FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Jerome Bel’s The Show Must Go On

March 15, 2011
Just Dance. [by James Wenley] Before me, 19 performers dance to Reel 2 Real’s ‘I like to move it’. Some are dancers, some are actors, and some have never performed before. It’s not your standard dance choreography, and it is definitely not abstract. The song is being taken literally, each performer has a different ‘it’ that they like to move, […]

Adieu Auckland Fringe

March 14, 2011
I hardly saw thee… [by James Wenley]  Last night the Auckland Fringe Festival closing night was partied away in exuberant style to a live Swing band, after the awards had been handed out, in the stunning Pacific Crystal Palace Spiegeltent in Aotea Square. The Spiegeltent was a ‘loan’, of sorts, from the Mumma Auckland Arts Festival. Whereas the prestigious Arts […]

REVIEW: Standstill (Auckland Fringe)

March 14, 2011
All is revealed [by James Wenley] With the Auckland Fringe over, it is safe to talk about Standstill. The latest from The Rebel Alliance, Standstill featured a unique and risky promotional campaign. Their image said “Don’t read this” and the promotional blurb told us nothing about what the show was about, or who was in it. We were asked to […]

REVIEW: The Manganiyar Seduction (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 11, 2011
Think inside the square [by Sharu Delilkan] In the bar prior to the performance someone said “Are you ready for ‘Indian Celebrity Squares’?”. And that was exactly the structure of the musicians we were greeted with onstage, with nine musicians across by four storeys high, revealing a whole grid of musicians who were eventually collectively lit. This was the beginning […]

REVIEW: Big Story, Small Space (Auckland Fringe)

March 10, 2011
Which genius lit the world? [by Sharu Delilkan] As the audience pile into the ‘small space’ I couldn’t help thinking ‘How many more can you fit in?’.  But the constant stream keeps flowing and eventually the show’s co-writer and director Pip Smith bellows ‘I’ve added a chair at the end of that isle across the stage but can I make […]

REVIEW: The Turn of the Screw (Auckland Fringe)

March 9, 2011
Hauntingly Effective  [by James Wenley] With so much of the Fringe being comedy orientated, it was very refreshing to take a walk on the Gothic side late on Monday night. Benjamin Henson intelligently adapts and directs this unsettling stage version of Henry James’ 1897 novella The Turn of the Screw. A white gowned governess (Philippa Johnson) is charged with looking […]

REVIEW: Smoke & Mirrors (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 9, 2011
Camp Circus Freaks [by James Wenley] With this show especially, there is a reason why the performers are on the stage, and we can sit in the audience of the very attractive Spiegeltent. Many of the acts needed strength and ability that only years of training can bring. Nor would most of us, I suspect, be willing to display the […]

REVIEW: Vietnamese Water Puppets (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 9, 2011
Puppets, on water, from Vietnam  [by James Wenley] The Festival Garden in Aotea Square contains quite a treat. At the back, a small lake has been created. Regularly during the festival the Thang Long Troupe of Hanoi perform water puppetry there. You should seek it out. Water Puppetry is an art form that has been going strong for 1000 years. […]

REVIEW: Havoc in the Garden (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 8, 2011
Havoc on the Stage! [by James Wenley] From the outside looking in, our lives must seem bizarre, rushed, and incomprehensible. Havoc in the Garden cuts open houses and allows us to peek into other people’s lives. A brilliant scene shows people living their lives in parallel, unaware of each other, all talking and behaving in their own little bubbles. It’s […]

REVIEW: Drowning in Veronica Lake (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2011
Veronica lives on! [by Sharu Delilkan] Alex Ellis has got the whole package – the petite frame, platinum blonde hair and Veronica Lake’s signature peek-a-boo bangs, which became a phenomenon in the 1940s. She may be a lot taller than Lake was in real life (5 ft 11 in instead of 5 ft 2 in) but that doesn’t detract from […]
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