REVIEW: The Mooncake and the Kūmara (Oryza Foundation)

July 1, 2017
[Pertinent Then and Now] The set is a quiet ghost of a fantasy. Cloth draped from driftwood billows outward, echoing a midnight nature. Several levels built from wood allow the actors to play into contexts of hierarchy and distance. Set designer John Verryt does well, matching the set to mythic histories. The Mooncake and the Kūmara, written by Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen […]

REVIEW: Kororāreka: The Ballad of Maggie Flynn (Red Leap)

June 14, 2017
[Leap, Climb, Slip] Kororāreka, the hell hole of the Pacific: once feared and revered by sailors across the high seas, a hot spot for mayhem, trade, and a clashing of cultures. Those who are familiar with New Zealand history may be aware of Kororāreka and the sailors, pirates and whalers who docked there, but less known are the stories of the women […]

REVIEW: Jane Doe (Zanetti Productions)

June 12, 2017
[Be Heard] Eleanor Bishop attended Carnegie Mellon University in America during the ever-growing focus on rape culture. Jane Doe began out of the confusion and anger that Bishop and her peers experienced. Since then, the show has toured campuses in America and grown accordingly with new material and new performers. The Auckland show is tailored specifically for Karen McCracken, and […]

REVIEW: Ren Lunicke: I’m an Apache Attack Helicopter (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 4, 2017
[Troll Hunter] Taking its title from the similarly named meme, Ren Lunicke’s, I’m an Apache Attack Helicopter takes on the critics and trolls who scoff at modern identity politics – the ones with rhetoric that is often cheap and easy, comparing the often ridiculed examples of identity (otherkin, furries) to the sincere and deeply heartfelt (gender and sexuality). Essentially a spiritual […]

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 […]
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