REVIEW: The Turn of the Screw (Auckland Fringe)

March 9, 2011
Hauntingly Effective  [by James Wenley] With so much of the Fringe being comedy orientated, it was very refreshing to take a walk on the Gothic side late on Monday night. Benjamin Henson intelligently adapts and directs this unsettling stage version of Henry James’ 1897 novella The Turn of the Screw. A white gowned governess (Philippa Johnson) is charged with looking […]

REVIEW: Smoke & Mirrors (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 9, 2011
Camp Circus Freaks [by James Wenley] With this show especially, there is a reason why the performers are on the stage, and we can sit in the audience of the very attractive Spiegeltent. Many of the acts needed strength and ability that only years of training can bring. Nor would most of us, I suspect, be willing to display the […]

REVIEW: Vietnamese Water Puppets (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 9, 2011
Puppets, on water, from Vietnam  [by James Wenley] The Festival Garden in Aotea Square contains quite a treat. At the back, a small lake has been created. Regularly during the festival the Thang Long Troupe of Hanoi perform water puppetry there. You should seek it out. Water Puppetry is an art form that has been going strong for 1000 years. […]

REVIEW: Havoc in the Garden (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 8, 2011
Havoc on the Stage! [by James Wenley] From the outside looking in, our lives must seem bizarre, rushed, and incomprehensible. Havoc in the Garden cuts open houses and allows us to peek into other people’s lives. A brilliant scene shows people living their lives in parallel, unaware of each other, all talking and behaving in their own little bubbles. It’s […]

REVIEW: Drowning in Veronica Lake (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2011
Veronica lives on! [by Sharu Delilkan] Alex Ellis has got the whole package – the petite frame, platinum blonde hair and Veronica Lake’s signature peek-a-boo bangs, which became a phenomenon in the 1940s. She may be a lot taller than Lake was in real life (5 ft 11 in instead of 5 ft 2 in) but that doesn’t detract from […]

REVIEW: Paper Sky – A Love Story (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 7, 2011
Paper and Puppetry. Sometimes theatre can take you to that other place. All the elements combine to transport you to the place akin to the dreamland, the subconscious, where anything can happen. I’ve had this experience before, in Red Leap Theatre’s previous work The Arrival no less. It was with high hopes that I entered the Glen Eden Playhouse for […]

REVIEW: Xerxes (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 4, 2011
Xerxes ‘Handel-ed’ at its best [by Sharu Delilkan] King Xerxes could well be likened to an 18th-century Mr Bean, with a cruel streak. Australian-born counter tenor Tobias Cole, who plays the lead has a crystal clear voice that’s juxtaposed against his ‘Mr Bean-like’ dramatic facial expressions. Before I proceed I must admit this is my first experience of Xerxes – […]

REVIEW: Homeless Economics (Auckland Fringe)

March 3, 2011
Real Lives, Real Theatre. Theatre, in many ways, is all about being what you are not. Actors research and rehearse hard in order to embody characters that are nothing like them, playwrights write ‘fictional’ stories… all in the hope of being able to portray some sort of ‘truth’ onstage. It was revelatory and refreshing last night to see Homeless Economics, […]

REVIEW: Chalk (Auckland Fringe)

March 3, 2011
Anywhere but Shady Meadows!  There is something very disconcerting watching Isla Adamson and Josephine Stewart -Tewhiu  play elderly characters in their devised Fringe play Chalk. These gorgeous young performers transform and contract their bodies in such a believable way that the characters have a sense of the uncanny. Welcome to Shady Meadows Retirement home. A commercial voice over tells us […]

REVIEW: Constantinople (Auckland Fringe)

March 3, 2011
Toga Party. Constantinople is a famous city founded by the Emperor Constantine in 330BC, but had its name changed to Istanbul in 1930. Actor Barnie Duncan (Outrageous Fortune) liked its name better the first time. He uses the city as a name for his ‘soloish’ play and a very lose framework to experiment with some absurd gags, and to play some […]
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