Solid [by Matt Baker]
From Liz Carpenter and Alana Kelly’s poster design to the un-credited set design in performance, the teacup motif in Munted is both an accurate and elegant metaphor for the fragility and communal aspects of life surrounding the February earthquake. It is also brilliantly used in breaking the fourth wall the moment the audience enters the performance space, which consequently enriches the experience of this documentary theatre piece.*
Head writer, performer, Toi Whakaari graduate, and one half of Bare Hunt Collective; Victoria Abbott, has overseen a level-headed script, which avoids over sentimentalising the stories at heart and confines the verbatim dialogue into appropriately timed segments with respect to their content. Abbott is also a flawless performer, who emanates characters with simple yet full idiosyncrasies and never misses a beat.
Bombs Away!: Who you [not] gonna call? [by Sharu Delilkan]
There is no secret that ‘there will be bombs’ in the brand new comedy-musical Bombs Away!.
The hilarious script written by Nic Sampson, Ryan Richards and Barnaby Fredric, complemented by a full-length musical score from Joseph Moore, can only be described as absurd, uplifting, full of life and the height of silliness.
The opening track includes a call to Muslim prayer followed by a song with Muslims and burkahs, but the show is not about Muslims and bombing. Although not Muslim myself, but having grown up in Malaysia I was pleasantly surprised that the writers decided not to resort to Muslim-bashing to make and tell their fantastical story. Instead the focus is on three NZ Bomb Academy dropouts A.D. (Nic Sampson), Matt Baker (Ryan Richards) and Ben (Calum Gittins) who couldn’t defuse a bomb if their lives depended on it.
Honestly, Iago... [by James Wenley]
It might be called Othello, but this one is very much Iago’s show.
Iago, the villain in Shakespeare’s Othello, has long threatened to outshine the titular tragic hero. Shakespeare for one gave him substantially more lines and a relentless destructive driving force, plotting to destroy the Moor that he says he hates. Why Iago does what he does has forever been debated by the academics, and his motivations make him a continually fascinating character, an interpretative draw card for directors and the actors who play him. This is not to diminish Othello’s story, rich in its own issues of identity, difference and the tragic fall, but Iago is far more fun. Especially, in Jesse Peach’s production.