REVIEW: Soft N Hard (Barbarian Productions)

August 22, 2019
[Gender Conversations] With a (silent mime’s) nod to the Topp Twins, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Samuel Beckett, Soft N Hard is an absurd comedy that pulls back the yellow curtains and naff Kiwi culture of the 80s to poke fun at kiwi gender constructions and relationships. Created by the husband and wife team behind Barbarian Productions, Jo Randerson and Thomas […]

REVIEW: A Fine Balance (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 21, 2019
[A Fine Partnership] A Fine Balance is a wonderful collaboration between the Auckland Theatre Company and Prayas Theatre that successfully stages diverse stories and bodies that are not heard or seen often enough on Auckland’s mainstages. With Q Rangatira configured as theatre in the round, with seating banks on four sides, the performance begins with a woman bent low, sweeping […]

REVIEW: The Bookbinder (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 28, 2019
[Precision in Art and Life] First performed in the back of Arty Bee’s second-hand bookshop in Wellington as part of New Zealand Fringe in 2014, Trick of the Light bring their award-winning production The Bookbinder to the Q Theatre Loft as part of the 2019 Auckland Arts Festival. The dark and magical production written and performed with meticulous care by […]

REVIEW: A Man of Good Hope (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2019
A Life Composed of Sorrow Told with Uplifting Musicality As a capacity crowd took their seats in the ASB Waterfront Theatre on opening night, the twenty-plus members of the Isango Ensemble could be seen milling, smiling and talking casually on the raked stage. The stage was surrounded on three sides by flats of corrugated iron, with the playing area flanked […]

REVIEW: Māui (Auckland Fringe)

February 26, 2019
[Democratising Space by Dancing the Old and the New] On a raised stage elevated two or three meters above the floor of the concert chamber of Auckland’s Town Hall a narrator’s voice introduces the dance theatre production Māui –  the latest offering from Fresh Movement, a dance company that brings together hip hop, contemporary dance, and Māori and Pacific movement […]

REVIEW: Pussy Riot: Riot Days (Auckland Fringe)

February 25, 2019
[The Revolution will be Theatricalised] I was standing in the Auckland Town Hall’s Great Hall on a Friday night waiting for Riot Days to start, a performance by the Russian protest and art collective Pussy Riot. As I wait, I get chatting to Rita, an 86-year-young from Tauranga who has travelled up to Auckland for the event. Rita had read […]

REVIEW: Tide Waits for No Man (Auckland Fringe)

February 22, 2019
[Treading the Imprints of Cultural Traditions] As the light slowly fades up to the sound of ocean waves breaking, a line of Chinese calligraphy is revealed stretching across the scrim that forms the backdrop to the stage. The bleeding line of ink might represent a jagged mountain range, but perhaps also a fracture or rip in the identity of the […]

REVIEW: Rendered (Auckland Theatre Company)

September 26, 2018
[Trapped in a World of Opposites] The great 13th century Persian and Muslim poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī said: ‘Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field. I will meet you there’. While there is some dispute about the accuracy of these translated words, the sentiment nevertheless expresses the Sufi desire to transcend binaries, to move […]

REVIEW: Orientation (Proudly Asian Theatre)

September 11, 2018
[Roots] Can love transcend race? Is it better to have loved and lost your identity then not to have loved at all? These are just two of the poignant questions asked by Orientation, intelligently written and compellingly directed by Chye-Ling Huang. Against the backdrop of the legacy of colonialism that continues to inform racial politics in contemporary Aotearoa, Orientation is […]

REVIEW: The Race (Auckland Fringe)

March 5, 2018
[A Precarious Performance] Take a walk down Queen Street and it is difficult not to notice the numerous bodies huddled on the pavement. Yet despite the very real and ‘visible’ problem of homelessness in our cities today, the complex stories and experiences of those who survive temporary, shared, or uninhabitable accommodation is often invisible from public discourse. The new production […]