CHRISTCHURCH REVIEW: Frankenstein (The Court Theatre)

August 13, 2021
[Man-made horrors] The corrupting influence of human nature versus nurture is at the heart of Frankenstein, both the original story and this stage adaptation. It’s one of those classics that speaks to the human condition in a timeless way. It’s one of those classics that barely needs introduction, its mythology so embedded into our cultural consciousness. The iconic tale of […]

REVIEW: Everything After (Brilliant Adventures)

July 8, 2021
[How Not to Survive a Plague] Why do some people move through the world with more ease than others? It’s something I think about a lot. A lack of trauma or baggage, I suppose. So what happens to a man who is a bundle of tightly wound trauma? Well, the expectations of dramatic narrative say we pull him apart and […]

Dead Bird: Reflections on The Seagull (A New Version by Auckland Theatre Company)

June 10, 2020
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Auckland Theatre Company launched a four episode adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull created within the constraints of social distancing at the time. Using the now widely used Zoom app as its mode of production, it was also set within the world of Zoom too, placing its characters squarely within the circumstances of our global pandemic. […]

SCENE BY NATHAN: Auckland Pride and Fringe 2020

March 17, 2020
Community Makeovers LOUD AND PROUD 2020 marks my first Pride and Fringe in Tāmaki Makaurau not as a resident but as a mere visitor. Both events also took on new directors and new directions as they entered the new decade. While I still find myself deeply invested in the arts ecology of the city, and undoubtedly see my future here, […]

REVIEW: Little Black Bitch (Tuatara Collective)

March 12, 2020
[Grey Matter] Playwright and director Jason Te Mete’s mental health narrative, Little Black Bitch, has graduated from a student-driven ensemble to being the professional premiere for his company Tutara Collective. It’s impossible not to enter and approach the work with heightened expectations though. Winner of the Adam NZ Award for Best Māori Play and glowing reviews from its original season […]

REVIEW: Nothing (Auckland Fringe)

February 28, 2020
Sound and Fury These pieces are not set. The words should not change but the pieces can be performed in any order, by any number of people, in any space, at any time. They can be cut and pasted in any way you would like.  Have fun.  These are the ‘Rules’ used in the original production By Barrel Organ Theatre. […]

PREVIEW: Basement Theatre Season of Duration (Auckland Fringe)

February 25, 2020
[Time Lords] Critic and practitioner Nathan Joe previews the five 4-hour long durational shows taking place at Basement Theatre for Auckland Fringe 2020.  With the official announcement of Nisha Madhan as the new programming coordinator of Basement Theatre, it seems appropriate that the 2020 Auckland Fringe Basement Programme (her first Fringe in this position) has her artistic fingerprints all over […]

REVIEW: Provocation (Auckland Pride)

February 15, 2020
[Conversations with the Dead] Set in the afterlife, Aroha Awarau’s latest play Provocation is a study in grief. Not the grieving of others but the grief of oneself. Two gay men in limbo, confronted by the hate crimes committed against them, and desperate to find some sort of peace.  This isn’t the first time Awarau has mined the depths of […]

SCENE BY NATHAN: Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival

December 5, 2019
Size Isn’t Everything This past Saturday (30th Nov 2019), over the course of 14 hours, Christchurch audiences were treated to a lineup of live performance at CoCA art gallery. The Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival is a first-ever event, presented by Movement Arts Practice (curated by artistic director Julia Harvie).  Appropriately nicknamed Tiny Fest, reflecting its short-lived existence and the intimate scale […]

CHRISTCHURCH REVIEW: Fresh off the Boat (The Court Theatre)

October 27, 2019
Time Capsule Pacific Underground’s influence as a landmark theatre company has deeply shaped our nation’s theatre canon, particularly through works such as Dawn Raids, A Frigate Bird Sings, and Niu Sila. So The Court Theatre’s revival of seminal Fresh off the Boat, the very first play Pacific Underground ever did (in 1993), is a significant acknowledgement of the company’s place […]
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