Q opens in triumph, Fringe overshadows Festival, Outfit Rise, Rugby, Rugby, Rugby, and the Death of the Theatre. [by James Wenley]
Attending the recent Hackman Theatre awards, Auckland Theatre circa 2011 would appear to be in rude health. Rude being the word, hosts Nic Sampson and Joseph Moore proudly observing it was a record year of nudity on stage, from the very brave Mr. Sam Seddon in The Only Child to the Dame bosoms of the Calendar Girls. It was certainly year that didn’t leave much to the imagination, containing everything from dildos to knitted phalluses, bath tubs to swimming pools.
The Hackmans were a big communal pat on the back for the industry, a brash and bold celebration of a huge year in theatre. As Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Robyn Malcom closed the awards night performing in a Thomas Sainsbury play that he had written under duress that very night, there was a sense that anything and everything was possible.
As a critic moving from Craccum to my own Theatre Scenes blog this year, I’ve welcomed the end-of-year theatre break. Throughout the year, I could often be heard to exclaim: ‘Auckland Theatre: There is too much of you!’. It’s been exhausting going to opening to opening night after night. And immensely rewarding. While containing some duds for sure, my impression of the year is one of great strength and eclectic activity. There was no shortage of things to write about at least. There was always something on. Between fellow blogger Sharu Delilkan and me, we reviewed or previewed 96 different shows, and even that barely scratched the surface.
Murdoch Mystery de-Mystified [by Sharu Delilkan]
Having previously been to The Loft's inaugural show Venus Is, when the studio space was transformed into a raunchy bordello, it was a total contrast to be greeted by a sea of television screens on stage.
However the traditional tiered seating and set with newsroom desk and chairs, along with television camera and bookcase, as well as the aforementioned television screens, definitely help set the scene from the get-go.
As mentioned in a previous blog, I don't purport to be a rugby expert. And although I will openly confess that the Rugby World Cup fever has been all consuming, I have to admit that I am only recently acquainted with the iconic event surrounding the disappearance of the infamous Keith Murdoch.
For those like me who aren't familiar with the Murdoch story, his fame came out of All Black career ending controversially and mysteriously. He scored the All Blacks' only try in their 1972 win against Wales in Cardiff. However later the same night he was allegedly involved in a fracas which resulted in him being sent home from the tour by All Black management. Rather than returning to rugby in New Zealand, Murdoch virtually went into hiding, quitting his home and his sport and moving to the Australian outback where he has lived ever since.