A view of the large auditorium of the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre. There are rows of audience members facing the stage, while others are taking their seats. Few people appear to be wearing masks.
In the Spotlight

Going to the theatre should be a low-risk activity. We need to make our live performance venues as Covid-safe as possible.

by James Wenley in Scene by James

Universal masking and high-quality ventilation can mitigate the risk of Covid transmission in live performance venues, but Covid safety has been slipping over the past months. James Wenley audits the measures that theatre venues across the country currently have in place, and argues that the live performance sector needs to take a stronger lead in promoting public health. Let’s start with some good news. Following mass cancellations due to New Zealand’s Omicron outbreak at the beginning of this year, our theatre and performance venues are back to hosting a steady stream of live shows. On some nights in June you [...]

REVIEW: Cinderella (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

August 4, 2022
[A fairy-tale for our challenging times] The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s ‘dream team’ of choreographer Loughlan Prior and composer Claire Cowan return with their largest and most ambitious project to date. Perfectly timed to coincide with the reopening of Wellington’s St James Theatre, it is clear that with a protagonist who rescues herself, two princes, an animated tapestry, and an […]

REVIEW: The Best Cafe in the World (Basement Theatre)

July 22, 2022
Caffeinated Zombies  Set in the titular Best Cafe in the World after a zombie apocalypse, this story centres around cafe owner Jayden (Jehangir Homavazir), and his friends Sahil (Mo Nasir) and Gabby (Celine Dam). Jayden has big plans to make the cafe a communal space where people can relax from the nightmare outside. Trouble arises when news arrives of a […]

Going to the theatre should be a low-risk activity. We need to make our live performance venues as Covid-safe as possible.

July 18, 2022
Universal masking and high-quality ventilation can mitigate the risk of Covid transmission in live performance venues, but Covid safety has been slipping over the past months. James Wenley audits the measures that theatre venues across the country currently have in place, and argues that the live performance sector needs to take a stronger lead in promoting public health. Let’s start […]

REVIEW: Safety in Numbers (A Slightly Isolated Dog)

July 15, 2022
[And Then There Was Fun] Directed by Leo Gene Peters, Safety in Numbers, the new production from A Slightly Isolated Dog takes the familiar framework of a locked room mystery and throws away the room.   Created and performed by Andrew Paterson, Jonathan Price, Jack Buchanan, Charlie Chignell, Jackson Collier, Tiani Taia Po’ona, Brianna Linkhorn, Eli Lockie, Tane Patterson, and Ruby […]

REVIEW: Collected Stories (Plumb Theatre)

July 14, 2022
[On Writing] Why tell stories? According to Ruth Steiner, when we find a story that grips us, we must tell it; we are to seize it by the reins and not exorcise it from our mouths until it is all on the page. Why did Plumb Theatre decide on this story for their sixth production? That is the question I […]

REVIEW: Scenes from a Yellow Peril (Auckland Theatre Company)

June 26, 2022
Funneling Rage into Art Written by award-winning Chinese Kiwi playwright and poet Nathan Joe and directed by Jane Yonge with dramaturgy by Ahi Karunaharan, Scenes from a Yellow Peril is a show about the everyday racism East Asian New Zealanders experience in Aotearoa. Part performance poetry, part political commentary, part story telling, part confessional, Scenes from a Yellow Peril confronts […]

REVIEW: The Woman in Black (Pumphouse Theatre)

June 16, 2022
[Ghost Story] On a rainy, wintery night, with the full moon shining bright, I cross the mists of dream and thought, to forget what is real, and what is not… The lights of The Pumphouse remain up as Michael Hurst enters the stage and begins to read from a large tome. He starts nervously to tell a tale – a […]

REVIEW: Krishnan’s Dairy (Indian Ink Theatre Company)

June 15, 2022
[Krishnan’s Heart] Krishnan’s Dairy premiered in 1997 and was the Winner of the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe First Award, and two Production of the Year Awards in New Zealand.  Brightly coloured sheets of material hang from the ceiling, evoking the sari. Centre-stage, the Dairy counter is made from simple wood, patchworked with coloured new-stories and painted blue. Jacob and his musician […]

REVIEW: seven methods of killing kylie jenner (Silo Theatre)

June 9, 2022
When entering the Basement’s main stage, the first thing I note is that the theatre space is laid out in traverse – with audience members facing each other, all fully masked. This leads my Pākehā companions to comment on whether the reactions of the people opposite will be a welcome, or unwelcome, distraction. Given the subject matter – and as […]

REVIEW: Werewolf (Binge Culture)

May 29, 2022
Created by Binge Culture (Joel Baxendale, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Oliver Devlin, Karin McCracken, and Ralph Upton), Werewolf is a spin on the old game of deception. Set inside a shelter during a werewolf outbreak, the performers (Karin McCracken, Arlo Gibson, and Joel Baxendale) play the wardens tasked with safeguarding survivors. Taking place inside the Basement’s main theatre, seats are arranged […]

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