REVIEW: The Cherry Orchard (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 16, 2018
[Mana Whenua] Chekhov’s final play finds itself uprooted from both its Russian origins and its familiar place within the Western theatrical canon in ATC’s latest production of The Cherry Orchard. It has been replanted, by several strokes of genius, in 1970’s Aotearoa – a New Zealand experiencing the death of the old new world, and the birth of a recogniseable […]

REVIEW: Peer Gynt [recycled] (Auckland Theatre Company)

March 22, 2017
[Postmodern Stress Disorder] In our over-saturated times where media of all forms is available in excess, the idea of originality becomes the ultimate predicament to the storyteller. There’s the notion that every story has already been told, all paths have been ventured, and nothing new can be said anymore. We live in an age where audiences are savvier than ever, […]

REVIEW: Rupert (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 28, 2015
Rupert Bare [by Sharu Delilkan and Tim Booth] It’s rare that a show about someone’s life is introduced by the main character as “a show about my life” but Rupert, a biography of media moghul Rupert Murdoch breaks many of the norms of theatre as he does the fourth wall. David Williamson‘s Rupert encapsulates a multitude of genres – it’s […]

REVIEW: A Doll’s House (Auckland Theatre Company)

May 5, 2015
Refurbished for the 21st Century [by Matt Baker] Henrik Ibsen may have been aware of the controversy that A Doll’s House would raise when he wrote it, but he certainly didn’t intend the specificity of it to be projected onto its female lead. Regardless, adaptations have continued to miss the collective relevance to its central character’s journey, reappropriating it with connotations […]

REVIEW: The Ladykillers (Auckland Theatre Company)

February 17, 2015
Actus reus [by Matt Baker] “To be frivolous about frivolous matters, that’s merely boring. To be frivolous about something that’s in some way deadly serious, that’s true comedy.” So said Alexander Mackendrick, who directed the 1955 film upon which Graham Linehan’s 2011 stage adaptation is based. Farce requires dangerIt requires an expertly balanced combination of drama and comedy played at both extremes. While […]

REVIEW: The Good Soul of Szechuan (Auckland Theatre Company)

July 31, 2014
Brecht-Through Experience  [by James Wenley] It’s surprising to learn that The Good Soul of Szechuan* marks the first time Auckland Theatre Company have produced a play by Bertolt Brecht. Surprising perhaps because a Brechtian sensibility is very much apparent in Artistic Director Colin McColl’s signature ATC productions – recall how often he strips back the stage of the Maidment such […]

REVIEW: Other Desert Cities (Auckland Theatre Company)

May 12, 2014
Other American Plays [by James Wenley] The desert looking back at us is not quite the one from the popular imagination: wind turbines populate the otherwise arid landscape. Is this a symbol of progressivism and human achievement, or a blot on the natural expanse? This dessert is Palm Springs, and the centrepiece of Rachael Walker’s eye-catching stage design is a massive […]

REVIEW: Paniora! (ATC)

March 23, 2014
Magnificent Maori Matadors [by Sharu Delilkan] The ‘Len Brown Sux’ protesters outside The Maidment Theatre provided a rather obscure start to the evening. Fortunately everyone seemed more pre-occupied with the opening night of Auckland Theatre Company’s Paniora! to care. Within the lobby though it was so refreshing to see more ‘Browns’ than just Len. Often many ATC shows tend to attract […]

Looking Forward: What’s on my Theatrical Radar for 2014?

January 9, 2014
Ch-ch-changes [by James Wenley] The theatrical year is starting up early, heralded by the cannon blast of 360 – A Theatre of Recollections, which takes over The Civic stage from 13 January. Audiences will have the unique opportunity to sit on the mighty stage, just big enough to fit a 360⁰ circular stage where fireworks, song, dance and a seal burst […]

REVIEW: Lord of the Flies (Auckland Theatre Company)

September 8, 2013
Boys own Apocalypse [by James Wenley] Auckland Theatre Company’s stage production makes a nod to the usual medium the Lord of the Flies story is inherited: the secondary school classroom. A bookend, invented by Director Colin McColl and his cast, sets the leads as contemporary high-school students encountering William Golding’s 1954 novel. Project artwork of various pig heads, beasts and […]
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