REVIEW: Every Brilliant Thing (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 22, 2017
[Brilliant Clarity] Every Brilliant Thing is not what you would expect…not at all. But it definitely is, as billed, “the funniest thing you’ll ever see about the least funny thing in the world”. It’s important not to give away the format of the show, as part of its joy is how it reveals itself through sweet, funny, poignant scenes and […]

REVIEW: The Biggest (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 14, 2017
[Touching Masculinity] Writer and director Jamie McCaskill has a knack for capturing the way real people speak, whether it’s the inhabitants of a woman’s refuge (Not in Our Neighbourhood) or a men’s prison (Manawa). In The Biggest, McCaskill turns his ears to the older Kiwi male. You know the one, the classic bloke, often reduced to a simple stereotype. Set […]

REVIEW: Tomás Ford’s Chase! (Auckland Fringe)

March 1, 2017
[Speed on Stage] A fast-moving blend of singing, ranting and waterboarding, Tomás Ford’s Chase! is like a fever dream during a drive-in movie. Framed in front of two large screens, secret agent Tomás Ford (Tomás Ford) regales the audience with the story of his chase around the globe to locate the woman he loves. Behind our psychopathic anti-hero, black and […]

REVIEW: Impostar (Auckland Pride)

February 15, 2017
[Over the Rainbow and Around the Bend] A show for anyone who grew up watching Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music till the VHS tapes wore out, Impostar: Who does he think he is? is a funny, heart-warming showcase for the extremely talented singer-impressionist Jason Chasland. A mix of cabaret and autobiographical monologue, Impostar is a blast from start […]

REVIEW: Boys Will Be Boys (Silo)

September 13, 2016
[Swimming with the Sharks] Boys Will Be Boys is a brash and unapologetic dive into the social and sexual politics of the corporate banking world. Notably it contains a thematic parallel that couldn’t be more poignant currently with the national scrutiny of the Chief’s media scandal. Melissa Bubnic’s play follows the story of Astrid (Amanda Billing), a currency trader convinced […]

REVIEW: The Wholehearted (Massive Company)

April 5, 2016
[Big-Hearted] I absolutely loved the joyous, poignant, hilarious and expressive storytelling from Massive Company’s The Wholehearted.  The hugely talented ensemble cast displayed absolute heart and soul through their committed revelation of numerous stories that were immediate, relevant and easily accessible to the enthusiastic audience. Despite running for a quarter of a century, Massive  Company have definitely not rested on their […]

REVIEW: Te Po (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 12, 2016
[Being and Nothingness] There’s something exciting about a play that starts off behind a curtain. Not only is it delightfully old-fashioned, but it also fills the audience with anticipation of what’s to come. Expectations are raised and you can bet we’re expecting to be wowed. So when the curtain is finally pulled back and we see Bruce Mason’s study, I’m […]

REVIEW: The Book of Everything (Silo)

February 13, 2016
[Everyone has their Reasons] After a successful run last year, and with some changes in cast (hello Stephen Lovatt, Amanda Billing, Amanda Tito and Dan Musgrove), The Book of Everything makes a welcome return to the Auckland stage. Thomas (Patrick Carroll) is a young boy growing up in post-war Holland. Struggling under the thumb of his abusive, ultra-religious father Abel (Stephen […]

REVIEW: Ithaca (The Dust Palace)

December 2, 2015
Against the Aristotelian odds [by Matt Baker] Less of a re-imagining or reinterpretation of Homer’s The Odyssey, and more of a performance piece inspired by the source material, Ithaca by Thomas Sainsbury and The Dust Palace is a true spectacle in the dramatic sense of the word. With a monopoly on home-grown cirque theatre, it would be easy for the company to […]

REVIEW: The Book of Everything (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 16, 2015
Missing Pages [by Matt Baker] When the book that inspires a play has been called a modern classic, when the play itself has been self-attributed with “…beautiful, magical, surprising, touching, terrifying, joyous, inspiring, funny, and ultimately uplifting…”, and when the premiere was critically acclaimed as a “hilarious, honest, and beautifully rendered play”, there is a lot to which any other production must […]
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