REVIEW: Kooza (Cirque du Soliel)

February 16, 2019
[Oh to be a Child again…] We had forgotten how exceptional Cirque du Soliel is at creating a spectacle. The huge circus tent in Alexandra Park is reminiscent of a Big Top that transports us to our childhood in a flash – the rake of the seating, the ringmaster and clowns, beautiful people everywhere, the grease paint and sweat of […]

REVIEW: Aladdin – The Musical (The Civic)

January 12, 2019
[Putting Agrabah on the Map] Whether recognised from its Chinese origin or by Robin Williams’ signature improvisational skills, the story of Aladdin is by no means new to the international literary or dramatic canon. The pauper-to-prince protagonist plot, antagonised by an evil sorcerer, is a staple narrative in not only its multiple adaptations, but also the varying interpretations of the […]

REVIEW: City of 100 Lovers (SkyCity Theatre)

October 21, 2018
[100% Bland] When Phil Goff assumed the mayoralty in 2016, he put the kibosh on a $500,000 branding exercise which had proposed using ‘The Place Desired by Many’ as a slogan for Auckland. An English translation of Tāmaki Makaurau, the phrase was the centrepiece of a rebrand developed by ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) to tell an ‘Auckland […]

REVIEW: Hir (Silo Theatre)

August 7, 2018
[Transitory Spaces] When prodigal son Isaac (Arlo Green) returns from Afghanistan to find his family home turned upside down, he’s rightfully shocked. Having spent his last three years in the Marines’ Mortuary Affairs division, and dishonourably discharged, it’s no surprise he longs for something familiar and recognisable. Mommy Paige (Rima Te Wiata) has done away with all the rituals and […]

REVIEW: Burn Her (Q Matchbox)

August 6, 2018
[From the Ashes, we Rise] The world has changed since the first reading of Sam Brooks’ latest play, Burn Her, at The Basement Theatre two years ago. At the time, there was no way Brooks could have anticipated the climate in which his play would debut in the Q MATCHBOX 2018 Season. While the election of Trump has publicly highlighted […]

REVIEW: Run Rabbit (The Basement)

July 26, 2018
[Fight or Flight] The one-woman show has become a prominent staple of The Basement’s repertoire over the last few years. While offering individual theatremakers the space and opportunity to develop deeply personal and politically-charged works, audiences have been regularly gifted the chance to witness our most talented artists create highly responsive work in a volatile political climate. What surprises (but […]

REVIEW: First World Problems (The Basement)

July 19, 2018
[Energy and Heart] In the curator’s own words, First World Problems is “a mischievous anthology of a show” – mischief abounds and anthology is the perfect structural description. Ahi Karunaharan has curated a project designed to explore and explode some of the contradictions, injustices, comedy, confusion and conflict belonging to South Asian experience in Aotearoa. With a cast of twenty […]

REVIEW: The Chairs – Pākehā Season (Te Pou)

July 13, 2018
[Park your Bum] Te Pou Theatre presents a night of absurdity, hilarity, and larger-than-life character work in its inaugural Pākehā season of Ionesco’s The Chairs. Opening Te Pou’s quadruplet of productions of The Chairs in different languages – Te Reo Māori, Samoan and Cantonese are to follow – the English language Pākehā show sets things off to an outrageously energetic start. […]

REVIEW: The Contours of Heaven (The Basement)

June 23, 2018
[Listen] Without doubt this was one of the best performances I have ever seen. The Contours of Heaven is a one woman tour-de-force performed by Ana Chaya Scotney and produced by Zanetti Productions. Originally created for the 2017 Harcourt’s Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival, it went on to win Best Theatre and Best Performance in the Auckland Fringe Festival, and is […]

REVIEW: The Cherry Orchard (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 16, 2018
[Mana Whenua] Chekhov’s final play finds itself uprooted from both its Russian origins and its familiar place within the Western theatrical canon in ATC’s latest production of The Cherry Orchard. It has been replanted, by several strokes of genius, in 1970’s Aotearoa – a New Zealand experiencing the death of the old new world, and the birth of a recogniseable […]
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