REVIEW: Sing it to my Face (Barbarian Productions)

October 20, 2019
Singing the hope of listening The terms ‘innovation’, ‘diversity’, and ‘inclusion’ are being redefined on stage in the production Sing It To My Face . The Auckland debut of Barbarian Productions’ contemporary inter-generational documentary theatre/musical performance collects opinions from three different generations, sets them to music, and gets performers to literally sing these opinions to each other’s faces. It’s a show […]

REVIEW: School of Rock: The Musical (The Civic)

September 9, 2019
[Essential Education] As we take our seats at the Civic we are immediately transported to the smoky bars of a bygone era synonymous with rock bands. The simplistic drum kit with brick wall backdrop is a clever device that instantaneously evokes that trip down memory lane. Instead of the customary ‘turn your cell phones’ announcement as the lights dim, we […]

REVIEW: Pussy Riot: Riot Days (Auckland Fringe)

February 25, 2019
[The Revolution will be Theatricalised] I was standing in the Auckland Town Hall’s Great Hall on a Friday night waiting for Riot Days to start, a performance by the Russian protest and art collective Pussy Riot. As I wait, I get chatting to Rita, an 86-year-young from Tauranga who has travelled up to Auckland for the event. Rita had read […]

REVIEW: MADIBA the Musical (Bruce Mason Centre)

January 27, 2019
[Long Dance to Freedom] A pretty much full house at the Bruce Mason Centre on the lead up to a long weekend has to be a very good sign.  And it is clear that the decision to open MADIBA the Musical, a celebration of Nelson Mandela, in the heart of Auckland’s South African community is undoubtedly an astute move. Many […]

REVIEW: Aunty (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 3, 2018
[Cat on a Hot Tinnie Roof] Invited as extended family of Johanna Cosgrove’s titular Aunty, the audience act as guests and onlookers to the party at hand. It’s a recognisably bare celebration, featuring bags of chips, a box cask of wine, bikkies and whipped cream. Though essentially plotless, she weaves bawdy anecdotes and personal observations with a confidence and energy […]

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 […]

REVIEW: Cock (Silo Theatre)

July 25, 2017
[No Joke] It seems only fitting that director Shane Bosher return to Auckland to direct a play from his bucket list for the company he co-founded. Presented by Silo Theatre and Auckland Live, the title of Mike Bartlett’s Laurence Olivier Award-winning play may put some people off, but it epitomises the raw honesty of the dialogue which drives Bartlett’s script. […]

REVIEW: Million Dollar Quartet (The Civic)

June 11, 2017
[Rock ‘n’ Roll Avengers] There’s a bit of scuttlebutt as to what happened when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins got together in Memphis at Sun Records on December 4, 1956 for an impromptu jam session (that, after years of legal wrangling, became an album in 1981). Cash is said to have only turned up for the […]

REVIEW: Spirit House (Auckland Fringe)

February 22, 2017
[Ghost in the Shell] Frequent collaborators Carl Bland and Ben Crowder join forces once again, co-directing Bland’s latest play Spirit House. Not unlike their previous work Te Pō, a mystery drives the narrative. But, where in that play the stakes and plot hinged on the metatheatrical, Spirit House centers on the metaphysical. Two men, situated in the same art studio […]

REVIEW: The Beautiful Ones (Tawata Productions)

November 23, 2016
[Slice of Nightlife] Born from writer and director Hone Kouka’s own experiences as part of the 90s dance party scene in Amsterdam, The Beautiful Ones is a multi-disciplinary love letter presented by Maori and Cook Islands theatre company Tawata Productions. By transplanting this nostalgia for a lost time to a present day Wellington setting, the homage becomes a platform to […]
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