Looking Back: 2013 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 28, 2013
Auckland Participates [by James Wenley] This past year I have partied with underage drinkers, appeared on the 6pm news, ran for my life from snarling zombies, and, for an all too brief moment, locked eyes with a sensuous Lucy Lawless. If there’s one big trend that has come out of Auckland’s 2013 theatrical year, it’s got to be the year of […]

REVIEW: Madame Butterfly (NZ Opera)

April 19, 2013
Colourful Culture Clash [by Sharu Delilkan] We were welcomed to the opening night of Madame Butterfly by The Edge’s Director Robbie Macrae, billed as the grand opening of the newly refurbished ASB Theatre with improved decor and acoustics. Having seen Madame Butterfly more than a decade before in Hong Kong we were intrigued to see how an American-Asian love story […]

Auckland Festival Dispatch: The Festival of Us

April 8, 2013
Auckland: City of Culture? [by James Wenley] I led something of a charmed existence during the 19 days of the Auckland Arts Festival. By night, I could enrich my mind and surrender my senses to the stunning array of local and international shows on offer. By day, I was En Route, working on a show that sent audience members off, […]

REVIEW: Leo (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 20, 2013
An Uncanny Spectacular [by Matt Baker] A man in a box. It’s an elementary premise, but it is from within the confines of these walls, designed by Flavia Hevia, that actor, dancer, trampolinist, gymnast, and clown, Tobias Wegner explores a unique world and finds a seemingly limitless variety of play. And play he does. Wegner evokes a childlike quality in […]

REVIEW: Hui (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 19, 2013
Whānau ties [by Matt Baker] Family is an intrinsically universal concept, one to which all – regardless of (and sometimes in spite of) one’s upbringing – can relate. Instigated by the ultimate qualifier of death, Mitch Tawhi Thomas explores this concept, and the dynamics surrounding it, in the world premiere of the appropriately titled Hui. Said dynamics are illustrated through […]

REVIEW: One Man, Two Guvnors (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 15, 2013
One Man, Two Guvnors, Lots of Laughs [by James Wenley] I’m not sure who laughed the most: the audience’s belly laughs competed with Owain Arthur’s gleefully mad bray as he delighted in his mischief-making as journeyman and modern day harlequin Francis Henshall, bagman to two Guvnors. One Man, Two Guvnors is a theatrical blockbuster from The National Theatre, writer Richard […]

REVIEW: Rhinoceros in Love (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 11, 2013
Love Saturation [by James Wenley] The sentiment is expressed by one character within Rhinoceros in Love that all love stories are the same. Certainly in mainstream western media we are constantly fed the boy-meets-girl-boy-eventually-wins-girl narrative. It was invigorating then to discover in Rhinoceros in Love a love story quite unlike any other I had ever seen. The visual spectacle, including […]

REVIEW: I Heart Alice Heart I (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2013
Too clever by Alice [by James Wenley] The thinking goes: everyone has a story to tell, everyone has a potential theatre show in them. When Irish Theatre maker Amy Conroy oversaw a kiss between two 60-something women snatched in the aisle of Tescos, she thought she had stumbled upon a story worth telling, and the theatre show she had been […]

REVIEW: The Factory (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 8, 2013
Pacific Side Story [by James Wenley] The chance taken on Kila Kokonut’s Krew The Factory – “New Zealand’s first Pacific Musical” – should prove the biggest statement of this year’s Auckland Arts Festival. Dedicated to the parents and grandparents of the creatives and cast who moved to New Zealand from the islands, The Factory began as a modest workshop production […]

Looking forward: What’s on my theatrical radar for 2013? (Part 1)

January 20, 2013
Festival Year! [by James Wenley] Theatre always goes to ground in January. The stages may be bare, but Auckland’s theatre community are busy strutting and fretting behind-the-scenes. There’s a lot to do: Auckland Fringe 2013 is now less than a month away, and Auckland Arts Festival is right on its tail. I’ve enjoyed the break, but if, like me, you […]