REVIEW: Grand Finale (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 23, 2019
[Another Closing, Another Opening] The Auckland Arts Festival has a lean offering of dance this year, so it’s fair to say that bringing the London-based Hofesh Shechter Company to the festival is a significant event on the industry’s 2019 calendar. The programming of this work, Grand Finale, feels rich with significance as Aotearoa pulses with the fallout of the Christchurch […]

REVIEW: Ulster American (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 23, 2019
[Unvarnished Insight into Sanctimony] Walking into the ASB Waterfront Theatre to a packed audience, I reflect on the title of this piece – an apparent crossover between two geographies – betraying little about a story or the direction that it could go in. The stage has an elevated square performance area furnished like a posh living room, with a comfortable-looking […]

REVIEW: My Kuia (Basement Theatre)

March 22, 2019
[Paying Tribute to our Foremothers] My Kuia invites us into the space of a Māori tangihanga/funeral ceremony, where  tributes and laments are made by performers Alesha Ahdar (also the curator/ director of the show), Jonathan Morgan, Jacob Tamata and Levi Waitere.  Through a series of heart-felt monologues and a passionate dance performance, the cast pay tribute and reflect on their […]

REVIEW: A Man of Good Hope (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 17, 2019
A Life Composed of Sorrow Told with Uplifting Musicality As a capacity crowd took their seats in the ASB Waterfront Theatre on opening night, the twenty-plus members of the Isango Ensemble could be seen milling, smiling and talking casually on the raked stage. The stage was surrounded on three sides by flats of corrugated iron, with the playing area flanked […]

REVIEW: By Heart (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 15, 2019
[Sweet Vocal Thought] Can poetry give us hope? This is the question posed by Tiago Rodrigues, Portuguese actor and playwright, as he brings his internationally acclaimed show By Heart to Auckland’s Q Theatre Loft. It is intrinsic in our nature to tell stories and for thousands of years the art of oral storytelling long satisfied our need to pass on […]

REVIEW: Camille O’Sullivan ‘Cave’ (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 15, 2019
[The Canonisation of Camille O’Sullivan] I am compelled to begin with a confession. I love Nick Cave. I have attended Bad Seeds’ concerts in New Zealand and overseas, I own most of his books and films, and I often find myself playing through the riffs Cave and Warren Ellis have created because they are just so damn good. As you […]

REVIEW: Talofa Papa (Basement Theatre)

March 14, 2019
[Cherish Your Loved Ones] Kasiano Mita, the creator and performer of Talofa Papa has cleverly crafted a unique piece which raises awareness of the vā that separates our multi-generations. We are greeted at the doors by Papa who is formally suited, dressed with a hat and hunched over, heavily leaning on his walking stick. Papa is warm and inviting and I am […]

REVIEW: Working on my Night Moves (Basement Visions)

March 11, 2019
[Moving into Light] Developed with support from Creative New Zealand and the well-respected Battersea Arts Centre, London, Working on My Night Moves is the latest offering from Julia Croft and Nisha Madhan, which promises to be ‘a journey into outer space and an attempt to diffuse power and hierarchy.’ Presented by Basement Theatre as part of the new Basement Visions […]

REVIEW: The Magic Flute (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2019
[Making Mozart Proud] Bold and engaging, The Magic Flute is for opera lovers and newcomers alike – just mind the sting in the tale. This staging of Mozart and Schikaneder’s Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) is directed by Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade, with animation by Paul Barritt, and musical direction by Jordan de Souza and Hendrik Vestmann. Having received […]

REVIEW: Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 7, 2019
[Unleashed] Wild Dogs Under My Skirt speaks volumes to the intersection of fa’asāmoa (traditional Sāmoan) and diasporic upbringing. Having been a NZ-born cis-queer-male of Sāmoan descent, the performance highlights the various women I grew up with and hold dear to my heart. Although Tusiata Avia’s Wild Dogs Under My Skirt collection of poetry was published in 2004, the spoken text […]
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