REVIEW: The Naked Samoans Do Magic (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 24, 2018
[Truly Naked Magic] Although fully clothed at all times, The Naked Samoans are well and truly naked on stage in their latest show – their first together in many years.  They don’t try to hide the fact that they are novices at magic. In fact, it is their bare-all attitude that endears them to the audience. Watching people walk into […]

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: The Far Side of the Moon (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 24, 2018
[Looking Beyond the Mirror] On 17th of July, 1975, over a billion people tuned into their televisions to watch two men shake hands. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov reached through the hatch of the Soyuz into the vacuum of Space to shake hands with American astronaut Brigadier General Thomas Stafford. While the rivalry between the two nations’ space programmes had spurred […]

REVIEW: Jack Charles V The Crown (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2018
[Stories from Uncle Jack] He smiled at me. It was a sunny afternoon in Aotea Square when I recognised the Einsteinian hair and small frame of Jack Charles. I approached him as he puffed away on his cigarette; “Jack Charles, right?”, “That’s right, brother”, he replied, extending his hand to mine. We chatted briefly, I wished him well for his […]

REVIEW: Tea (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2018
[When the Tea stops Pouring] I’ve followed the work of Ahi Karunaharan closely since The Mourning After, watching him grow and flex his muscles both as a writer and director time and time again. There is an ethos and authenticity to his works; at their finest, they’ve always struck me as being able to open up audiences worldviews without restoring […]

REVIEW: Still Life with Chickens (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2018
[Fowl Play] Stories don’t get much simpler than this: Mama, a lonely housewife, befriends a stray chicken. That’s it. Simple, yes, but it’s with this understated simplicity that D.F. Mamea’s Still Life with Chickens catches you off-guard. Maybe it’s John Parker’s idyllic backyard set or Goretti Chadwick’s warm and generous performance or Helen Fuller’s puppet chicken (puppeteered by Hannz Fa’avae-Jackson). […]

REVIEW: 1984 (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 13, 2018
[1984, Today] The world is having a 1984 moment. The world has always been having a 1984 moment. When Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan’s stage adaptation premiered in Nottingham in 2013, the backdrop was all about big data and surveillance anxieties. Edward Snowden’s revelations around NSA spying had many turning to George Orwell’s 1984 for literary parallels. Big Brother was […]

REVIEW: The Piano: The Ballet (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2018
[Colonised Form] Choreographic and design duo Jirí and Otto Bubeníček originally staged The Piano: The Ballet in Germany, 2014, as part of a triple bill. In its latest incarnation for the Royal New Zealand Ballet it has been reworked into a full-length narrative ballet, closely following Jane Campion’s award-winning film. The set design is a real strength for this production, […]

REVIEW: OrphEus – a dance opera (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2018
[Look Back in Splendour] OrphEus – a dance opera (Orpheus, Eurydice and Us) is a large and ambitious project for The New Zealand Dance Company, conceived, created and directed by Michael Parmenter. The extensive programme notes and the work itself both indicate the academic depth of research and inspiration that have culminated in this large-scale production. Parmenter draws together past, […]

REVIEW: Bless the Child (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2018
[It Couldn’t Happen Here] The work of Tawata Productions is notable for showcasing topical issues. The kōrero of Bless the Child is no different. This dark, albiet vital work reveals the world that we’re part of, where our tamariki are not always protected by their whānau. Written by the acclaimed Māori writer Hone Kouka, Bless the Child shines a spotlight on this […]
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