REVIEW: Tea (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2018
[When the Tea stops Pouring] I’ve followed the work of Ahi Karunaharan closely since The Mourning After, watching him grow and flex his muscles both as a writer and director time and time again. There is an ethos and authenticity to his works; at their finest, they’ve always struck me as being able to open up audiences worldviews without restoring […]

REVIEW: Still Life with Chickens (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2018
[Fowl Play] Stories don’t get much simpler than this: Mama, a lonely housewife, befriends a stray chicken. That’s it. Simple, yes, but it’s with this understated simplicity that D.F. Mamea’s Still Life with Chickens catches you off-guard. Maybe it’s John Parker’s idyllic backyard set or Goretti Chadwick’s warm and generous performance or Helen Fuller’s puppet chicken (puppeteered by Hannz Fa’avae-Jackson). […]

REVIEW: The Plastic Orgasm (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2018
[Radical Failure] The term ‘radical failure’ is used during the centrepiece of The Plastic Orgasm, a paganistic ritual that blows up the show, releasing a primal scream of questions and confusions onto the stage. The act of failure implies an attempt has been made. You can’t fail without trying. You can’t succeed without risking failure. So, to call The Plastic […]

REVIEW: Question Time Blues (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2018
[Delahunty’s Lament] We often talk about the personal as the political, but how often do we see the reverse? The political as personal. In Question Time Blues, former Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty takes the stage to vent about her time in and out of parliament. There’s a freshness to her presence, by sheer virtue of her being someone so […]

REVIEW: Wigging Out (Auckland Fringe)

March 2, 2018
[Split Ends] The conceit of two grown men dressed as female frenemies from high school is ripe for exploring, and the pun-filled potential of Ann Xiety (Hamish Russell) and Dee Pression (Tom Sainsbury) speaks for itself. You’d be forgiven for thinking Sainsbury has done a drag show before; his tendency towards camp is a natural fit for the medium. Russell’s […]

REVIEW: Watching Paint Dry (Auckland Fringe)

March 1, 2018
[Fresh Coat] It’s much more fun than it sounds. This might sound like a backhanded compliment, but it isn’t. Watching Paint Dry begins, as one might expect, with performer (and lighting designer) Sean Lynch slowly and deliberately painting a wall (opening night’s colour was ‘Adrenaline Orange’). But, with this simple premise, writer and director Anders Falstie-Jensen introduces a fair few […]

REVIEW: Twenty Eight Millimetres (Auckland Pride)

February 16, 2018
[Measuring Happiness] It’s easy to imagine that if Sam Brooks were a writer in the 1950s Hollywood he’d fit right in making screwball comedies. His latest play Twenty Eight Millimetres offers itself up, at first glance, as a modern gay romcom, and the perfect vehicle for Brooks to show off his knack for whip-smart one-liners and I-wish-I-talked-like-this-in-real-life dialogue. It first […]

REVIEW: Julius Caesar (Pop-up Globe)

January 26, 2018
[Bloodbath and Beyond] For all the controversy surrounding the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar last year, casting a Trump-like leader in the title role, the Pop-up Globe’s rendition of the play is a far less critical reflection of our contemporary world. Outside of a few banners with familiar taglines and some playful anachronisms, director Rita […]

REVIEW: Maggot (The Basement)

November 8, 2017
[Lice Girls] Appropriately named The Scungebags, the clowning trio of Angela Fouhy, Freya Finch, and Elle Wootton have created a wonderfully weird piece of theatre. Framed as a boundary-pushing sketch show created by a British pop trio, The Baby Girls, Maggot is immediately odd and resists easy categorisation. Performing distinct archetypes (deadpan, sexy, enthusiastic) with more than a few shades […]

REVIEW: The Mountaintop (FCC)

November 7, 2017
[The Baton Passes on] I had the pleasure of witnessing FCC’s staged reading of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop a couple of years back. It was, to put it lightly, a stunner. With limited rehearsals and scripts in hands, the performance managed to create something truly magical, transporting us to Dr. Martin Luther King’s last night on Earth in Room 306 […]
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