SCENE BY JAMES: 2019 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 30, 2019
[What could we do with sustainable practice?] The challenges of making a living out of the performing and screen arts are well known to the industry, but there is something about seeing the facts in black and white that throws the problem into stark relief. I’m talking about research commissioned by Creative New Zealand and NZ on Air released in […]

REVIEW: My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak (Silo Theatre)

November 26, 2019
A Giggleful Expedition to mid-1970s Bombay Inspired by the decade of disco in the city where dreams come true, My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak is a sweeping tribute to the power of fusion in what was to become the world’s largest film industry. Set in 1975 on a film set, the play reveals a tense amalgamation between the Hollywood Western […]

REVIEW: The Blind Date Project (Silo Theatre)

August 30, 2019
[Swipe Right and Swipe Right Again] Improvisational theatre, ephemeral at best, becomes completely sui generis when you have a new guest performer each night; add in a hearty amount of alcohol, constant cellphone use, and some karaoke and you have The Blind Date Project, a wildly unique hour of entertainment. Natalie Medlock returns as Anna after a previous sell out […]

REVIEW: The Wolves (Silo Theatre)

July 3, 2019
[Bend it like who?] There’s an ongoing frustration in theatre when it comes to female roles that has been addressed over and over again. Even in 2019 it’s uncommon to witness complex female characters on stage, let alone with an all female cast. This winter Silo Theatre leads the charge by delivering us Sarah DeLappe’s Pulitzer Prize nominated play The Wolves. […]

REVIEW: Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 7, 2019
[Unleashed] Wild Dogs Under My Skirt speaks volumes to the intersection of fa’asāmoa (traditional Sāmoan) and diasporic upbringing. Having been a NZ-born cis-queer-male of Sāmoan descent, the performance highlights the various women I grew up with and hold dear to my heart. Although Tusiata Avia’s Wild Dogs Under My Skirt collection of poetry was published in 2004, the spoken text […]

SCENE BY JAMES: 2018 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 31, 2018
[Representation Matters] Silo Theatre’s production of Mr Burns presented a vision of theatrical futures. In the play by American writer Anne Washburn, survivors of an electricity-ending event band together to form a travelling theatre troupe specialising in the recreation of classic The Simpsons episodes. I begin with Mr Burns here because, while it presents a bleak image for our planet, […]

REVIEW: Here Lies Love (Silo Theatre)

November 30, 2018
[All that Glitters is not Gold] If you’re after a fun and entertaining end-of-year night out, Silo Theatre’s production of Here Lies Love is perfect. It is based on David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s concept album Here Lies Love, about the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos. The performances from the five divas – Villette Dasha, Colleen Davis, […]

REVIEW: Mr Burns (Silo Theatre)

September 19, 2018
[Will The Simpsons Save the World?] This play reminds of a fantasy David Mamet told in one of his books about working in Hollywood. If the apocalypse ever happened, he could make a living telling stories around the campfire, while the studio executives he worked for would starve to death. The power of storytelling to act as a vehicle for […]

REVIEW: Hir (Silo Theatre)

August 7, 2018
[Transitory Spaces] When prodigal son Isaac (Arlo Green) returns from Afghanistan to find his family home turned upside down, he’s rightfully shocked. Having spent his last three years in the Marines’ Mortuary Affairs division, and dishonourably discharged, it’s no surprise he longs for something familiar and recognisable. Mommy Paige (Rima Te Wiata) has done away with all the rituals and […]

REVIEW: Cellfish (Silo Theatre)

June 19, 2018
[Big Fish] If truth is often stranger than fiction, why is plausibility so necessary in theatrical plot? While Shakespeare was never opposed to using coincidence or serendipity in order to drive the action of his plays, when such treatments are applied to contemporary modes of theatrical style, the resulting juxtaposition between anachronistic action and modern spectacle risks becoming jarring to […]
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