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: 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 […]

REVIEW: Together Forever (Basement Theatre)

August 25, 2022

Opening night, and the mood is celebratory as Basement studio visibly fills up with queers and allies. The tag line for Joni Nelson’s new play screams ‘lesbian apocalypse,’ so I’m mentally prepared for an over-the-top zombie style attack, wondering how the narrative will unfurl. The stage before us is plain, laid with white polythene. After the house lights dim, our […]

REVIEW: The Judas Sheep (Basement Theatre)

May 26, 2022

[Come for Candy, Stay to be Compelled] It is often considered unwise for an actor to share the stage with a child or a dog, as these smaller, less-inhibited performers tend to possess an almost magnetic draw upon an audience’s attention. To this company Emily Hurley’s explosive work The Judas Sheep adds a third guaranteed scene stealer- the titular articulated […]

REVIEW: Before Karma Gets Us (Basement Theatre)

April 5, 2019

[Now You See Me, Me, Me] In the mid-50s, a magician (Tess Sullivan) and her two weary apprentices/assistants/props (Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker) attempt to put on their show. As egos flare, the line between illusion and reality begins to break down… Created and performed by Tess Sullivan, Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker, Before Karma Gets Us is like 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 […]

REVIEW: Stutterpop (Auckland Fringe)

February 14, 2015

Time for a Bang [by Matt Baker] Sam Brooks is a playwright with a stutter, but his most autobiographical play is not about stuttering, it’s about love for others and one’s self. Stuttering is instead a subplot in this unique fringe performance by one of Auckland’s top young playwrights. Sharing the space with a multitude of shows (The Basement’s Sophie Henderson’s […]

REVIEW: Bellevile (Silo)

September 1, 2014

Ça Va  [by Matt Baker] Other than its professed Hitchcockian style and some season-orientated pensive posters, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Silo’s production of Amy Herzog’s Belleville other than a psychological relationship thriller. Hitchcock, however, was the undisputed master of suspense. Red herrings are not MacGuffins, and where Hitchcock would show, Herzog tells. There are, of course, moments […]

REVIEW: Shadowland (Pilobolus)

June 4, 2014

Out of the Shadows  [by James Wenley] My immediate response to Shadowland is an eerie chill: disembodied clothes – two dresses and  a suit – dangle from The Civic stage,  giving the feeling that I’d walked in on a hanging in which the bodies had decomposed long ago. This grim reading was not something I’d expected from the “enchanting tale” […]

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