• Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Bunny (Basement Theatre)

    [A Comedic and Musical Meditation on Grief] The doors to the stage open and I am greeted with this immense sense of liveliness. Barnie Duncan, our sole performer, is playing a bass guitar, ushering us [...]
  • The Basement

    REVIEW: Boom Shankar (Basement Theatre)

    [Heaven & Hell walk into a bar…] In the six-ish years that I have reviewed shows at Basement Theatre, I have never found a formula for writing about them. Regardless of my opinion, it requires [...]
  • Theatre Reviews

    REVIEW: Jersey Boys (G & T Productions)

    Awesome Foursome Opening on Broadway in 2005, Jersey Boys is beloved worldwide, having enjoyed record-breaking seasons on and off Broadway, successful global tours, and a nine year run on London’s West End, where it is [...]
In the Spotlight

REVIEW: First World Problems 3.0 (Basement Theatre)

by Jess Macdonald in Highlights

[Healing Together, Beyond Our Problems] As I arrive into the Basement foyer and navigate past the throng of bodies to collect my tickets, I feel instantly uplifted. Surrounded by so many members the South Asian community, we are lucky to be able to gather and witness the premiere of new homegrown writing. Yet I can’t help but feel a pang of homesickness for my Indian family back home in the UK – still isolated from one another due to Covid-19 restrictions – and think of the New Zealand citizens in India, barred from returning home. I wonder how many people [...]

REVIEW: Bunny (Basement Theatre)

June 18, 2021
[A Comedic and Musical Meditation on Grief] The doors to the stage open and I am greeted with this immense sense of liveliness. Barnie Duncan, our sole performer, is playing a bass guitar, ushering us in with music and smiles as though he knows each of us personally. Above him is an LED sign reading, “haere mai” and “welcome”. Something […]

REVIEW: Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream (Indian Ink)

June 13, 2021
[“The Secret to Life is Inconsistency”] From the moment the striking white lights brighten the black box of Q Theatre, Jacob Rajan captures the full attention of every audience member as Harvey Norman worker, Kutisar. He lies sprawled on a plinth, perhaps dead, or at least close to death. In swoops a Vulture, expertly animated by puppeteer Jon Coddington. The […]

REVIEW: Boom Shankar (Basement Theatre)

June 9, 2021
[Heaven & Hell walk into a bar…] In the six-ish years that I have reviewed shows at Basement Theatre, I have never found a formula for writing about them. Regardless of my opinion, it requires a completely different approach every single time. I do not like to lump different shows into categories, but one ‘genre’ I have noticed that keeps […]

REVIEW: 45 Cents an Hour (Basement Theatre)

June 4, 2021
[A Portrait of a New Zealand Artist as a Middle-Aged Man] How does it feel to be a struggling artist? What is the line between artistic integrity and corporate success? How do we know when it’s time to give up pursuing our passion? Dominic Hoey, in his new show 45 Cents an Hour at the Basement Theatre, explores his own […]

REVIEW: Jersey Boys (G & T Productions)

May 23, 2021
Awesome Foursome Opening on Broadway in 2005, Jersey Boys is beloved worldwide, having enjoyed record-breaking seasons on and off Broadway, successful global tours, and a nine year run on London’s West End, where it is set to return later this year with its entire original creative team. New Zealand company G&T Productions (formerly Amici Productions) has big shoes to fill […]

REVIEW: Into the Bush (Butch Mermaid Productions)

May 16, 2021
The Importance of Fun Walking into TAPAC, there’s an immediate feeling of being in the Garden of Eden. Lush and living greenery surrounds the stage. There is a sense of openness, as though the stage has widened into a larger expanse beyond what I can see. But this Garden of Eden is not concerned with virginity and godly purity. This […]

TOURING REVIEW: Giselle (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

May 15, 2021
[Escapist Magnificence] Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s production of Giselle premiered in 2012, and has become a signature work for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, supported by the beautiful 2013 feature film Giselle directed by New Zealander Toa Fraser. The production is richly realised, refined with impeccable taste, and embodies the centuries-old magic of classical ballet in absolute escapist magnificence. […]

REVIEW: Single Asian Female (Auckland Theatre Company)

May 2, 2021
[A Celebration] Written by Michelle Law and first produced by La Boite Theatre Company in Brisbane (2017), Single Asian Female has been adapted and transposed to Aotearoa for its Auckland premiere. Directed by Cassandra Tse, the play is a funny and heart-warming domestic drama that centres on the lives of three single Asian women: mother Pearl (Kat Tsz Hung) and […]

WELLINGTON REVIEW: Transmission (BATS Theatre)

April 23, 2021
[Holding Leaders to Account] April 20, 2021: An Air New Zealand cleaner tests positive for Covid-19, despite being fully vaccinated. Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker calls for an elimination strategy to be pursued against poverty-driven health conditions. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the premiere of Transmission at BATS Theatre. While the 1918 Influenza pandemic shattered families and social life, ultimately infecting […]

REVIEW: The Downs & Ups of Peep & Squeak (Basement Theatre)

April 21, 2021
[With a Little Imagination…] In a large house on planet Earth(?) siblings Peep (Ravi Gurunathan) and Squeak (Katie Longbottom) get ready to step out into the big wide world in a hot air balloon. But then a mysterious dark creature kidnaps Peep and leaves him on a desert planet millions of miles away. While Squeak goes on a trek to […]

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