REVIEW: Mockingbird (The Basement)

October 6, 2016
[Beige Comedy] Described as a black comedy about mental health, Lisa Brickell’s Mockingbird investigates the effects of postnatal depression (or postpartem depression) on several generations of women, starting with the recently pregnant Tina all the way back to her grandmother. The central concern of the play, to advocate and educate in an entertaining fashion, is an admirable one, but the […]

REVIEW: Vanilla Miraka (The Basement)

September 23, 2016
[Awkward Appropriation] Cultural appropriation is always uncomfortable to witness, whether you’re at an exotically-themed dress-up party or your friend gets an unfortunate tribal tattoo. A much trickier grey area explored in Hayley Sproull’s Vanilla Miraka is when the lines between cultures are blurred, when you share the blood of the coloniser and the colonised. Is it still cultural appropriation if […]

REVIEW: Close City (The Basement)

September 11, 2016
[A Doll’s Hell] “It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, who may not be who we essentially are.”― Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel. Like A Doll’s House‘s […]

REVIEW: Thomus (The Basement)

September 3, 2016
[Shakespearean Aspirations] The main drawcard for Ash Jones’ Thomus is his use of iambic pentameter, drawing inspiration from the humble likes of Shakespeare. While not completely unheard of in recent theatrical endeavours (Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III being a prime example), it’s a lofty ambition worthy of respect in itself. That face he does it so confidently is the most […]

REVIEW: Nederlands Dans Theatre (The Civic)

July 1, 2016
[Towards Perfection] Let’s get one thing out of the way, even as someone who can’t claim to know much about dance, I can confidently say Nederlands Dans Theatre have created some of the best pieces of theatre you’ll see all year. The evening is made up of four distinctly different works of varying lengths (from 15 to 34 minutes): Safe […]

REVIEW: Love N Stuff (Prayas)

June 26, 2016
[Overstuffed] Despite sharing a similarly large cast, Prayas Theatre have done a 180 for their latest show, going from the epic novelistic scale of Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance to the more personal marital comedy of Tanika Gupta’s Love N Stuff. The play charts the tumultuous relationship between middle aged Indian couple Bindi (Sudeepta Vyas) and Mansoor (Mustaq Missouri). When […]

REVIEW: Potato Stamp Megalomaniac (The Basement)

June 10, 2016
[Drink the Kool-aid] The best theatre is full of surprises. Not cheap or outlandish plot twists, but the organic sort of surprises that feel like the missing pieces of a puzzle. The sort of surprises that leave audiences smiling in awe. Andrew Gunn’s Potato Stamp Megalomaniac digs these out in spades. Andrew tells us to think of the show as a revolution […]

REVIEW: Bare (Simple Truth Theatre)

May 28, 2016
[Less is More] Toa Fraser’s Bare has been performed multiple times since its 1998 debut, confidently making its claim as a Kiwi classic. Simple Truth Theatre, comprised by a group of Unitec’s most recent acting graduates, have pulled together a mostly bare-bones production of the play in an eager act of artistic passion, intending to take the show around the […]
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