does NZ Theatre Month

September 14, 2018
[What’s Good Auckland?] Already in the first fortnight of the inaugural New Zealand Theatre Month, Auckland has had a glut of good theatre. Consider, that in the professional theatre alone we have had: Two return seasons of shows that debuted last year in Auckland: Indian Ink’s Mrs Krishnan’s Party and Red Leap’s Kororāreka: The Ballad of Maggie Flynn. Two Auckland […]

REVIEW: Unsupervised (The Basement)

September 13, 2018
[Responsibility – The Musical!] Conceived and performed by Rebekah Head and Jess Brian, Unsupervised is part cabaret, part Muppets/Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood skit. The title refers to the performers’ relationship with adulthood and hence being ‘unsupervised’ in their lives. Bracketed by songs (topics include bringing down the patriarchy and a killer parody of yoof-centric sex ed presentations), Head and Brian talk about […]

REVIEW: Cradle Song (Te Rēhia Theatre)

September 12, 2018
[The Woman in White] Albert Belz’s Cradle Song adheres closely to the tried and true tropes of the horror genre: vengeful spirits, religion, a creepy setting, stranded youngsters making bad decisions. While offering little subversion for any diehard horror aficionados, there is great pleasure in watching a difficult genre handled expertly on stage. This is not the first time Belz […]

REVIEW: Bright Star (Plumb Productions)

September 12, 2018
[Star is Born Again] Although set forty-four years ago in Dallas, Texas, Bright Star strikes a still very relevant chord in its handling of misogyny in the workplace, the conflicts between careers and family, and the challenges of a pursuit of excellence. Written by Stuart Hoar, the play follows a chapter in the life of Beatrice and Brian Tinsley, New […]
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