REVIEW: Yang/Young/杨 (Auckland Theatre Company)

July 26, 2021
[More than a Youth Show] In 2019 I wrote a review which included a meme that intimated that the ATC youth shows excite me more as an audience member than much of what appears in the main programme. Now in 2021 ATC, with the support of Proudly Asian Theatre (PAT), offers Yang/Young/杨 as part of the Here and Now season […]

REVIEW: Cake Baby (Basement Theatre)

June 23, 2021
[Nobody puts Cake Baby in the corner: fatness, art, and representation] The Basement stage floor is littered, quite literally, with trash – empty take-out boxes, wrappers, and containers of food – directly contrasted by diaphanous pink material strung grandly from the centre of the ceiling. It is immediately intriguing and the audience seems to be in a good mood, warmed […]

REVIEW: Bunny (Basement Theatre)

June 18, 2021
[A Comedic and Musical Meditation on Grief] The doors to the stage open and I am greeted with this immense sense of liveliness. Barnie Duncan, our sole performer, is playing a bass guitar, ushering us in with music and smiles as though he knows each of us personally. Above him is an LED sign reading, “haere mai” and “welcome”. Something […]

REVIEW: 45 Cents an Hour (Basement Theatre)

June 4, 2021
[A Portrait of a New Zealand Artist as a Middle-Aged Man] How does it feel to be a struggling artist? What is the line between artistic integrity and corporate success? How do we know when it’s time to give up pursuing our passion? Dominic Hoey, in his new show 45 Cents an Hour at the Basement Theatre, explores his own […]

REVIEW: The Downs & Ups of Peep & Squeak (Basement Theatre)

April 21, 2021
[With a Little Imagination…] In a large house on planet Earth(?) siblings Peep (Ravi Gurunathan) and Squeak (Katie Longbottom) get ready to step out into the big wide world in a hot air balloon. But then a mysterious dark creature kidnaps Peep and leaves him on a desert planet millions of miles away. While Squeak goes on a trek to […]

REVIEW: First World Problems 3.0 (Basement Theatre)

April 18, 2021
[Healing Together, Beyond Our Problems] As I arrive into the Basement foyer and navigate past the throng of bodies to collect my tickets, I feel instantly uplifted. Surrounded by so many members the South Asian community, we are lucky to be able to gather and witness the premiere of new homegrown writing. Yet I can’t help but feel a pang […]

REVIEW: Change Your Own Life (Basement Theatre)

April 14, 2021
[The Wheel of Fortune] How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone? This is one of the central questions in Jean Sergent’s Change Your Own Life – one which she directly asks the audience. But this show is not a didactic self-help talk – far from it. What Sergent offers up instead is a deeply personal story of […]

REVIEW: Twinless (Basement Theatre)

March 25, 2021
[Joy within Loss] We enter with birdsong; she enters with silence. Twinless performer and creator Clare Marcie breathes out, reaches up, towards something above, something which we cannot hope to see. It’s a slow, weighted, and emotionally distanced opening—hardly a clue for the fun, vulnerable, and varied hour to come, and yet somehow, when viewed from the end of the show, […]

REVIEW: I Wanna Be Mark Wahlberg (Auckland Pride)

February 10, 2021
[Brief Examination] Melody Rachel’s description of her solo performance piece I Wanna be Mark Wahlberg talks about it as an exploration of identity and gender and the way her understanding of these was impacted by a conservative Christian upbringing. Her show manages moments of insight into these concepts, but the clarity of the statements she’s made about her work doesn’t […]

REVIEW: Le Basement XXXmas Cabaret (Basement Theatre)

November 23, 2020
[Who’s Stuffing Your Stocking This Christmas?] It’s a Christmas miracle, and the one the world (or Aotearoa) needed. This year there is extra emotion in the festivities that are the Basement’s Annual Christmas Show. We have much to celebrate and be thankful for. Sitting in a room pressed up against happy, drunken, theatre goers feels positively illegal and the excitement […]
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