REVIEW: The Audience (Auckland Theatre Company)

May 21, 2019
[God Save the Queen] Speaking to our fascination with what happens behind closed doors with one of the world’s most public figures, The Audience imagines and recreates Queen Elizabeth II’s weekly twenty-minute meetings with her Prime Ministers.  Written by Peter Morgan and directed by Colin McColl, The Audience spans a timeframe of over six decades, beginning with the Queen’s meetings […]

REVIEW: The Gangster’s Paradise (ATC Here & Now Festival)

April 29, 2019
[A New Turf] A bass beat plays and a rap song booms through the ASB Waterfront Theatre. Young actors dressed in school uniform rip up the stage with a hip hop number, battling it out in a Stomp the Yard set. Half of the students wear red bandanas and the other half wear blue bandanas with coloured shirts under their […]

REVIEW: 8 Reasonable Demands (ATC Here & Now Festival)

April 27, 2019
A sobering look at the underbelly of Auckland’s queer community In 8 Reasonable Demands, playwright Joni Nelson asks the audience to consider the extent to which we take fundamental living standards for granted. At the ASB Waterfront Theatre, six characters find their lives upended by a life-changing decision to hold the government to ransom using leverage acquired by the use […]

REVIEW: Watch Party (ATC Here & Now Festival)

April 27, 2019
[It is Watch Party my dudes] I hold the ATC ‘youth’ shows in high regard, attending in the past primarily to take a sneak-peek at the hot new talent rising within the ranks of the Auckland theatre scene. I also have a soft spot for devised theatre and the inclusive platform this type of theatre making can offer to a […]

REVIEW: Astroman (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 21, 2019
[Aotearoa Arcade] Astroman by Albert Belz cleverly teleports us back to the ‘80s, referencing (to name a few) the Karate Kid, rubik cubes and walkmans. Belz astutely weaves themes around racism, depression, loss and bullying, while keeping the story light and heartwarming.  Astroman is fresh, fun, and written for high quality entertainment which offers an unapologetically nostalgic escape from the […]

SCENE BY JAMES: 2018 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 31, 2018
[Representation Matters] Silo Theatre’s production of Mr Burns presented a vision of theatrical futures. In the play by American writer Anne Washburn, survivors of an electricity-ending event band together to form a travelling theatre troupe specialising in the recreation of classic The Simpsons episodes. I begin with Mr Burns here because, while it presents a bleak image for our planet, […]

REVIEW: Shortland Street – The Musical (Auckland Theatre Company)

December 1, 2018
[Make No Bones About It] The question of whether the result of Shortland Street the television series can be considered successful need only be measured by one fact: 26 years. But with new mediums come new risks. For every The Lion King and The Producers stage musical adaptation there is a Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and The Fly. Fortunately, Shortland […]

Six Degrees of Gender Separation: The Problems with Auckland Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 Programme

October 29, 2018
[Where are the Women at the Waterfront?] During the uproar over the Pop-up Globe’s decision to use an all-male cast while invoking #MeToo in their promotion, Auckland Theatre Company did a Facebook post “Celebrating the amazing women of our 2017-2018 season!” ATC name checked their lead actors – “phenomenal matriarchs of the stage” – Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Alison Bruce and Jennifer […]

REVIEW: Rendered (Auckland Theatre Company)

September 26, 2018
[Trapped in a World of Opposites] The great 13th century Persian and Muslim poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī said: ‘Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field. I will meet you there’. While there is some dispute about the accuracy of these translated words, the sentiment nevertheless expresses the Sufi desire to transcend binaries, to move […]
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