REVIEW: Bad Mood (Basement Theatre)

November 8, 2018
[Collage of Womanhood] As artist in residence for the Basement this year, Bad Mood is Tallulah Holly-Massey’s third and final work following Mammoth and Tender is the Night.  I had watched Mammoth earlier during the year, and was excited to see how Holly-Massey’s final work would play out.  Performed by four distinguished dancers — Kelly Nash, Nancy Wijohn, Zahra Killeen-Chance […]

REVIEW: Such Stuff as Dreams (Basement Theatre)

November 8, 2018
[Half asleep] Presented by Dusty Room Productions, Such Stuff as Dreams, by Camilla Walker, advertises itself as a love story between Claire, a “wanderlusting waitress”, and Alfie, a busker with schizophrenia, played by Catherine Yates and Tyler Wilson Kokiri respectively. Mental health is a common theme in New Zealand theatre, and such theatrical representations require not only a deft hand, but […]

REVIEW: Violent Bloom (Basement Theatre)

October 31, 2018
[Reaching Across the Divides of Time] I walk into the familiar environs of Basement Theatre’s larger space feeling particularly absent-minded, and am pleasantly ushered through a series of recurring paper streamers into a black-box space designed to transport us to a new world while leaving all cares of ours at the door. The set (designed by Christine Urquhart and constructed […]

REVIEW: A Lost Cause (Basement Theatre)

October 27, 2018
[Women on the Verge of  a Nervous Breakdown] Despite a ‘Decade of Disruption’ being The Basement’s motto for this year, it’s the prominence of mental health issues that seems most notable in their programming. With works such as Near Death Experience, Breathe and Paper Planes being just the tip of the iceberg. Loren Black’s A Lost Cause may be the […]

REVIEW: Paper Planes (Basement Theatre)

October 6, 2018
[A dog, a moon and a Belarusian walk into a bar…] Late one night, Fran (Holly Hudson) lies awake in bed while her neighbours party the night away. Unable to sleep, her insomnia is exacerbated by her canine companion Dog (a superlative performance by puppeteer Tamara Gussy), who insists on playing while her Belarusian landlady, Mrs Withers (another puppet performed […]

REVIEW: A Few Things I’ve Learnt about Dating and Death (Basement Theatre)

September 20, 2018
[Basic Instincts] I put my hand up to review this show based solely on the poster: A snarling woman puking Black bile while her eyes scream bloody murder. Sold. The moment actress Acacia O’Connor was screaming at me in German while covered in black war paint and pouring wine into an imaginary glass, I think this might be my favourite […]

REVIEW: Unsupervised (The Basement)

September 13, 2018
[Responsibility – The Musical!] Conceived and performed by Rebekah Head and Jess Brian, Unsupervised is part cabaret, part Muppets/Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood skit. The title refers to the performers’ relationship with adulthood and hence being ‘unsupervised’ in their lives. Bracketed by songs (topics include bringing down the patriarchy and a killer parody of yoof-centric sex ed presentations), Head and Brian talk about […]

REVIEW: Future’s Eve (The Basement)

August 31, 2018
[Do Toasters Dream of Electric Loaves?] A free-form look at the (dis)respectable tradition of women created by men – from Pygmalion to that creepy sexbot of Scarlett Johansson that somebody built in their parents’ basement – Future’s Eve is a lot to process. There are so many ideas and tones at work in Michelle Aitken’s one-fembot show: sentient toasters, the […]

REVIEW: I Ain’t Mad At Cha (The Basement)

August 23, 2018
[Rejecting a Bad Rap] “Change, shit / I guess change is good for any of us” begins Tupac’s 1996 anthem ‘I Ain’t Mad at Cha’. Tupac answers his haters – critical of his ghetto-to-celebrity journey – by turning the other cheek. Even though he keeps a glock beside his head for protection from friends turned against him, “I ain’t mad at cha”, […]

REVIEW: I, Will Jones (The Basement)

August 9, 2018
[Me, Myself and I (Will Jones)] If you are familiar with the Auckland theatre scene (drink!), the Basement Theatre is the most exciting place to check out. Sometimes Q will get some braingasm of absurdity like Frank the Mind-Reading Hot Dog on one of its smaller stages, but generally if you want something more lo-fi and harder to categorise, The […]
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