SCENE BY JAMES: 2023 – A Theatrical Year in Review [Part 2: The Shows]

December 30, 2023

This year’s commentary is split into two parts. CLICK HERE for 2023 – A Theatrical Year in Review [Part 1 – The Issues]. Theatre Scenes’ recent annual Year in Reviews have focussed on big sector issues, broadening our focus beyond the theatre performed on our stages. But it is always a relief to turn the attention back to the shows, […]

REVIEW: The Best is Yet to Come: A Queer Magic Show (Auckland Pride)

February 12, 2023

The Best is Yet to Come: A Queer Magic Show is part autobiographical story, and part magic showcase, deeply invested in uplifting the rainbow community. Jeremy Rolston opens his show with a very clear setting of boundaries. Rolston goes to great lengths to ensure the audience are comfortable – asking for names and pronouns, assuaging doubts about audience participation, outlining […]

REVIEW: Jez & Jace: Lads on Tour (Auckland Pride)

February 12, 2023

Jez & Jace: Lads on Tour is a humorous and heart-warming improvised show, which delightfully depicts two life-long bogan mates trying to figure out what they really want. The eponymous Jez and Jace; devised and played by Ginge and Minge, respectively (Nina Hogg and Megan Conolly, respectively); are the beer-swilling, womanising, stubby-wearing men that typify rural New Zealand. They are […]

REVIEW: The Best Roles I’ll [probably] Never Play (Auckland Pride)

February 13, 2021

[Someone Please Cast Them Immediately] The Best Roles I’ll (Probably) Never Play features songs chosen by the actors. We get a small rundown of why each song is selected, detailing why the performer will never get to play the role. Age, gender, and general type castings are the main reasons, with the pieces selected having some personal importance to the […]

REVIEW: Provocation (Auckland Pride)

February 15, 2020

[Conversations with the Dead] Set in the afterlife, Aroha Awarau’s latest play Provocation is a study in grief. Not the grieving of others but the grief of oneself. Two gay men in limbo, confronted by the hate crimes committed against them, and desperate to find some sort of peace.  This isn’t the first time Awarau has mined the depths of […]

REVIEW: Legacy Six (Auckland Pride)

February 10, 2019

[Fine-tuning a much-loved project] I had the privilege of watching Legacy Project’s fifth rendition in 2018, and have some familiarity with artistic director Bruce Brown’s skill at the delicate craft of short play curation. The program declares its support for passionate and creative individuals to ‘demonstrate the power we wield when we come together to share something that is meaningful […]

REVIEW: Karaoke Boiz (Auckland Pride)

February 10, 2019

[Fountains of Wayne] A jukebox musical of 70s-90s pop (including ‘9 to 5’, ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, and a Spice Girls medley), Karaoke Boiz is pure fun. A camp-fuelled tale of love, fame and loss, it tells the story of Wayne (Daryl Wrightson), the self-styled ‘King’ of Karaoke. After his flagging marriage finally flags out, Wayne goes on the […]

REVIEW: Night of the Queer (Auckland Pride)

February 10, 2019

[One Night is Not Enough] Night of the Queer is everything you’d expect in a cabaret-style theatre show and more. Having seen last year’s NOTQ, I arrive with excitement and anticipation as the super-friendly staff usher us toward our seats. A few members of the cast, dressed in beautifully fitted one-piece bodysuits, are scattered across the floor and spontaneously dancing, […]

REVIEW: Homos, or Everyone in America (Auckland Pride)

February 2, 2019

[Dive bombing into 21st Century Queer Relationships] In Cock by Mike Bartlett, director Shane Bosher explored the sharp edges of an intimate live-in relationship between two men. Bosher builds on this with a more focused lens in Homos, or Everyone in America by Jordan Seavey: an intense, thought-provoking production grounded in the quick-witted diatribes I’ve come to expect from Bosher’s […]

REVIEW: Twenty Eight Millimetres (Auckland Pride)

February 16, 2018

[Measuring Happiness] It’s easy to imagine that if Sam Brooks were a writer in the 1950s Hollywood he’d fit right in making screwball comedies. His latest play Twenty Eight Millimetres offers itself up, at first glance, as a modern gay romcom, and the perfect vehicle for Brooks to show off his knack for whip-smart one-liners and I-wish-I-talked-like-this-in-real-life dialogue. It first […]

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