SCENE BY JAMES: 2022 – A Theatrical Year in Review [PANDEMIC EDITION YEAR THREE]

December 31, 2022

[THE DEEPENING CRISIS] On April 13th 2022, New Zealand said goodbye to gathering restrictions. When we moved from the Red to Orange Covid-19 traffic light setting, live performance could go ahead without any capacity limits for the first time in months. Later in the year we’d say goodbye to the entire traffic light protection framework. With boosters and antivirals, we […]

REVIEW: Sleigh! (Basement Theatre)

December 8, 2022

[Keeping the Season Silly] Sleigh!, this year’s Basement Christmas show created by The Heartthrobs, is a fully improvised romp set in that most wonderful, strange and Christmassy of places: the mall. If you’ve seen Snort before, you’ll be familiar with the basic structure – the performers ask the audience for prompts around which they must then create a scene. (And […]

REVIEW: Rent (The Court Theatre)

November 22, 2022

The Court Theatre’s production of Rent by Jonathan Larson is an all-star affair both behind the curtain and on the stage. But by the time the curtain call comes, it’s clear that it’s the season of Monique Clementson & James Bell in Ōtautahi. More on them, later.  Director Lara MacGregor has her work cut out for her with Rent: though […]

REVIEW: The King of Taking (Q Theatre)

November 13, 2022

Thom Monckton’s The King of Taking is a physicality-based solo performance, wherein the petulant, titular King tries, and fails, to navigate his kingdom and his subjects – to hilarious result. The lights go up to Gemma Tweedie’s sparse and luxurious set, with the richly-coloured fabric banners and tent doing an amazing job of delineating the performance area. Of immediate note, […]

REVIEW: The Artist (Q Theatre)

November 10, 2022

[Endearing Muscularity]  Thom Monckton returns to Auckland with his much lauded physical theatre show The Artist for a night of bumbling comedy and impressive feats of physical strength. If you can picture what would happen if Mr Bean had trained with Cirque Du Soleil then you are on the right track.  The show follows the titular Artist (Monckton) through a […]

REVIEW: The First Prime-Time Asian Sitcom (Silo Theatre)

November 8, 2022

[More than white-hot rage] The First Prime-Time Asian Sitcom is a New Zealand premiere and screenwriter Nahyeon Lee’s (Kainga) theatre debut, billed as a ‘genre-messing’ black comedy. Pre-show marketing denotes a play which interrogates the sitcom writing process and considers the evolution from the TV writers’ room and onto the screen, where characters and narratives are often modified and sanitised […]

REVIEW: North by Northwest (Auckland Theatre Company)

October 31, 2022

[Spellbound] How do you put this story on the stage? With North by Northwest, you have a property that was written for the screen by Ernest Lehman and directed by the iconic Alfred Hitchcock – there is no other source material to draw on. North By Northwest is defined by its sense of forward momentum, and its cinematic set pieces.   […]

REVIEW: Another Universe (Basement Theatre)

October 27, 2022

[Full of Possibilities]  Part of the irresistible pull of the stage is the opportunity to slip into the skin of another, to imagine and inhabit another world before being released back into your own life. Nadia Freeman aka Miss Leading’s Another Universe self-consciously employs the stage as a space in which to explore some of the myriad of possible lives […]

REVIEW: The Wedding (Basement Theatre)

October 27, 2022

[Must See] A Fool’s Company presents The Wedding, an uproariously funny and thrilling romp. Full of twists and reveals this show will keep you guessing until the very end and laughing in delight. The premise is simple (or so it seems). Mother (Melissa Cameron) brings her son (Aaron Richardson) to a small village to marry the daughter of a distant […]

Everything you ever wanted to know about Creative New Zealand and Arts Funding in Aotearoa

October 18, 2022

Outrage over Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand’s (SGCNZ) unsuccessful funding application to Creative New Zealand has generated a flood of local and international headlines. Commentary has derided Creative New Zealand for defunding SGCNZ and “cancelling” Shakespeare. This fuss is distracting from the real arts funding scandal: Creative New Zealand has not been given enough money to meet the needs of […]

1 2 3 4