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 […]

REVIEW: Orientation (Proudly Asian Theatre)

September 11, 2018
[Roots] Can love transcend race? Is it better to have loved and lost your identity then not to have loved at all? These are just two of the poignant questions asked by Orientation, intelligently written and compellingly directed by Chye-Ling Huang. Against the backdrop of the legacy of colonialism that continues to inform racial politics in contemporary Aotearoa, Orientation is […]

REVIEW: Future’s Eve (The Basement)

August 31, 2018
[Do Toasters Dream of Electric Loaves?] A free-form look at the (dis)respectable tradition of women created by men – from Pygmalion to that creepy sexbot of Scarlett Johansson that somebody built in their parents’ basement – Future’s Eve is a lot to process. There are so many ideas and tones at work in Michelle Aitken’s one-fembot show: sentient toasters, the […]

SCENE BY JAMES: Why New Zealand Theatre Month Matters

August 30, 2018
[September is for Theatre] New Zealand theatre history can be divided into two distinct periods: Before Roger Hall (BRH) and After Roger Hall (ARH). In the year 0 ARH (that’s 1976 in our usual calendar), Roger Hall’s Glide Time – a close to home satire of the Wellington public service – debuted and was a smash hit for Circa Theatre. […]
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