REVIEW: A Gambler’s Guide to Dying (The Basement)

June 15, 2018
[Winning Bet] Performed by John Burrows and directed by Jennifer Ward-Lealand, A Gambler’s Guide to Dying is a tribute to the powers of story-telling – to inflate, immortalise and inspire. Written by Gary McNair (who originally performed the solo himself at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival), A Gambler’s Guide to Dying tells the story of a young man and his […]

REVIEW: Ashton Brown: Dying to Meet You (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 29, 2018
[Death Becomes Him] Growth. That was my impression of Ashton Brown’s last show, Anxious To Meet You. In that show, Brown exposed himself in a highly autobiographical (and occasionally uncomfortable) meditation on mental illness and the importance of self-love. Well that, and stories about explosive diarrhoea, naked karaoke and irrefutable proof that powerpoint presentations are the embodiment of evil. Dying […]

REVIEW: Parker & Sainsbury: Giggly Gerties (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 28, 2018
[Heavy Metal Camp] Giggly Gerties is the latest joint from the team of Chris Parker & Thomas Sainsbury. Following the ensemble of their last opus Camping, Giggly Gerties is the team distilled to their essence – two men in leotards on a bare stage jabbering nonsense for 50 minutes. Resting snuggly on the imaginary border between the head spaces of […]

REVIEW: Us/Them (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 24, 2018
[Nyet] Rarely have I seen a show with such a clear vision that was so completely at odds with the material it was based on. Written and directed by Carly Wijs, Us/Them is a re-telling of the 2004 Beslan school siege from the point of view of the children who experienced it. The early sequences, in which two children (performers […]

REVIEW: A Brisk Wind Whistling Down Twin Oak Drive (The Basement)

March 22, 2018
[Fun ’n’ Head Games] Created and performed by Phoebe Mason, A Brisk Wind Whistling Down Twin Oak Drive falls somewhere between one-person show and a Choose Your Own Adventure. The story (if one can call it that) starts out simply enough – our unknown protagonist wanders onto the titular street and finds themselves inside a strange house that feels oddly familiar. In the […]

REVIEW: Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster (Auckland Fringe)

March 1, 2018
[Anatomy of a Biscuit] So, who did steal the cookie from the cookie jar? Proof that the worst pitches can still make great shows, John Burrows’s Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster initially comes across as a dare. ‘You wanna see a REAL Fringe show?’ Starring Kirsty Bruce, Courtney Eggleton, Lucas Haugh, Will Moffatt, Sneha Shetty, Kyle Shields and an unsuspecting […]

REVIEW: Mackenzie’s Daughters (Auckland Fringe)

February 26, 2018
[A Bale of Laughs] This show is basically the inverse of my review’s lame title – it’s funny, it’s inane, it’s utterly ridiculous, and no part of it makes you wince. Completely improvised on the spot, Mackenzie’s Daughters is something: a chance to watch some of Auckland’s best performers try to keep up with each other. Featuring a revolving cast (my night featured Donna Brookbanks, […]

REVIEW: The Jenny Taylor Show (Auckland Fringe)

February 24, 2018
[Jeremy Kyle rest easy] A live taping of a talk show is a solid theatrical idea, but The Jenny Taylor Show does not take this much beyond its premise. The main problem is a lack of focus. It is meant to be a satire about talk shows, but it what is it commenting on? Could it be the blurring of reality […]

REVIEW: Macbeth (Pop-up Globe)

February 11, 2018
[Fresh Daggers in Familiar Smiles] Directed by Tom Mallaburn, the Pop-up Globe’s production of Macbeth is mostly a traditional take on the material. I say mostly, because the show’s creators make one interesting addition right at the top which causes ripples throughout the rest of the show. There has always been a theory that the Macbeth’s had lost a child [Lady Macbeth […]

REVIEW: Gays in Space (Auckland Pride)

February 9, 2018
[Home-grown Homo-Futurism] If you have seen the poster for this – heck, if you read the title – you know what you are in for. Written by Thomas Sainsbury and Jason Smith, Gays in Space is the tale of a group of gay astronauts handpicked by NASA to explore the surface of Uranus. After that the plot gets really complicated, […]
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