REVIEW: Faith Healer (Plumb Productions)

April 12, 2021
[Irish Blessing] This production of Faith Healer, directed by Paul Gittins, marries a masterpiece of playwriting with the mastery of three accomplished actors.   I have read enough works from Irish playwrights to associate Irish drama with cloying hopelessness (looking at you Marina Carr in particular). I briefly hoped, though, that Faith Healer by Brian Friel would be an exception. I had […]

REVIEW: You are [Not] Alone Here (Auckland Fringe)

April 7, 2021
[Pulling the Plug] The play begins in the foyer. The Basement bar area has been decorated with messages – I spot a myriad of advertisements among what appear to be snippets of conversations, perhaps emails or texts. This announces the central theme of You Are [Not] Alone Here: that our communication and relationships have become fractured through technology and consumerism.  […]

REVIEW: The Haka Party Incident (Auckland Theatre Company)

April 4, 2021
[The Last New Zealand War] There’s something about watching local history onstage — history so recent that some members of the audience sitting beside you were participants in the events portrayed. Written and directed by Katie Wolfe, The Haka Party Incident is a resonant piece of documentary theatre revisiting what its advertising calls “the last New Zealand war.” This describes the […]

REVIEW: Coded (Auckland Fringe)

April 1, 2021
[A Clear Message of Empowerment] Coded, the second production in two productive years from theatre-maker Erin O’Flaherty (following An Organ of Soft Tissue), is a solo show which aims to journey into female sexuality through the perspective of a malfunctioning AI bot. The production debuts at TAPAC as part of a rescheduled program within the Auckland Fringe Festival, and uses […]

REVIEW: Twinless (Basement Theatre)

March 25, 2021
[Joy within Loss] We enter with birdsong; she enters with silence. Twinless performer and creator Clare Marcie breathes out, reaches up, towards something above, something which we cannot hope to see. It’s a slow, weighted, and emotionally distanced opening—hardly a clue for the fun, vulnerable, and varied hour to come, and yet somehow, when viewed from the end of the show, […]

REVIEW: Tropical Love Birds (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 22, 2021
[Birds of a Feather don’t always flock together] Tropical Love Birds, a new offering by theatre-maker Vela Manusaute, promises to “venture into the often-muted world of domestic violence, using the gravitas of humour, sound and threatre-loving-goodness to uplift courage…” As I enter the Māngere Arts Centre, I’m prepared for lots of laughter despite the hard-hitting theme.   As house lights dim, three […]

REVIEW: The Griegol (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 20, 2021
[Dark Craft] A darkened space; a crash of piano notes; a candle carried wordlessly onstage. A man plans his elderly mother’s funeral as his young daughter stands behind him, uncomprehending. All she has left of her grandmother is a key she cannot fit into any lock, and the stories her grandmother would spin of the Griegol, a shape-shifting demon made […]

REVIEW: Sing to Me (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2021
[Beyond the Pairs of Opposites] “Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.” ― Hermann Hesse Taki Rua’s Sing to Me opened at Rangatira Q Theatre as part of the Auckland Arts Festival on 11 March to limited capacity […]

REVIEW: Outta the Mouths of Babes (Auckland Fringe)

February 28, 2021
[Speaking Freely] This year Basement theatre offered the provocation to artists of making documentary theatre for Fringe 2021. This is intended to democratize the theatre space; to make it more accessible and less elite. To put the lives of the everyperson front and centre and explore notions of authenticity. Outta the Mouths of Babes centres Jude Lowry, “a mother, grandmother […]

REVIEW: Sunrise (Auckland Fringe)

February 25, 2021
[New Light] Created by a team many of whom are still in High School, Seed Theatre Company’s Sunrise is receiving a second season this Fringe after a run at Pitt Street Theatre last year. The play is both an exploration of mental health and a plea for open communication about the issues surrounding it, seeing a quartet of young people […]
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