REVIEW: The Plastic Orgasm (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2018
[Radical Failure] The term ‘radical failure’ is used during the centrepiece of The Plastic Orgasm, a paganistic ritual that blows up the show, releasing a primal scream of questions and confusions onto the stage. The act of failure implies an attempt has been made. You can’t fail without trying. You can’t succeed without risking failure. So, to call The Plastic […]

REVIEW: Question Time Blues (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2018
[Delahunty’s Lament] We often talk about the personal as the political, but how often do we see the reverse? The political as personal. In Question Time Blues, former Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty takes the stage to vent about her time in and out of parliament. There’s a freshness to her presence, by sheer virtue of her being someone so […]

REVIEW: The Race (Auckland Fringe)

March 5, 2018
[A Precarious Performance] Take a walk down Queen Street and it is difficult not to notice the numerous bodies huddled on the pavement. Yet despite the very real and ‘visible’ problem of homelessness in our cities today, the complex stories and experiences of those who survive temporary, shared, or uninhabitable accommodation is often invisible from public discourse. The new production […]

REVIEW: Roots (Auckland Fringe)

March 4, 2018
[Journey to the Past and Future] New Zealand is a country with a strong migratory history, but too rarely are the stories of our Asian roots given room to breathe and grow on stage, which is one of the reasons why Proudly Asian Theatre represents an integral component to both our theatrical and cultural landscape. With only four stage productions […]

REVIEW: Wigging Out (Auckland Fringe)

March 2, 2018
[Split Ends] The conceit of two grown men dressed as female frenemies from high school is ripe for exploring, and the pun-filled potential of Ann Xiety (Hamish Russell) and Dee Pression (Tom Sainsbury) speaks for itself. You’d be forgiven for thinking Sainsbury has done a drag show before; his tendency towards camp is a natural fit for the medium. Russell’s […]

REVIEW: Watching Paint Dry (Auckland Fringe)

March 1, 2018
[Fresh Coat] It’s much more fun than it sounds. This might sound like a backhanded compliment, but it isn’t. Watching Paint Dry begins, as one might expect, with performer (and lighting designer) Sean Lynch slowly and deliberately painting a wall (opening night’s colour was ‘Adrenaline Orange’). But, with this simple premise, writer and director Anders Falstie-Jensen introduces a fair few […]

SCENE BY JAMES: It’s a Trial – of the Arts Minister!

March 1, 2018
[A Case for Removing Commercial Imperatives for Artists?] Would you accept public money to make an arts project if you had to return any profit that you generated back to the government? Would you want to live on 200-something dollars a week (plus accommodation supplement) if it meant you could make your art without being forced by Work and Income […]

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: Salonica (Auckland Fringe)

February 25, 2018
[A Sign of Things to Come] When the Auckland Museum launched its online cenotaph, it was a chance for many to discover a part of their family history that had otherwise been a difficult task to undertake. The interest in the Centenary made an easy transition to the stage, with the success of plays such as Once on Chunuk Bair, […]
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