In the Spotlight

The Delta Difference: Why Aotearoa’s Performing Arts and Events need support now – and what you can do

by James Wenley in Scene by James

[James Wenley explains why targeted support for Aotearoa’s performing arts and events sector is urgently needed to help see us through the Delta outbreak.] We know that Delta is different. And so has the impact of Delta on Aotearoa’s performing arts and live events sector this year. Despite the move to level 2 outside of Auckland, our performing arts sector largely remains mothballed nationwide. In a case of déjà vu, artists and crew are once again staring down months more of lost work. But this time, there has been no targeted relief for the arts and events. The Government recognises [...]

CHRISTCHURCH REVIEW: Frankenstein (The Court Theatre)

August 13, 2021
[Man-made horrors] The corrupting influence of human nature versus nurture is at the heart of Frankenstein, both the original story and this stage adaptation. It’s one of those classics that speaks to the human condition in a timeless way. It’s one of those classics that barely needs introduction, its mythology so embedded into our cultural consciousness. The iconic tale of […]

REVIEW: Pork and Poll Taxes (Proudly Asian Theatre)

August 12, 2021
[Pulled from the Past] Anticipation for the opening night of Pork and Poll Taxes has been building within the Pan-Asian community for weeks – encouraged by a mesmerising trailer for the production which showcases the production’s fusion of movement and story. By opening night, the atmosphere in the foyer of the Herald Theatre is palpable.   It has been a long […]

REVIEW: The Firebird with Paquita (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

July 31, 2021
[Old Forms; New Visions] The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s double bill of The Firebird with Paquita presents two traditional, narrative classical ballets in boldly contrasting ways. Opening the programme, Paquita remains faithful to the Imperial Ballet style in approach and realisation. First staged in Russia in 1847, the work is retained in the repertoire of ballet companies worldwide, including Aotearoa, […]

REVIEW: The Mourning After (Agaram Productions)

July 27, 2021
[After the Mourning, Comes… ] Originally produced thirteen years ago by playwright and director Ahi Karunaharan, The Mourning After is a semi-autobiographical tale of what happens when the protagonist Shekar (Jehangir Homavazir) leaves New Zealand to visit his ancestral homeland of Sri Lanka in order to return his father’s ashes.  As we enter Q’s foyer, kind faces encourage us to […]

REVIEW: Yang/Young/杨 (Auckland Theatre Company)

July 26, 2021
[More than a Youth Show] In 2019 I wrote a review which included a meme that intimated that the ATC youth shows excite me more as an audience member than much of what appears in the main programme. Now in 2021 ATC, with the support of Proudly Asian Theatre (PAT), offers Yang/Young/杨 as part of the Here and Now season […]

REVIEW: Madagascar the Musical (Auckland Live)

July 12, 2021
[Move it, Groove it] Dreamworks’ Madagascar is a phenomenon – a franchise that a has netted over US$2.2 billion, entertaining kids and adults worldwide for over 15 years.  It boasts three sequels, computer games and enough merchandise to collapse the Star Wars universe. As a stage show Madagascar the Musical is clearly something that many families will want to experience, […]

REVIEW: Everything After (Brilliant Adventures)

July 8, 2021
[How Not to Survive a Plague] Why do some people move through the world with more ease than others? It’s something I think about a lot. A lack of trauma or baggage, I suppose. So what happens to a man who is a bundle of tightly wound trauma? Well, the expectations of dramatic narrative say we pull him apart and […]

REVIEW: Kūpapa (Te Pou Theatre)

July 5, 2021
[Existing In Between] “Kūpapa (noun) collaborator, ally, — a term that came to be applied to Māori who sided with Pākehā opposition or the Government. There has been a shift from a general meaning of neutrality to the modern use, which now sometimes has derogative connotations; traitor.” – maoridictionary.co.nz This play, however, is no straightforward indictment of protagonist and historical […]

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For reviews of theatre playing elsewhere in New Zealand, go to Theatreview.org.nz