REVIEW: Before Karma Gets Us (Basement Theatre)

April 5, 2019
[Now You See Me, Me, Me] In the mid-50s, a magician (Tess Sullivan) and her two weary apprentices/assistants/props (Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker) attempt to put on their show. As egos flare, the line between illusion and reality begins to break down… Created and performed by Tess Sullivan, Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker, Before Karma Gets Us is like The […]

REVIEW: Valerie (Auckland Live International Cabaret Festival)

October 2, 2016
[Emotional Resonance] The Auckland Live International Cabaret Season kicked off this past week with Valerie, an unconventional cabaret written and performed by Last Tapes Theatre Company. The piece first appeared at Hotspot Cabaret and has developed into an entirely different creature since then. The Basement Theatre space has been transformed into a loungey cabaret den, lit by candles and kept […]

REVIEW: Stutterpop (Auckland Fringe)

February 14, 2015
Time for a Bang [by Matt Baker] Sam Brooks is a playwright with a stutter, but his most autobiographical play is not about stuttering, it’s about love for others and one’s self. Stuttering is instead a subplot in this unique fringe performance by one of Auckland’s top young playwrights. Sharing the space with a multitude of shows (The Basement’s Sophie Henderson’s […]

REVIEW: Bellevile (Silo)

September 1, 2014
Ça Va  [by Matt Baker] Other than its professed Hitchcockian style and some season-orientated pensive posters, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Silo’s production of Amy Herzog’s Belleville other than a psychological relationship thriller. Hitchcock, however, was the undisputed master of suspense. Red herrings are not MacGuffins, and where Hitchcock would show, Herzog tells. There are, of course, moments […]

REVIEW: Shadowland (Pilobolus)

June 4, 2014
Out of the Shadows  [by James Wenley] My immediate response to Shadowland is an eerie chill: disembodied clothes – two dresses and  a suit – dangle from The Civic stage,  giving the feeling that I’d walked in on a hanging in which the bodies had decomposed long ago. This grim reading was not something I’d expected from the “enchanting tale” […]

REVIEW: Real Fake White Dirt (Mouth to Mouth)

April 4, 2014
Realism at it’s whitest [by Matt Baker] What better time for such a show to be performed in the wake of proposed flag reform referenda. Advertised as spoken word meets theatre, writer and performer Jess Holly Bates has successfully amalgamated the components of poetic monologue and theatrical presentation in the inaugural homegrown production of her one-woman show. Monologue, however, may be […]

REVIEW: Yes Prime Minister (The EDGE)

July 11, 2013
I could hardly say no [by Matt Baker] Originating from the BBC series, which ran between 1980 and 1984, and from 1986-88, writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn have reunited to update and adapt their BAFTA winning television series Yes, Prime Minister to the stage. Premiering at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne 2012, the Australian production opened last night at […]

REVIEW: Nuclear Family (Q)

November 8, 2012
No dud [by Matt Baker] Young writers are frequently reminded to write what they know, and Nuclear Family is a great example of why that is. There is no indication as to which degree this show, written by Venezuelan born veteran writer Desiree Gezentsvey, is autobiographical, which in turn raises the question of how much art should imitate life and […]

REVIEW: Mary Poppins (The Civic)

October 22, 2012
A liberal dose of Sugar helps the spectacle go down [by James Wenley] Mary Poppins got the Disneyified film to stage treatment in 2004, joining such properties as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. It’s a big, big business – 6.5 million people have seen Poppins on  stage, and it’s made over $470 million. Four productions play around […]

REVIEW: Death of a Salesman (Peach Theatre Company)

October 15, 2012
I’m sold [by Matt Baker] In his opening night speech, director Jesse Peach obscurely alluded to the possibility of Death of a Salesman being his last production*. While I actively concede that this may have been a misinterpretation of inarticulate speech, I would like to think that going out on a high note is the correct course of action in […]
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