STREAMING REVIEW: Butcher Holler Here We Come (Ad Hoc Economy)

April 11, 2020
[Coming to (home) theatres] American theatre company Ad Hoc Economy was due to play Wellington’s BATS Theatre in the final week of the NZ Fringe before travelling on to the Dunedin Fringe, but performances were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company filmed scenes from the show while at BATS, which has been spliced with scenes recorded by individual […]

REVIEW: Black Lover (Auckland Theatre Company)

March 16, 2020
[A Kiwi Hero in Zimbabwe] When Sir Garfield Todd denounced racial injustice in 1950s Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), he was fiercely hated by supporters of white minority rule. Among the pejoratives they called him was “black lover”. Stanley Makuwe’s Black Lover is an illuminating glimpse into an overlooked chapter of history: a remarkable chapter which saw the Invercargill-born Todd become Prime Minister of […]

REVIEW: The Book of Mormon (The Civic)

March 14, 2020
Hasa Diga Eebowai The Book of Mormon is a deliciously devilish critique belief and human frailty in our world today. The story follows two Latter-day Saints missionaries as they attempt to convert the inhabitants of a remote Ugandan village to the “true faith”. The well-meaning, and somewhat earnest young men are challenged by a lack of interest from the locals, who are preoccupied by […]

REVIEW: Essays in Love (Basement Theatre)

March 14, 2020
[What the Heart Knows] I’ll admit it: I’m a hopeless romantic.  It’s a quality I share with Otto (Leon Wadham), the protagonist of Essays in Love, though we differ in our preferred outlets for romantic escapism: me, a never-ending catalogue of romantic comedies; Otto, the writings of history’s most erudite philosophers.  We first meet Otto before the house lights have […]

REVIEW: Limbo Unhinged (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 14, 2020
[Unhinged Limbs] Billed as circus-cabaret, Limbo Unhinged offers terrifying spectacles and exhilarating feats of strength and physical control. A mixture of dance, clowning, and acrobatics (including fire breathing and sword swallowing), combined with live music, the show has much to offer. The Auckland Art’s Festival Spiegeltent which pops up in Aotea Square provides the perfect venue for this display. Rich […]

REVIEW: Black Ties (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 13, 2020
[Tied by Bonds of Love] Co-created by ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Te Rēhia Theatre Company, Black Ties is a heartfelt exploration of what happens when two First Nation cultures collide.   Written by John Harvey and Tainui Tukiwaho (co-director and ‘Robert’), the narrative comedy drama is expertly brought to life by an experienced cast under the guidance of Rachael Maza, award-winning […]

REVIEW: Cold Blood (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 13, 2020
[Making the Strange Charming] In the Belgian production Cold Blood, a team of camera and lighting technicians – with the help of detailed miniature sets, table-top puppetry techniques, and analogue special effects – recreate a series of scenes about death in full view of the audience which are then projected onto a screen hanging above the playing area. This is a […]

REVIEW: Year of the Tiger 虎- Hǔ (Basement Theatre)

March 13, 2020
[The Tiniest Threads Can Connect Us] Year of the Tiger (虎- Hǔ) brings together six volunteer strangers and pushes them into the spotlight. These strangers are connected by a single thread: their zodiac animal. Coming from different backgrounds, cultures, countries, these people are bound by the simple fact that they are all tigers. Alice Canton explores the cultural ideas of […]

REVIEW: Little Black Bitch (Tuatara Collective)

March 12, 2020
[Grey Matter] Playwright and director Jason Te Mete’s mental health narrative, Little Black Bitch, has graduated from a student-driven ensemble to being the professional premiere for his company Tutara Collective. It’s impossible not to enter and approach the work with heightened expectations though. Winner of the Adam NZ Award for Best Māori Play and glowing reviews from its original season […]

REVIEW: Emilia (Pop-up Globe)

March 8, 2020
[“Do not take my anger from me!”] Emilia tells the story of Emilia Bassano, one of the first Englishwomen poets and the possible muse behind Shakespeare’s sonnets. However, this is not just a play about Shakespeare’s Emilia. This is a play about Emilia the discriminated poet, Emilia the feminist spirit; Emilia as Emilia.  As soon as the performance begins, I […]
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