REVIEW: Tropical Love Birds (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 22, 2021
[Birds of a Feather don’t always flock together] Tropical Love Birds, a new offering by theatre-maker Vela Manusaute, promises to “venture into the often-muted world of domestic violence, using the gravitas of humour, sound and threatre-loving-goodness to uplift courage…” As I enter the Māngere Arts Centre, I’m prepared for lots of laughter despite the hard-hitting theme.   As house lights dim, three […]

REVIEW: Strasbourg 1518 (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 21, 2021
[Dance to Live] Combining dance, theatre and storytelling, Strasbourg 1518 is an exhilarating contemporary performance that explores ideas of revolution and the arts within both a historical and contemporary framework. Directed and choreographed by Lucy Marinkovich, with Lucien Johnson as writer and composer, Strasbourg 1518 is based around the dancing plague of 1518 – begun by a lone woman, up […]

REVIEW: Sing to Me (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2021
[Beyond the Pairs of Opposites] “Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.” ― Hermann Hesse Taki Rua’s Sing to Me opened at Rangatira Q Theatre as part of the Auckland Arts Festival on 11 March to limited capacity […]

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 […]
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