REVIEW: Lucrece (Auckland Shakespeare Company)

October 28, 2016

[Rings True] The reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic poem, The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare, marks the first professional production by the Auckland Shakespeare Company. By bringing dramatic visibility to the poem they demonstrate just how long rape culture has festered throughout history, another story from the extensive canon of abuse fueled by male entitlement. Shakespeare’s text is 422 years […]

REVIEW: Lucinda the Cactus Girl (The Basement)

October 22, 2016

[Prickly in a good way] It’s the second time in seven days I have watched toast being made in the Basement loft. The first was in Kate Bartlett’s Madwoman/Gentlewoman. For Kate, the toast was left dry, like her tumbleweed humour, part of some infinitely fathomable ritual of daily being. By contrast, Lizzie Morris of Lucinda The Cactus Girl cheerfully lathers […]

REVIEW: Shylock and Under Milk Wood (Auckland Live)

October 21, 2016

[Guy Masterson Presents] The last time Guy Masterson visited Auckland’s Herald Theatre with his solo version of Under Milk Wood, he helped inspire a future classic of New Zealand Drama. A young Toa Fraser had been working on a Fijian story, but after watching Masterson, went in a very different direction. One chair. One actor. Multiple characters. No 2 was […]

REVIEW: Tennessee Retro (The Basement)

October 20, 2016

[Southern Discomfort] Of the three major post-war American playwrights, Tennessee Williams strikes me as the most emotionally rich and rewarding, a master observer of the human condition and poet of the stage. But, despite his influence and legacy, it tends to be The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that he is best […]

REVIEW: Billy Elliot (Auckland Theatre Company)

October 20, 2016

[Class Sha in Class Gaff] Often when people come to an opening night there’s an air of anticipation.  But the opening of Billy Elliot was even more electric because we were coming to see a new theatre.  Billy Elliot is exactly the right sort of spectacle to launch the ASB Waterfront Theatre and to show off this magnificent space. From […]

REVIEW: Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical (The Civic)

October 20, 2016

[And so you’re back… from overseas] When the Priscilla bus last made a stop at the Civic in 2008, it was the first time that the Aussie musical had made an international trip. We were a try-out as they continued to evolve the show, and Aucklanders certainly showed their love with a rush for tickets. Since then, the Queen of the […]

REVIEW: Call of the Sparrows (Proudly Asian Theatre)

October 14, 2016

[Reasons to be Proud] From their modest beginnings with productions of David Henry Hwang’s FOB and Renee Liang’s Lantern, Proudly Asian Theatre have proven themselves as a necessary presence within the local theatre scene. Developed over the last two years using Short + Sweet as a testing ground, Call of the Sparrows is the culmination of their hard work and […]

REVIEW: Madwoman/Gentlewoman (The Basement – Art Week)

October 13, 2016

[Burnt Toast] Created and performed by Kate Bartlett, this one-woman show is an attempt to bring an emotional void to the stage. The set-up is intriguing — the stage is sparsely decorated with a few pieces of furniture and everyday items (a chair, a desk and a toaster). But there is an uncanny quality to the mise-en-scene which goes beyond […]

REVIEW: Mockingbird (The Basement)

October 6, 2016

[Beige Comedy] Described as a black comedy about mental health, Lisa Brickell’s Mockingbird investigates the effects of postnatal depression (or postpartem depression) on several generations of women, starting with the recently pregnant Tina all the way back to her grandmother. The central concern of the play, to advocate and educate in an entertaining fashion, is an admirable one, but the […]

REVIEW: Valerie (Auckland Live International Cabaret Festival)

October 2, 2016

[Emotional Resonance] The Auckland Live International Cabaret Season kicked off this past week with Valerie, an unconventional cabaret written and performed by Last Tapes Theatre Company. The piece first appeared at Hotspot Cabaret and has developed into an entirely different creature since then. The Basement Theatre space has been transformed into a loungey cabaret den, lit by candles and kept […]