SCENE BY JAMES: The 2017 Auckland Arts Festival in Review

April 1, 2017
[Giving Auckland Something to Believe in] By the end of Eli Kent’s 3&1/2 hr epic Peer Gynt [recycled], we’ve crashed a wedding, attended a troll kink-party, seen the author give birth to a baby Henrik Ibsen, escaped from a spiritualist retreat, hung out with Milo Yiannopolous, given James Cameron a taste of his Titanic medicine, and confirmed that onions, like […]

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: Live at Six (Show Pony)

November 14, 2013
Not the Six O’Clock News… but close enough [by James Wenley] Recall when Judy “Mother of the Nation” Bailey had to read the auto-cue about herself on the six o’clock news when her pay packet became a top news story? That’s one way to respond when the newsreaders become the newsmakers: continue on as normal. Now imagine if Judy Bailey had […]

REVIEW: Like There’s No Tomorrow (The Playground Collective and ATC)

July 29, 2013
You never know where the night will take you [by James Wenley] There’s a girl in the stairwell, quietly weeping, desperately trying not to be noticed. She’s the only student at the (banned) afterball not to have bothered with a costume or a flash dress. In her hands she tightly clutches a camera. She’s noticed by a Japanese exchange, dressed […]

Looking Back: 2012 – A Theatrical year in Review

January 10, 2013
Taking the Risk [by James Wenley] “…It was this lack of “weight” (a not too easily defined term which an actor, if not a member of the audience, would understand) that Mr George Henare needs to work on if he wishes to pursue the acting profession. His is a good, powerful voice, he has strong features… yet a lot of […]

REVIEW: Black Confetti (Auckland Theatre Company)

July 7, 2012
Shivering and Shaking; The Glittery Black [by Rosabel Tan] Siggy (Kip Chapman) is the quintessential drifter. He’s spent the past seven years “finding his niche” – that is, working his way through every stage one paper offered by the Faculty of Arts – and he’d happily continue this search, only The Dean (Adam Gardiner) is now threatening to kick him […]

PREVIEW: Black Confetti (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 26, 2012
Siggy Tardust! [by Sharu Delilkan] When Kip Chapman saw Black Confetti at Auckland Theatre Company’s The Next Stage programme last year, he knew instantly he had to be involved. “I approached Philippa [Campbell] as soon as the reading was over because I thought it was an amazing script that reminded me of Odysseus going into the underworld. I was even […]

Looking Forward: What’s on my theatrical radar for 2012?

January 16, 2012
What will the 2012 Auckland Theatre Scene bring? [by James Wenley] The Auckland Theatre Scene goes deadly quiet in January. In my last post, as I looked back on 2011, I was grateful the curtain had dropped on a particularly busy year for theatre. Now, however, I’m firmly suffering theatre withdrawal. Luckily, the hopeful promise of 2012 productions keeps me […]