CHRISTCHURCH REVIEW: Frankenstein (The Court Theatre)

August 13, 2021
[Man-made horrors] The corrupting influence of human nature versus nurture is at the heart of Frankenstein, both the original story and this stage adaptation. It’s one of those classics that speaks to the human condition in a timeless way. It’s one of those classics that barely needs introduction, its mythology so embedded into our cultural consciousness. The iconic tale of […]

REVIEW: Pork and Poll Taxes (Proudly Asian Theatre)

August 12, 2021
[Pulled from the Past] Anticipation for the opening night of Pork and Poll Taxes has been building within the Pan-Asian community for weeks – encouraged by a mesmerising trailer for the production which showcases the production’s fusion of movement and story. By opening night, the atmosphere in the foyer of the Herald Theatre is palpable.   It has been a long […]

REVIEW: The Mourning After (Agaram Productions)

July 27, 2021
[After the Mourning, Comes… ] Originally produced thirteen years ago by playwright and director Ahi Karunaharan, The Mourning After is a semi-autobiographical tale of what happens when the protagonist Shekar (Jehangir Homavazir) leaves New Zealand to visit his ancestral homeland of Sri Lanka in order to return his father’s ashes.  As we enter Q’s foyer, kind faces encourage us to […]

REVIEW: Yang/Young/杨 (Auckland Theatre Company)

July 26, 2021
[More than a Youth Show] In 2019 I wrote a review which included a meme that intimated that the ATC youth shows excite me more as an audience member than much of what appears in the main programme. Now in 2021 ATC, with the support of Proudly Asian Theatre (PAT), offers Yang/Young/杨 as part of the Here and Now season […]

REVIEW: Madagascar the Musical (Auckland Live)

July 12, 2021
[Move it, Groove it] Dreamworks’ Madagascar is a phenomenon – a franchise that a has netted over US$2.2 billion, entertaining kids and adults worldwide for over 15 years.  It boasts three sequels, computer games and enough merchandise to collapse the Star Wars universe. As a stage show Madagascar the Musical is clearly something that many families will want to experience, […]

REVIEW: Everything After (Brilliant Adventures)

July 8, 2021
[How Not to Survive a Plague] Why do some people move through the world with more ease than others? It’s something I think about a lot. A lack of trauma or baggage, I suppose. So what happens to a man who is a bundle of tightly wound trauma? Well, the expectations of dramatic narrative say we pull him apart and […]

REVIEW: Kūpapa (Te Pou Theatre)

July 5, 2021
[Existing In Between] “Kūpapa (noun) collaborator, ally, — a term that came to be applied to Māori who sided with Pākehā opposition or the Government. There has been a shift from a general meaning of neutrality to the modern use, which now sometimes has derogative connotations; traitor.” – maoridictionary.co.nz This play, however, is no straightforward indictment of protagonist and historical […]

REVIEW: Thoroughly Modern Māui (Auckland Live Cabaret Season)

July 5, 2021
[“No Longer Will I Be Painted with a Tainted Brush”] From the moment Rūtene Spooner hops out of the audience and onto the stage, requests a vodka soda, and welcomes everybody (particularly the “cuzzie’s on the comps”), we are taken on a journey of musical theatre, kapa haka, and essential kōrero. Spooner introduces himself as a ‘haka-boogie-hori’, and his sense […]

REVIEW: The Life of Galileo (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 29, 2021
[Use Science Wisely] The scene is 17th century Italy. Legendary astronomer Galileo Galilei is unsatisfied with what he has achieved in his life so far, and fixated on one subject in particular: the movement of the earth around the sun. Yet as Galileo tries fervently to share his discoveries with the world, it’s clear that there’s a big, black hole […]

REVIEW: Wonderful (Basement Theatre)

June 24, 2021
[First Period – Starring: Brother Vianney] Brother Vianney, played by Andrew Laing, begins the show in a warm spotlight, and delights us with Rogers and Hammerstein’s Shall We Dance, from The King and I. A tender beginning that then explodes, and our very own Deborah Kerr twirls and floats around the stage, not unlike Maria on the hilltop from another […]
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