SCENE BY JAMES: 2017 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 29, 2017
[Theatre by the Numbers] 150,000 Aucklanders can’t be wrong, right? These are the approximate combined totals of audiences who flocked to the Pop-up Globe and Pleasuredome: The Musical in 2017. Compare that with the record-breaking 130,000 who went to Adele’s Auckland concerts this year. And that’s not even including the Globe’s jump across the Tasman, where their productions are still […]

REVIEW: OTHER [chinese] (Q Matchbox)

September 8, 2017
[Identity and the Chorus] Following her solo show White/Other, Alice Canton has expanded her exploration of identity into a multifaceted production driven by a variety of voices. In her attempt to tackle the question of what it means to be Chinese in Aotearoa, she has made the logical jump to recruit a massive cast of ‘storytellers’ to share their own […]

REVIEW: Call of the Sparrows (Proudly Asian Theatre)

October 14, 2016
[Reasons to be Proud] From their modest beginnings with productions of David Henry Hwang’s FOB and Renee Liang’s Lantern, Proudly Asian Theatre have proven themselves as a necessary presence within the local theatre scene. Developed over the last two years using Short + Sweet as a testing ground, Call of the Sparrows is the culmination of their hard work and […]

REVIEW: WHITE/OTHER (The Basement)

April 14, 2016
[White Noise] “I feel most coloured when I am thrown against a sharp white background” —Zora Neale Hurston While never explicitly quoted in the show, this statement seems to inform the entire world of WHITE/OTHER. From the text to the set design to performer Alice Canton’s very own biracial identity, whiteness is everywhere. And Alice’s otherness—specifically, her Chinese half—becomes the […]

REVIEW: Fun Run (Two Productions)

September 17, 2015
Ran Away [by Matt Baker] Accolades are a great way of publicising a show, and if you’re looking for a comedy, “written by 2015 Billy T Winner Hamish Parkinson” seems like a sure-fire bet. Parkinson has a genuinely unique comedic talent, which defies definition, but the trouble with Fun Run is that, as a play, it requires some sort of central […]

REVIEW: Orangutan (The Basement)

July 2, 2015
Not yet a Great Ape [by Matt Baker] In a black box conversion of The Basement studio, creator and performer Alice Canton sits and waits on a pile of dirt and bark. The elevated and shallow seating block doesn’t seem to manage The Basement studio 65-seat capacity, leaving audience members sitting on the floor, which I imagine results in false sightlines […]