REVIEW: Jacinda (The Actors’ Program)

November 20, 2018
[Angels in Aotearoa] Programming a grad show for any acting program is tricky business, balancing the needs of roles required and finding a suitable showcase, all while crafting a satisfying narrative. In choosing to commission a brand new work by Auckland playwright Sam Brooks, rounding off a knockout year in collaboration with director Sam Snedden (Twenty Eight Millimetres and Burn […]

REVIEW: Burn Her (Q Matchbox)

August 6, 2018
[From the Ashes, we Rise] The world has changed since the first reading of Sam Brooks’ latest play, Burn Her, at The Basement Theatre two years ago. At the time, there was no way Brooks could have anticipated the climate in which his play would debut in the Q MATCHBOX 2018 Season. While the election of Trump has publicly highlighted […]

REVIEW: Twenty Eight Millimetres (Auckland Pride)

February 16, 2018
[Measuring Happiness] It’s easy to imagine that if Sam Brooks were a writer in the 1950s Hollywood he’d fit right in making screwball comedies. His latest play Twenty Eight Millimetres offers itself up, at first glance, as a modern gay romcom, and the perfect vehicle for Brooks to show off his knack for whip-smart one-liners and I-wish-I-talked-like-this-in-real-life dialogue. It first […]

REVIEW: Say Something Nice (Auckland Fringe)

March 8, 2017
[It’s Something] A solo show from Sam Brooks, Say Something Nice is an attempt to strike out from the pack with something different and new. The show looks and feels like a self-help seminar. You walk into a large room filled with tables – each table is big enough for two people. On each table are pads and pens. In […]

REVIEW: Tiny Deaths (Smoke Labour Productions & My Accomplice)

November 19, 2015
Monologist Pleasures and Displeasures [by Matt Baker] In its modern usage from the literal French translation, la petite mort, “the tiny death” articulates the transcendent moment during the loss or weakening of consciousness associated with an orgasm. It is a euphoric state; love and life reflected in a moment of fragility so near to our inevitable last. While not all of […]

REVIEW: Young & Hungry 2015: The 21st Narcissus and 7500 Days (The Basement)

October 13, 2015
[by Matt Baker] Stumblr Based on last year’s Young & Hungry plays, it would be within reason to expect a 21st Century Narcissus to modernise the Greek myth through the complexities and perils of today’s youth’s navigation of online platforms. For Sam Brooks’ 21st Narcissus, it would also, however, be wrong. Unlike Uncle Minotaur, where mythology was ingrained in the narrative, […]

REVIEW: Stutterpop – The Queen’s Speech (Smoke Labours Productions)

August 27, 2015
Stutterly Memorable [by Sharu Delilkan and Tim Booth] The subtitle of the performance “The Queen’s Speech” is an apt description of the show. In many plays there are pivotal, poignant and powerful moments that you love or remember. For us it was the honesty and plain spoken humanity of the whole evening that will make it memorable, when all those […]

REVIEW: The Girl and the Gay (NZ International Comedy Festival 2015)

April 26, 2015
Grindr Profile: Looking for Laughs [by James Wenley] The font is bold and cartoonish, a pretty blue and pink wash covers the poster, which suggests one should expect a bright and breezy comedy. But the photograph sells a different show. Co-stars Chelsea McEwan Millar and Jordan Blaikie lie strewn on the floor, a look of earnest despondency on their faces. The […]

REVIEW: Stutterpop (Auckland Fringe)

February 14, 2015
Time for a Bang [by Matt Baker] Sam Brooks is a playwright with a stutter, but his most autobiographical play is not about stuttering, it’s about love for others and one’s self. Stuttering is instead a subplot in this unique fringe performance by one of Auckland’s top young playwrights. Sharing the space with a multitude of shows (The Basement’s Sophie Henderson’s […]

Looking Back: 2014 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 27, 2014
My Favourite Moments of the Year [by James Wenley] With stages empty and the theatrical year in blackout, I’ve planted myself in front of my computer to reflect on the performances that have provoked, challenged, and bought a smile to my face this past year. I’ve already written about happenings this year extensively, in Playmarket’s 2014 Annual (read online) and Metro’s […]
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