REVIEW: The Plastic Orgasm (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2018
[Radical Failure] The term ‘radical failure’ is used during the centrepiece of The Plastic Orgasm, a paganistic ritual that blows up the show, releasing a primal scream of questions and confusions onto the stage. The act of failure implies an attempt has been made. You can’t fail without trying. You can’t succeed without risking failure. So, to call The Plastic […]

REVIEW: Question Time Blues (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2018
[Delahunty’s Lament] We often talk about the personal as the political, but how often do we see the reverse? The political as personal. In Question Time Blues, former Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty takes the stage to vent about her time in and out of parliament. There’s a freshness to her presence, by sheer virtue of her being someone so […]

REVIEW: The Race (Auckland Fringe)

March 5, 2018
[A Precarious Performance] Take a walk down Queen Street and it is difficult not to notice the numerous bodies huddled on the pavement. Yet despite the very real and ‘visible’ problem of homelessness in our cities today, the complex stories and experiences of those who survive temporary, shared, or uninhabitable accommodation is often invisible from public discourse. The new production […]

REVIEW: Roots (Auckland Fringe)

March 4, 2018
[Journey to the Past and Future] New Zealand is a country with a strong migratory history, but too rarely are the stories of our Asian roots given room to breathe and grow on stage, which is one of the reasons why Proudly Asian Theatre represents an integral component to both our theatrical and cultural landscape. With only four stage productions […]

REVIEW: Wigging Out (Auckland Fringe)

March 2, 2018
[Split Ends] The conceit of two grown men dressed as female frenemies from high school is ripe for exploring, and the pun-filled potential of Ann Xiety (Hamish Russell) and Dee Pression (Tom Sainsbury) speaks for itself. You’d be forgiven for thinking Sainsbury has done a drag show before; his tendency towards camp is a natural fit for the medium. Russell’s […]

REVIEW: Watching Paint Dry (Auckland Fringe)

March 1, 2018
[Fresh Coat] It’s much more fun than it sounds. This might sound like a backhanded compliment, but it isn’t. Watching Paint Dry begins, as one might expect, with performer (and lighting designer) Sean Lynch slowly and deliberately painting a wall (opening night’s colour was ‘Adrenaline Orange’). But, with this simple premise, writer and director Anders Falstie-Jensen introduces a fair few […]

SCENE BY JAMES: It’s a Trial – of the Arts Minister!

March 1, 2018
[A Case for Removing Commercial Imperatives for Artists?] Would you accept public money to make an arts project if you had to return any profit that you generated back to the government? Would you want to live on 200-something dollars a week (plus accommodation supplement) if it meant you could make your art without being forced by Work and Income […]

REVIEW: Mackenzie’s Daughters (Auckland Fringe)

February 26, 2018
[A Bale of Laughs] This show is basically the inverse of my review’s lame title – it’s funny, it’s inane, it’s utterly ridiculous, and no part of it makes you wince. Completely improvised on the spot, Mackenzie’s Daughters is something: a chance to watch some of Auckland’s best performers try to keep up with each other. Featuring a revolving cast (my night featured Donna Brookbanks, […]

REVIEW: The Jenny Taylor Show (Auckland Fringe)

February 24, 2018
[Jeremy Kyle rest easy] A live taping of a talk show is a solid theatrical idea, but The Jenny Taylor Show does not take this much beyond its premise. The main problem is a lack of focus. It is meant to be a satire about talk shows, but it what is it commenting on? Could it be the blurring of reality […]

REVIEW: Cool Behaviour (Auckland Fringe)

February 23, 2018
[Cool As!] It was with great trepidation that I walked down the stairs to Q’s Vault to watch Cool Behaviour. Like many in the audience, I’m sure, the questions were whirring around in my mind.  Foremost of which was, “Am I cool enough to even be here?” That ‘coolness’ is a state of being which a majority of the human […]
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