REVIEW: The Salem Bitch Trials (Auckland Fringe)

February 20, 2019
[Eat Your Heart Out Daniel Day-Lewis] An improvised riff on The Crucible that makes about as much sense as the historical event it is inspired by, The Salem Bitch Trials is based on the same formula as Mackenzie’s Daughters, with most of the same cast (featuring a rotating cast of 18, the opening night performance featured Alice Canton, Lana Walters, Brynley Stent, Karin McCrackin, Johanna […]

REVIEW: Karaoke Boiz (Auckland Pride)

February 10, 2019
[Fountains of Wayne] A jukebox musical of 70s-90s pop (including ‘9 to 5’, ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, and a Spice Girls medley), Karaoke Boiz is pure fun. A camp-fuelled tale of love, fame and loss, it tells the story of Wayne (Daryl Wrightson), the self-styled ‘King’ of Karaoke. After his flagging marriage finally flags out, Wayne goes on the […]

REVIEW: Work Do (Basement Theatre)

December 3, 2018
[Merry XXXmas] December, 1997. Princess Diana is dead. The Spice Girls are four months away from going Geri-less. The employees of travel agency Go Away gather for their end-of-year party, unaware that the proverbial is about to hit the fan: the company’s finances are a mess, and boss Linda (Jodie Rimmer) is going to have to close it down. With […]

REVIEW: Monster Mash (Dynamotion)

November 19, 2018
[It’s a Mash] Co-created by Lara Liew and Tom Sainsbury, Dynamotion’s forte is taking b-movie genres and turning them into quasi-musicals with actors doing performing choreography. It’s a great idea, and they have mined it for a series of fun parodies, taking in everything from old-school exploitation horror movies, 60s Bondmania and Terminator 2. Dynamotion’s latest finds them tackling classic […]

REVIEW: Soft n Hard (Tempo Dance Festival)

October 12, 2018
[Woman v Shrill Man] The story of a relationship between a man and woman, Soft n Hard is based on movement and song, but to call this Tempo work a dance show feels reductive. Created and performed by Jo Randerson and Thomas LaHood (and directed by Isobel MacKinnon), Soft n Hard is about juxtaposition and conflict over assumptions and expectations around […]

REVIEW: Paper Planes (Basement Theatre)

October 6, 2018
[A dog, a moon and a Belarusian walk into a bar…] Late one night, Fran (Holly Hudson) lies awake in bed while her neighbours party the night away. Unable to sleep, her insomnia is exacerbated by her canine companion Dog (a superlative performance by puppeteer Tamara Gussy), who insists on playing while her Belarusian landlady, Mrs Withers (another puppet performed […]

REVIEW: A Few Things I’ve Learnt about Dating and Death (Basement Theatre)

September 20, 2018
[Basic Instincts] I put my hand up to review this show based solely on the poster: A snarling woman puking Black bile while her eyes scream bloody murder. Sold. The moment actress Acacia O’Connor was screaming at me in German while covered in black war paint and pouring wine into an imaginary glass, I think this might be my favourite […]

REVIEW: Mr Burns (Silo Theatre)

September 19, 2018
[Will The Simpsons Save the World?] This play reminds of a fantasy David Mamet told in one of his books about working in Hollywood. If the apocalypse ever happened, he could make a living telling stories around the campfire, while the studio executives he worked for would starve to death. The power of storytelling to act as a vehicle for […]

REVIEW: Unsupervised (The Basement)

September 13, 2018
[Responsibility – The Musical!] Conceived and performed by Rebekah Head and Jess Brian, Unsupervised is part cabaret, part Muppets/Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood skit. The title refers to the performers’ relationship with adulthood and hence being ‘unsupervised’ in their lives. Bracketed by songs (topics include bringing down the patriarchy and a killer parody of yoof-centric sex ed presentations), Head and Brian talk about […]

REVIEW: Future’s Eve (The Basement)

August 31, 2018
[Do Toasters Dream of Electric Loaves?] A free-form look at the (dis)respectable tradition of women created by men – from Pygmalion to that creepy sexbot of Scarlett Johansson that somebody built in their parents’ basement – Future’s Eve is a lot to process. There are so many ideas and tones at work in Michelle Aitken’s one-fembot show: sentient toasters, the […]
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