REVIEW: Woman of Citrus (Basement Theatre)

April 13, 2019
[Peeling back the layers of Aotearoa’s racial divide] Why do you bind our potential so close to our wrists that we slit them? In Woman of Citrus, we join Grace Bennett, a young black female raised in Aotearoa, as she grapples with racial prejudice and intolerance from the Kiwi community surrounding her. Written and performed by Toi Whakaari graduate Grace Bentley […]

REVIEW: HeadSand (Fractious Tash)

March 29, 2019
[You Can’t Ignore It] Director Benjamin Henson has a particular knack for creating worlds. Since co-founding Fractious Tash in 2012, his astute interpretations of classic texts, and dramaturgical practice in company-devised works, have provided New Zealand audiences with ingenious imagery that is as unpredictable, and more often than not shocking, as it is apt. While his work as a director […]

REVIEW: My Kuia (Basement Theatre)

March 22, 2019
[Paying Tribute to our Foremothers] My Kuia invites us into the space of a Māori tangihanga/funeral ceremony, where  tributes and laments are made by performers Alesha Ahdar (also the curator/ director of the show), Jonathan Morgan, Jacob Tamata and Levi Waitere.  Through a series of heart-felt monologues and a passionate dance performance, the cast pay tribute and reflect on their […]

REVIEW: Talofa Papa (Basement Theatre)

March 14, 2019
[Cherish Your Loved Ones] Kasiano Mita, the creator and performer of Talofa Papa has cleverly crafted a unique piece which raises awareness of the vā that separates our multi-generations. We are greeted at the doors by Papa who is formally suited, dressed with a hat and hunched over, heavily leaning on his walking stick. Papa is warm and inviting and I am […]

REVIEW: Working on my Night Moves (Basement Visions)

March 11, 2019
[Moving into Light] Developed with support from Creative New Zealand and the well-respected Battersea Arts Centre, London, Working on My Night Moves is the latest offering from Julia Croft and Nisha Madhan, which promises to be ‘a journey into outer space and an attempt to diffuse power and hierarchy.’ Presented by Basement Theatre as part of the new Basement Visions […]

REVIEW: Exes (Basement Theatre)

March 6, 2019
[A Thin Line Between Love and Hate… and laughter?] A decade ago, Eli Matthewson and Brynley Stent were boyfriend and girlfriend. In the present day, they look back on how they got to together, and how they went their separate ways. Taking in improv games, role-play and a shattering of the space-time continuum, Exes is by a turns funny, sad and – […]

REVIEW: Tide Waits for No Man (Auckland Fringe)

February 22, 2019
[Treading the Imprints of Cultural Traditions] As the light slowly fades up to the sound of ocean waves breaking, a line of Chinese calligraphy is revealed stretching across the scrim that forms the backdrop to the stage. The bleeding line of ink might represent a jagged mountain range, but perhaps also a fracture or rip in the identity of the […]

REVIEW: I am Rachel Chu (Auckland Fringe)

February 21, 2019
[Will the real Rachel Chu please stand up?] Co-created and performed by Nathan Joe, Amanda Grace Leo, Ravi Lloyd Gurunathan and Angela Zhang, I am Rachel Chu is a parody, critical response, and humorous ‘rewrite’ of the story of Rachel Chu — the heroine from the Hollywood blockbuster and bestselling novel Crazy Rich Asians. Described as an attempt ‘to liberate […]

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: 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 […]
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