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: Red Speedo (Auckland Theatre Company)

November 8, 2017
[Togs, Togs, Drama] Red Speedo is Benjamin Henson’s mainbill directorial debut with Auckland Theatre Company after a series of successful endeavours across New Zealand. Henson as made a name for himself as a director with shows such as AUSA’s As You Like It, Last Tapes Company’s Valerie, and his most recent Auckland work The Effect as part of Q Theatre’s […]

REVIEW: The Effect (Fractious Tash)

August 7, 2017
[May induce euphoria and drowsiness] Creative Producer Jason Hodzelmans and Artistic Director Benjamin Henson have created a very particular brand with theatre company Fractious Tash. They’ve been called ‘innovative’, ‘imaginative’, and ‘outstanding’ – all theatrical buzzwords, but ones that are nonetheless justified. You recognise a Henson production, not because of anything expected, but because of his innate ability to create […]

REVIEW: As You Like It (Summer Shakespeare)

March 1, 2017
[That’s the Way I Like It] It’s refreshing to return to the Auckland University Clock Tower space for Summer Shakespeare this year. Despite the excitement of the Pop-Up Globe, there was always a level of intimacy sacrificed in the massive space. There some productions were often at the mercy of the venue, servicing the stage rather than the script. Here the […]

REVIEW: Titus (Pop-up Globe)

March 15, 2016
[Bad Taste] Originally staged as a Unitec graduate show with an all-male cast in 2012, and subsequently revived at Q Theatre in 2013, Titus returns for a third time at the Pop-up Globe. While I can’t speak for the quality of the previous seasons, I can safely say that you won’t see a more accessible version of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus […]

REVIEW: The Tempest (Pop-up Globe)

March 2, 2016
[The Globe is full of Noises] The problem with The Tempest is that even with its self-awareness as a play, or perhaps in spite of it, it is not a dramatic work. Events of action both past and present are relegated to exposition. There is no onstage conflict; no scene in which two characters fight for opposing objectives. There are, […]

REVIEW: Not Psycho (Fractious Tash)

August 16, 2015
Expect the unexpected [by Sharu Delilkan and Tim Booth] A Benjamin Henson show is always distinctly and recognisably his, and Not Psycho is no exception. I must admit that each time I see a Henson play I realise more and more that his creative mind is that of an evil genius. Having seen his most recently creation Ghastly Dash Grimm: […]

REVIEW: The Next Big Thing Festival 2015 (Auckland Theatre Company)

July 22, 2015
Inky, Pinky, Go! [by James Wenley] The girl on the program cover is all wrong. With her exuberant expression and red sparkly jelly party hat, it suggests kids playing dress ups. Next Big Thing is anything but. Maybe it works as an image for their adult subscribers:  come and see what those kooky kids are up to. But as an image […]

REVIEW: This is our Youth (The Basement)

April 9, 2015
Escape from New York  [by Tim George] Directed by Benjamin Henson, this new revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s pressure cooker of disaffected youth in Reagan-era New York is by turns claustrophobic, bleak, and nihilistic. It is also blackly comic and surprisingly profound. A young man steals $15000 from his father and holes up with his only friend, who also happens to be […]

REVIEW: Vice (The Basement)

April 16, 2014
Perverse [by James Wenley] For the past few weeks, Jordan Mooney has been posting a series of clips promoting a range of different vices. The crazy-eyed front man has whipped himself, walked naked in the wilderness, shoved his face in a toilet bowl, and lit his hair on fire. Turns out these are child plays compared to some of the predilections […]
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