REVIEW: Kūpapa (Te Pou Theatre)

July 5, 2021
[Existing In Between] “Kūpapa (noun) collaborator, ally, — a term that came to be applied to Māori who sided with Pākehā opposition or the Government. There has been a shift from a general meaning of neutrality to the modern use, which now sometimes has derogative connotations; traitor.” – maoridictionary.co.nz This play, however, is no straightforward indictment of protagonist and historical […]

REVIEW: Change Your Own Life (Basement Theatre)

April 14, 2021
[The Wheel of Fortune] How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone? This is one of the central questions in Jean Sergent’s Change Your Own Life – one which she directly asks the audience. But this show is not a didactic self-help talk – far from it. What Sergent offers up instead is a deeply personal story of […]

REVIEW: You are [Not] Alone Here (Auckland Fringe)

April 7, 2021
[Pulling the Plug] The play begins in the foyer. The Basement bar area has been decorated with messages – I spot a myriad of advertisements among what appear to be snippets of conversations, perhaps emails or texts. This announces the central theme of You Are [Not] Alone Here: that our communication and relationships have become fractured through technology and consumerism.  […]

REVIEW: Outta the Mouths of Babes (Auckland Fringe)

February 28, 2021
[Speaking Freely] This year Basement theatre offered the provocation to artists of making documentary theatre for Fringe 2021. This is intended to democratize the theatre space; to make it more accessible and less elite. To put the lives of the everyperson front and centre and explore notions of authenticity. Outta the Mouths of Babes centres Jude Lowry, “a mother, grandmother […]

REVIEW: Mr. Melancholy (Auckland Fringe)

February 24, 2021
[Keeping the Light On] Three actors are on stage as we take our seats in Studio One Toi Tu. One clicks something on and off. One slowly pours sand into a bucket. One holds balloons and teases the audience with the thrill of popping them, but never does. From this set-up alone, I knew we had entered the realm of […]

REVIEW: Our Modern Earth (Is A F*cking Mess) (Basement Theatre)

October 21, 2020
[Our Current Moment] Intense, explosive and beautiful. Our Modern Earth (Is A F*cking Mess), created by Amber Liberté and performed by an ensemble cast of 13, is another chaos-fuelled response to the climate crisis in the Basement’s main space. A fusion of dance, theatre and art installation, it immediately announces itself as an experimental work. Not least because the experience […]

REVIEW: Heatwave (Basement Theatre)

October 15, 2020
[Take Action] It’s no coincidence that two works responding to the climate crisis, Heatwave and Our Modern Earth, have been programmed one after the other in Basement’s Reunited season. The effects of human-made climate change are increasingly apparent, and young people are all too aware that we are out of time. It’s election season – and this election feels more […]

REVIEW: Sunflowers (Pumphouse Theatre)

October 2, 2020
[Leaning Towards the Sun] The world has changed irrevocably since the last time I reviewed a theatre show. The spaced-out chairs in the PumpHouse’s Coal Bunker – an already intimate area – are a testament to that. The apocalyptic setting of this romantic two-hander feels perfectly timed, and its tone reflects the surreality of our current moment, in which our […]

REVIEW: Faceless Hair Cry (Auckland Fringe)

March 5, 2020
[An Open Body] Perhaps the best thing about seeing a dance piece like this is its openness to interpretation. It is visual and auditory but without any text to impose meaning on the audience, leaving us to be affected by what we see in a visceral and extremely personal way. Critiquing, by nature, is an act of interpretation – itself […]

REVIEW: I Know What I’m Doing (Auckland Fringe)

February 27, 2020
[Relinquishing Control] Can we ever really feel like we know what we’re doing? Is what I do with my time worth something? I Know What I’m Doing is an experimental, tender and funny piece that tackles some of life’s biggest questions. Straight off the back of a season at the Sydney Fringe (2019), NZ artist Melody Rachel brings her unique […]
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