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 […]

REVIEW: Thoroughly Modern Māui (Auckland Live Cabaret Season)

July 5, 2021
[“No Longer Will I Be Painted with a Tainted Brush”] From the moment Rūtene Spooner hops out of the audience and onto the stage, requests a vodka soda, and welcomes everybody (particularly the “cuzzie’s on the comps”), we are taken on a journey of musical theatre, kapa haka, and essential kōrero. Spooner introduces himself as a ‘haka-boogie-hori’, and his sense […]