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 […]

REVIEW: The Winterreise Project (Unstuck Opera)

October 26, 2017
[Equipment for Living] An excuse to perform Schubert or an exploration of our Post-Trump age? Unstuck Opera’s newest work, The Winterreise Project, pits the subjects of Franz Schubert’s grim song cycle against the backdrop of the Trump presidency. In searching for connections between the two, director and performer Frances Moore presents the show to us as a form of personal […]

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. […]
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