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 […]

REVIEW: David Correos: The Correos Effect (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 3, 2018
[What do you want?] David Correos is an inarguably unique comedian. A masochist who derives pleasure from watching his audience squirm, I truly believe there is nothing this man wouldn’t do for a laugh. He’s the guy from high school who always chose “dare”, and takes things to the extreme – then pushes them further. Shock value is his trade, […]

What’s good at the Comedy Festival? Matt Baker reviews the Comedy Gala

May 3, 2018
[NZ International Comedy Festival 2018 – Best Foods Comedy Gala] Producing a comedy gala involving 20 comedians is no mean feat, so when a venue of calibre such as the ASB Theatre is unable to provide sufficient sound levels for the opening line-up show of the 2018 NZ Comedy Festival, the detriment is not only to itself, but to the […]

REVIEW: The Basement Theatre Preview Show (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 30, 2018
[The Basement Theatre: For all your Comedy needs] Hosted by comedy duo Chris Parker & Thomas Sainsbury, the Basement Theatre Preview Show is, quite literally, a preview of the shows Basement Theatre is hosting for the 2018 NZ Comedy Festival. The goal of the evening is to engage prospective new audiences, and in that regard Leon Wadham is stand out of the night. His style and […]
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