REVIEW: Next Big Thing Festival 2016 (Auckland Theatre Company)

July 26, 2016
[Start Strong. Subvert, Go Nuts] Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Devised with the cast under the direction of Ahi Karunaharan, Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda is the most earnest and self-effacing theatrical portrayal I’ve seen about what it means to be young. Theatrical deconstruction can be ostentatious at best when used by practitioners who are still learning its rules, but Karunaharan never allows his […]

REVIEW: That Bloody Woman (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 12, 2016
[Bloody Marvellous] We departed That Bloody Woman‘s opening night feeling proud, informed and uplifted by the musical portrayal of this ‘her-storical’ story. The face of Kate Sheppard that gazes somewhat benevolently from our $10 note belies a passion, a person and a struggle that we think we know, but don’t. By communicating directly with the audience, the show makes us […]

REVIEW: To Kill a Mockingbird (Auckland Theatre Company)

May 15, 2016
[Go Set a Scout] The trouble with To Kill A Mockingbird is that the Pulitzer Prize winner’s literary composition does not lend itself to theatrical narrative structure. The trial, in which a black man is accused of attempting to rape a white woman, is a MacGuffin. Tom Robinson is the catalyst for a litmus test on racism proffered by a white woman […]

REVIEW: You Can Always Hand Them Back (Auckland Theatre Company)

April 6, 2016
[Generation Gap] The experience of watching a play clearly not designed for you can be an alienating experience. You Can Always Hand Them Back is unapologetic in this regard, directly addressing the intended audience right from the get go: “Are any of you grandparents? Of course you are or you wouldn’t be here!” And yet, here I am: gay, Chinese […]

REVIEW: Polo (Auckland Theatre Company)

February 16, 2016
[Like a Mallet to the Face] Polo is a dangerous sport. When one considers the combination of horses and mallets, it’s easy to see how strains and sprains, muscular and ligament tears, fractures and dislocations, concussions, and even death can result. I suffered a concussion once – not from polo, mind you – and while I count my blessings that […]
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