REVIEW: Limbo Unhinged (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 14, 2020
[Unhinged Limbs] Billed as circus-cabaret, Limbo Unhinged offers terrifying spectacles and exhilarating feats of strength and physical control. A mixture of dance, clowning, and acrobatics (including fire breathing and sword swallowing), combined with live music, the show has much to offer. The Auckland Art’s Festival Spiegeltent which pops up in Aotea Square provides the perfect venue for this display. Rich […]

REVIEW: Black Ties (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 13, 2020
[Tied by Bonds of Love] Co-created by ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Te Rēhia Theatre Company, Black Ties is a heartfelt exploration of what happens when two First Nation cultures collide.   Written by John Harvey and Tainui Tukiwaho (co-director and ‘Robert’), the narrative comedy drama is expertly brought to life by an experienced cast under the guidance of Rachael Maza, award-winning […]

REVIEW: Cold Blood (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 13, 2020
[Making the Strange Charming] In the Belgian production Cold Blood, a team of camera and lighting technicians – with the help of detailed miniature sets, table-top puppetry techniques, and analogue special effects – recreate a series of scenes about death in full view of the audience which are then projected onto a screen hanging above the playing area. This is a […]

REVIEW: Upu (Silo Theatre)

March 7, 2020
[Bridging the Space Between] Silo Theatre and Auckland Arts Festival present Upu, a remounted production of Oceanic poetry, brought alive by Māori and Pasifika performers.  An empty thrust stage – boxed in on three sides by the audience – juts out with angular raised platforms. A handful of theatre-goers sit with their backs against the central unit, eyes wide in […]

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: The Dreamer (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 27, 2019
[Sleep Cycle] I was once told that writing a review is like trying to explain a dream. From symbols and metaphors to narratives and character, the craft of dissecting the sub-textual subtlety of art is not unlike articulating the intangible process of the unconscious mind. How ideas, whether conscious or not, are delivered and interpreted are as vital to their […]

REVIEW: Grand Finale (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 23, 2019
[Another Closing, Another Opening] The Auckland Arts Festival has a lean offering of dance this year, so it’s fair to say that bringing the London-based Hofesh Shechter Company to the festival is a significant event on the industry’s 2019 calendar. The programming of this work, Grand Finale, feels rich with significance as Aotearoa pulses with the fallout of the Christchurch […]

REVIEW: Ulster American (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 23, 2019
[Unvarnished Insight into Sanctimony] Walking into the ASB Waterfront Theatre to a packed audience, I reflect on the title of this piece – an apparent crossover between two geographies – betraying little about a story or the direction that it could go in. The stage has an elevated square performance area furnished like a posh living room, with a comfortable-looking […]

REVIEW: Astroman (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 21, 2019
[Aotearoa Arcade] Astroman by Albert Belz cleverly teleports us back to the ‘80s, referencing (to name a few) the Karate Kid, rubik cubes and walkmans. Belz astutely weaves themes around racism, depression, loss and bullying, while keeping the story light and heartwarming.  Astroman is fresh, fun, and written for high quality entertainment which offers an unapologetically nostalgic escape from the […]

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 […]
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