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 […]

REVIEW: By Heart (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 15, 2019
[Sweet Vocal Thought] Can poetry give us hope? This is the question posed by Tiago Rodrigues, Portuguese actor and playwright, as he brings his internationally acclaimed show By Heart to Auckland’s Q Theatre Loft. It is intrinsic in our nature to tell stories and for thousands of years the art of oral storytelling long satisfied our need to pass on […]

REVIEW: Camille O’Sullivan ‘Cave’ (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 15, 2019
[The Canonisation of Camille O’Sullivan] I am compelled to begin with a confession. I love Nick Cave. I have attended Bad Seeds’ concerts in New Zealand and overseas, I own most of his books and films, and I often find myself playing through the riffs Cave and Warren Ellis have created because they are just so damn good. As you […]

REVIEW: The Magic Flute (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2019
[Making Mozart Proud] Bold and engaging, The Magic Flute is for opera lovers and newcomers alike – just mind the sting in the tale. This staging of Mozart and Schikaneder’s Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) is directed by Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade, with animation by Paul Barritt, and musical direction by Jordan de Souza and Hendrik Vestmann. Having received […]

REVIEW: As it Stands (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2019
[When Man, Nature and Industry Collide] Inspired by the monumental and mammoth-sized steel sculptures of American artist Richard Serra, As It Stands is a contemporary dance work directed and choreographed by Arts Laureate Ross McCormack and his company Muscle Mouth.  Featuring eight very strong dancers — James Vu Anh Pham, Lauren Langlois, Luke Hanna, Emily Adams, Jeremy Beck, Tiana Lung, […]

REVIEW: Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 7, 2019
[Unleashed] Wild Dogs Under My Skirt speaks volumes to the intersection of fa’asāmoa (traditional Sāmoan) and diasporic upbringing. Having been a NZ-born cis-queer-male of Sāmoan descent, the performance highlights the various women I grew up with and hold dear to my heart. Although Tusiata Avia’s Wild Dogs Under My Skirt collection of poetry was published in 2004, the spoken text […]

REVIEW: Body Double (Silo/Auckland Arts Festival)

March 28, 2018
[Look Again] Desire as an autonomous experience. Now there’s a novel idea. It’s no secret that sexual education across the board is still lacking, whether we’re talking about sexual orientation, contraception, or even basic female anatomy, but something that isn’t often spoken of is a woman’s power to experience and shape her own desire outside of the patriarchal lens. This […]
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