REVIEW: Soft Tissue (The Basement)

September 27, 2017
[Madonna/Whore] Wrapped in cloth gauze, a modified hijab of virginal white, Ella Gilbert plummets around the stage in bold and often uncomfortable movements. Imagine an alien shapeshifter forced to become a woman on Planet Earth, to operate under the complex and contradictory behaviours of femaleness. That’s what Gilbert embodies here. A body horror of female sex at war with itself; […]

REVIEW: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (The Basement)

August 28, 2017
[Beauty and the Sea Monster] There’s something beautiful about an actor returning to direct a pivotal play in their career, coming full circle and all that. While I can’t speak for the quality of Sara Wiseman’s performance in Silo’s 2004 production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, she brings a deep understanding to the characters in her directorial debut […]

REVIEW: The Pickle King (Indian Ink)

August 6, 2017
[Well Preserved] It’s a testament to the quality of Indian Ink’s storytelling that The Pickle King, the company’s 15-year old play, has stood the test of time. Those like myself who were unable to see its original production are given the opportunity to see a play that made one of New Zealand’s leading theatre companies who they are today. If their […]

REVIEW: Looking at Stuff in Clouds (The Basement)

July 31, 2017
[Not just Fluff] Like Toa Fraser’s classic two-hander Bare, Looking at Stuff in Clouds is a character study of a place through the lives of its inhabitants. Instead of Auckland City, though, we are relocated to small town New Zealand. Performed by co-writers Donna Brookbanks and Shoshana McCallum, it offers a humorous insight into our less metropolitan corners. We move […]

REVIEW: The Road that Wasn’t There (Trick of the Light)

July 15, 2017
[Off the Beaten Track] Framed as a story within a story, cleverly designed to appeal to both the cynics and dreamers inside all of us, The Road that Wasn’t There unfolds through the fantastical tales of Maggie (Elle Wootton), while her adult son, Gabriel (Paul Waggott), considers moving her into a retirement home so she can be better looked after. […]

REVIEW: When Sun and Moon Collide (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 27, 2017
[Running on Empty] Everyone in When Sun and Moon Collide are running from something, haunted by the spectres of their pasts. Briar Grace-Smith’s contemporary classic takes these figurative and metaphorical ghosts and brings them to the fore, tying them into a tangled mess of poetry made flesh. It’s a shame then that the aspirations and images evoked in the text aren’t […]

REVIEW: Poropiti (The Basement)

June 22, 2017
[Back to the Future] Creators and performers Tola Newbery and Mara TK take us through the landscape of New Zealand’s colonial history from a Māori perspective. In what is essentially a poetic history lesson, using a fusion of movement and music, we are transported from the mythic conception of our land to our capitalist present. It’s a multi-disciplinary work that […]

REVIEW: James Nokise: Talk a Big Game (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 11, 2017
[What We Talk About When We Talk About Sport] James Nokise opens the show by telling us that this year he won’t be focussing his comedy on politics, and instead he’s decided to turn his attention towards New Zealand sports. It’s a simple and straightforward premise that Nokise beautifully subverts. Beginning with a brief explanation of why he’s made this […]

REVIEW: Aunty Donna: Big Boys (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 11, 2017
[May Contain Traces of Nuts] While I wouldn’t classify myself as one of Aunty Donna’s most devoted fans, having only discovered them recently, it’s easy to see why the Australian comedy sketch troupe has charmed audiences with their often surreal sense of humour and skewering of social norms. Primarily known through their Youtube channel, I was worried that their on-screen […]

REVIEW: Ren Lunicke: I’m an Apache Attack Helicopter (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 4, 2017
[Troll Hunter] Taking its title from the similarly named meme, Ren Lunicke’s, I’m an Apache Attack Helicopter takes on the critics and trolls who scoff at modern identity politics – the ones with rhetoric that is often cheap and easy, comparing the often ridiculed examples of identity (otherkin, furries) to the sincere and deeply heartfelt (gender and sexuality). Essentially a spiritual […]
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