REVIEW: Shortland Street – The Musical (Auckland Theatre Company)

December 1, 2018
[Make No Bones About It] The question of whether the result of Shortland Street the television series can be considered successful need only be measured by one fact: 26 years. But with new mediums come new risks. For every The Lion King and The Producers stage musical adaptation there is a Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and The Fly. Fortunately, Shortland […]

REVIEW: Such Stuff as Dreams (Basement Theatre)

November 8, 2018
[Half asleep] Presented by Dusty Room Productions, Such Stuff as Dreams, by Camilla Walker, advertises itself as a love story between Claire, a “wanderlusting waitress”, and Alfie, a busker with schizophrenia, played by Catherine Yates and Tyler Wilson Kokiri respectively. Mental health is a common theme in New Zealand theatre, and such theatrical representations require not only a deft hand, but […]

REVIEW: SIBS (The Basement)

August 9, 2018
[O Sibling, Where Art Thou?] The concept of sibling rivalry dates as far back through history as Romulus and Remus (750 BC), and the conflict it produces has been the subject of theatrical narratives from Shakespeare’s King Lear (c. 1606) to Jess Sayer’s Wings (2013). A meta-theatrical, autobiographical comedy, SIBS presents Chris Parker, an award-winning actor and comedian with a […]

REVIEW: Burn Her (Q Matchbox)

August 6, 2018
[From the Ashes, we Rise] The world has changed since the first reading of Sam Brooks’ latest play, Burn Her, at The Basement Theatre two years ago. At the time, there was no way Brooks could have anticipated the climate in which his play would debut in the Q MATCHBOX 2018 Season. While the election of Trump has publicly highlighted […]

REVIEW: Valerie (Last Tapes)

July 21, 2018
[Theatre at its Finest] Mental health in New Zealand is a prevalent issue and, by consequence, necessary to discuss. 16% of New Zealanders are diagnosed with a mental health issue in their lifetime, comorbidity increases the risk of death, and our suicide rate is the second highest in the OECD. Mental health is also prevalent in the arts, especially theatre, […]

REVIEW: Cellfish (Silo Theatre)

June 19, 2018
[Big Fish] If truth is often stranger than fiction, why is plausibility so necessary in theatrical plot? While Shakespeare was never opposed to using coincidence or serendipity in order to drive the action of his plays, when such treatments are applied to contemporary modes of theatrical style, the resulting juxtaposition between anachronistic action and modern spectacle risks becoming jarring to […]

REVIEW: Inner Dialogue (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 24, 2018
[Tears of a Clown] A man walks into a doctor’s office and says, “Doctor, I’m depressed.” The doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him, that should cheer you up.” The man bursts into tears and says, “But doctor, I am Pagliacci.” Who makes the clowns laugh? It’s a variation on […]

REVIEW: Hayley Sproull: Just a Phase (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 11, 2018
[Growing into It] Diversification in the arts can be integral to survival. The transition to a new medium, however, also allows artists to explore other modes of creativity. Such is the case for actress Hayley Sproull, a Toi Whakaari graduate who continues to turn her musical and theatrical talents to the comedy scene with her second NZ Comedy Festival solo show, Just a Phase. […]

REVIEW: Charlie’s Best Comedy Show On Earth (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 11, 2018
[Bested] Charlie’s Best Comedy Show On Earth is not a shrewd title for a show. The fact that Best Foods is the gold sponsor for the 2018 NZ Comedy Festival is evident not only with each pre-show announcement, but also in the many references that have been made by international comedians in the opening of their shows. Yet fellow sponsors […]

REVIEW: Ivan Aristeguieta: Juithy (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 10, 2018
[Lost in Pronunciation] Performing stand-up comedy is not easy, let along performing it in a second language, but after six years of living in Australia, Venezuelan-born Ivan Aristeguieta has developed a mastery of not only comedic content, but also linguistic delivery – and he’s not above showing it off. As he shouldn’t be. It’s a skill that should not be […]
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