REVIEW: Work Do (Basement Theatre)

December 3, 2018
[Merry XXXmas] December, 1997. Princess Diana is dead. The Spice Girls are four months away from going Geri-less. The employees of travel agency Go Away gather for their end-of-year party, unaware that the proverbial is about to hit the fan: the company’s finances are a mess, and boss Linda (Jodie Rimmer) is going to have to close it down. With […]

REVIEW: Jacinda (The Actors’ Program)

November 20, 2018
[Angels in Aotearoa] Programming a grad show for any acting program is tricky business, balancing the needs of roles required and finding a suitable showcase, all while crafting a satisfying narrative. In choosing to commission a brand new work by Auckland playwright Sam Brooks, rounding off a knockout year in collaboration with director Sam Snedden (Twenty Eight Millimetres and Burn […]

REVIEW: Bad Mood (Basement Theatre)

November 8, 2018
[Collage of Womanhood] As artist in residence for the Basement this year, Bad Mood is Tallulah Holly-Massey’s third and final work following Mammoth and Tender is the Night.  I had watched Mammoth earlier during the year, and was excited to see how Holly-Massey’s final work would play out.  Performed by four distinguished dancers — Kelly Nash, Nancy Wijohn, Zahra Killeen-Chance […]

REVIEW: Such Stuff as Dreams (Basement Theatre)

November 8, 2018
[Half asleep] Presented by Dusty Room Productions, Such Stuff as Dreams, by Camilla Walker, advertises itself as a love story between Claire, a “wanderlusting waitress”, and Alfie, a busker with schizophrenia, played by Catherine Yates and Tyler Wilson Kokiri respectively. Mental health is a common theme in New Zealand theatre, and such theatrical representations require not only a deft hand, but […]

REVIEW: Violent Bloom (Basement Theatre)

October 31, 2018
[Reaching Across the Divides of Time] I walk into the familiar environs of Basement Theatre’s larger space feeling particularly absent-minded, and am pleasantly ushered through a series of recurring paper streamers into a black-box space designed to transport us to a new world while leaving all cares of ours at the door. The set (designed by Christine Urquhart and constructed […]

REVIEW: A Lost Cause (Basement Theatre)

October 27, 2018
[Women on the Verge of  a Nervous Breakdown] Despite a ‘Decade of Disruption’ being The Basement’s motto for this year, it’s the prominence of mental health issues that seems most notable in their programming. With works such as Near Death Experience, Breathe and Paper Planes being just the tip of the iceberg. Loren Black’s A Lost Cause may be the […]

REVIEW: Paper Planes (Basement Theatre)

October 6, 2018
[A dog, a moon and a Belarusian walk into a bar…] Late one night, Fran (Holly Hudson) lies awake in bed while her neighbours party the night away. Unable to sleep, her insomnia is exacerbated by her canine companion Dog (a superlative performance by puppeteer Tamara Gussy), who insists on playing while her Belarusian landlady, Mrs Withers (another puppet performed […]

REVIEW: The Black (The Basement)

September 9, 2015
The National Bank horse is back. And she’s pissed. [by Tim George] A multimedia piece about a woman’s battle with depression, The Black comes with a terrific pedigree. Written by and starring Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu, and directed by the impressively prolific Tom Sainsbury, it is a well-produced piece with ambition to spare in its use of back-projected images and animations. There is a warm, […]

REVIEW: Eigengrau (potent pause) productions

November 14, 2012
More than black and white [by Matt Baker] Meet Cassie. She’s just moved in with Rose, who’s just had a one-night stand with Mark, who’s fed up of living with Tim, who secretly loves Rose, who’s just using Tim to get to Mark (who she loves), who’s just become very interested in Cassie. While the magnitude of that sentence is […]

REVIEW: Glorious

November 2, 2011
Sexual Tension as thick as Magnolia Perfume [by James Wenley] It’s a classic formula, and one we are all familiar with: a miss-matched couple, often from vastly different backgrounds or social spheres meet, bicker, bicker some more, swear they hate each other, then admit their enduring love and affection. Jane Austen for one knew that hate was the secret to […]
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