REVIEW: Over my Dead Body: Uninvited (Tuatara Collective)

April 19, 2021
[Rainbow Visions] Having seen the last Tuatara Collective production Fresh Choice, I enter the Q loft with high expectations for a remount of the 2019 play by Jason Te Mete. The intriguing ‘front room’ set – tatty brown sofas, and wall adorned with a Justin Bieber poster – makes me feel as if I’m a guest at a twenty-something’s house-party, […]

REVIEW: Contractions (Auckland Fringe)

April 19, 2021
[Managed Out] Clad in a white power suit and silk blouse, The Manager (Renaye Tamati) sits on a large, white leather computer chair at a glass desk. Plucky sales employee Emma enters and, at first, The Manager’s intentions are ambiguous. Flipflopping between friendly banter and withering stares, it seems The Manager wants to be more ‘friend’ than colleague –  or perhaps […]

REVIEW: First World Problems 3.0 (Basement Theatre)

April 18, 2021
[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 […]

REVIEW: Godzonia (Auckland Fringe)

April 17, 2021
[No place I’d rather be] A play about the Covid-19 pandemic that was itself postponed due to the February 2021 lockdown, Godzonia‘s delayed season manages to reframe what could have been a dead-end for the production.  Written by UK actor and writer Georgie Oulton, the production takes inspiration from Flares and Pitchforks – a text co-written by Oulton with fellow actor […]

REVIEW: Change Your Own Life (Basement Theatre)

April 14, 2021
[The Wheel of Fortune] How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone? This is one of the central questions in Jean Sergent’s Change Your Own Life – one which she directly asks the audience. But this show is not a didactic self-help talk – far from it. What Sergent offers up instead is a deeply personal story of […]

REVIEW: Faith Healer (Plumb Productions)

April 12, 2021
[Irish Blessing] This production of Faith Healer, directed by Paul Gittins, marries a masterpiece of playwriting with the mastery of three accomplished actors.   I have read enough works from Irish playwrights to associate Irish drama with cloying hopelessness (looking at you Marina Carr in particular). I briefly hoped, though, that Faith Healer by Brian Friel would be an exception. I had […]

REVIEW: You are [Not] Alone Here (Auckland Fringe)

April 7, 2021
[Pulling the Plug] The play begins in the foyer. The Basement bar area has been decorated with messages – I spot a myriad of advertisements among what appear to be snippets of conversations, perhaps emails or texts. This announces the central theme of You Are [Not] Alone Here: that our communication and relationships have become fractured through technology and consumerism.  […]

REVIEW: The Haka Party Incident (Auckland Theatre Company)

April 4, 2021
[The Last New Zealand War] There’s something about watching local history onstage — history so recent that some members of the audience sitting beside you were participants in the events portrayed. Written and directed by Katie Wolfe, The Haka Party Incident is a resonant piece of documentary theatre revisiting what its advertising calls “the last New Zealand war.” This describes the […]

REVIEW: Coded (Auckland Fringe)

April 1, 2021
[A Clear Message of Empowerment] Coded, the second production in two productive years from theatre-maker Erin O’Flaherty (following An Organ of Soft Tissue), is a solo show which aims to journey into female sexuality through the perspective of a malfunctioning AI bot. The production debuts at TAPAC as part of a rescheduled program within the Auckland Fringe Festival, and uses […]

REVIEW: Twinless (Basement Theatre)

March 25, 2021
[Joy within Loss] We enter with birdsong; she enters with silence. Twinless performer and creator Clare Marcie breathes out, reaches up, towards something above, something which we cannot hope to see. It’s a slow, weighted, and emotionally distanced opening—hardly a clue for the fun, vulnerable, and varied hour to come, and yet somehow, when viewed from the end of the show, […]
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