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. […]

REVIEW: I Ain’t Mad At Cha (The Basement)

August 23, 2018
[Rejecting a Bad Rap] “Change, shit / I guess change is good for any of us” begins Tupac’s 1996 anthem ‘I Ain’t Mad at Cha’. Tupac answers his haters – critical of his ghetto-to-celebrity journey – by turning the other cheek. Even though he keeps a glock beside his head for protection from friends turned against him, “I ain’t mad at cha”, […]

The Pop-up Globe ‘Abuse of Power’: In their own words [UPDATED – POP-UP GOES 50/50]

July 21, 2018
[Words, Words, Words] Located in the beautiful gardens at Ellerslie Racecourse, Pop-up Globe will throw open its doors on 16 November to present four of Shakespeare’s masterworks tied together with the common thread of the “abuse of power”. As always, there’ll be a twist! Headlining this showstopper season is the most famous play in history, Hamlet, alongside controversial “battle of […]

REVIEW: Super Hugh-Man (Q Theatre)

June 30, 2018
[MT Origins: Wolverine] Here’s a Hollywood what-if for you: what if Hugh Jackman was never cast as Wolverine? He wasn’t the first choice. In fact, Jackman famously got the part after X-Men (2000) had already begun filming, when the original actor was injured shooting another movie. There was some disquiet about the choice of 6 foot 3 Jackman to play the […]

REVIEW: Dope (Te Pou)

May 14, 2018
[A Trip Worth Taking] Drug use and addiction are popular theatrical topics, but tend toward the extremes of experience. Daniel Tomlin’s play Dope presents a relatable and nuanced view, revolving around a family and their friends on the Shore in Mairangi Bay. It’s the first time smoking weed for the little brother (Miles Ford), following in the footsteps of his […]

REVIEW: Such Stuff as Dreams (Te Pou)

May 8, 2018
[Schizophrenic armadillos] The lights come up revealing a man half covered in cardboard. Our protagonist, Alfie (Chris Rex Martin), starts to regale us with facts about armadillos. This explains what he is wearing. This sets the tone for the next hour – referencing Shakespeare and Milton, Such Stuff as Dreams is a lyrical, moving, often surreal, informative and entertaining show […]

REVIEW: Here & Now 2018: Tender, You First & Alice (Auckland Theatre Company)

April 21, 2018
[All-Stars] Is the original Shrek (2001) film the ideal model of romance for our times? That’s the theory espoused by Murdoch Keane in Tender, the first of three plays in ATC’s Here & Now Festival playing until Monday. Shrek doesn’t go out looking for love. As an Ogre, it’s not something he ever thought he’d find, never thought he’d be […]

REVIEW: The Far Side of the Moon (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 24, 2018
[Looking Beyond the Mirror] On 17th of July, 1975, over a billion people tuned into their televisions to watch two men shake hands. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov reached through the hatch of the Soyuz into the vacuum of Space to shake hands with American astronaut Brigadier General Thomas Stafford. While the rivalry between the two nations’ space programmes had spurred […]

REVIEW: 1984 (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 13, 2018
[1984, Today] The world is having a 1984 moment. The world has always been having a 1984 moment. When Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan’s stage adaptation premiered in Nottingham in 2013, the backdrop was all about big data and surveillance anxieties. Edward Snowden’s revelations around NSA spying had many turning to George Orwell’s 1984 for literary parallels. Big Brother was […]
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