REVIEW: Silent Night

December 14, 2011
Spend the Night with Irene [by James Wenley] Irene McMunn’s Christmas cheer has been charming audiences in small venues across the country. So much so, that director Stephen Papps has lost track of how many seasons the one woman show has had. This return season at TAPAC is the first time he’s seen the show since March. Impressively, it’s the […]

REVIEW: The Bone Feeder

November 14, 2011
Feeding the Past [by James Wenley] I first encountered playwright Renee Liang’s The Bone Feeder in 2009, presented as part of her postgraduate diploma of Arts at the University of Auckland, which I reviewed for Craccum Magazine. Since then, Renee (known also for plays Lantern & The First Asian AB) has continued to develop and work on the play. More productions […]

REVIEW: Raising the Titanics at Q Theatre

September 8, 2011
Raising the Titanics, Raising a Theatre  [by James Wenley] The Maori Volcanics show band in their 60s heyday were arguably our most famous exports. With members included bonafide legends Prince Tui Teka and Billy T James, they took their unique mix of song, comedy, and Maori culture around the world to the USA, Vietnam, Israel, Europe, playing to royalty and appearing […]

REVIEW: Gavin puts things straight

May 5, 2011
Clear eye for the straight guy [by Sharu Delilkan]  It’s not often that North Shore residents get the opportunity to see a play that offers an eccentric and a somewhat exaggerated reflection of themselves.   But being a Shoresider himself playwright Andy Saker provides the perfect perspective that at times makes the audience cringe due to the harsh reality of the […]

REVIEW: Havoc in the Garden (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 8, 2011
Havoc on the Stage! [by James Wenley] From the outside looking in, our lives must seem bizarre, rushed, and incomprehensible. Havoc in the Garden cuts open houses and allows us to peek into other people’s lives. A brilliant scene shows people living their lives in parallel, unaware of each other, all talking and behaving in their own little bubbles. It’s […]

REVIEW: Paper Sky – A Love Story (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 7, 2011
Paper and Puppetry. Sometimes theatre can take you to that other place. All the elements combine to transport you to the place akin to the dreamland, the subconscious, where anything can happen. I’ve had this experience before, in Red Leap Theatre’s previous work The Arrival no less. It was with high hopes that I entered the Glen Eden Playhouse for […]

REVIEW: Chalk (Auckland Fringe)

March 3, 2011
Anywhere but Shady Meadows!  There is something very disconcerting watching Isla Adamson and Josephine Stewart -Tewhiu  play elderly characters in their devised Fringe play Chalk. These gorgeous young performers transform and contract their bodies in such a believable way that the characters have a sense of the uncanny. Welcome to Shady Meadows Retirement home. A commercial voice over tells us […]

REVIEW: Joseph and Mahina (Auckland Fringe)

February 26, 2011
Romeo & Juliet. Antony & Cleopatra…. Joseph & Mahina? I’ve written about Thomas Sainsbury plays many times before in Craccum Magazine. He’s something of a modern kiwi Shakespeare type, dominating Auckland over the last several years with a huge output of low budget but manically funny. Like Shakespeare he sometimes acts in his plays too and he directs most of […]

REVIEW: Feel Felt Found (Auckland Fringe)

February 26, 2011
I found this play to be funny Pity the struggling actor. In order to support themselves when work runs dry, they must take a serious of unholy jobs until the day Peter Jackson rings out of the blue with a film offer. The ‘comic triumvirate’ behind Feel Felt Found – Ryan Richards, Nic Sampson and Barnaby Fedric must have experienced […]

FRINGE PREVIEW: The ‘Motherlock’ Controversy

February 23, 2011
Lock up your Mother! If it was a competition, Motherlock would be odds on favorite to win the not always coveted ‘Most Controversial Play Award’ in this year’s Fringe circuit. Unashamedly based on the real life experiences of Auckland playwright and director Melissa Fergusson, it explores the stigmas and experiences of her four pregnancies to four different men. Scandalous? You […]
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