REVIEW: No Time to Dry (Basement Theatre)

May 30, 2024

No Time to Wait Basement Theatre’s Studio is so tightly packed with eager audience members before the premiere of playwright and director Lucy Dawber’s latest comedic offering No Time to Dry, that a Basement staff member ends up giving their seat to the final person to enter the room. There’s an anticipation in the air that I’ve rarely experienced like […]

REVIEW: Yeah Nah Pavlova (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 28, 2024

We’re almost at the end of the International Comedy Festival which has been packed with a number of outstanding shows, and Yeah Nah Pavlova is no exception. Loud Jess (Jess Loudon) and Sandra Pace make an incredibly likable duo from the get-go, starting the show with warm, gregarious, and larger-than-life energy. I grew up in Otaki, an hour’s north of […]

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: Chick Habit (Basement Theatre)

October 27, 2023

[Punctum’s punk-infused offering packs a punch] When entering Basement Theatre’s main stage, the first thing I notice is the set design by Minsoh Choi, as the back wall of the stage has been painted a bright, baby pink. Given the show’s punk aesthetic, it’s a bold and fairly bad-ass move and I’m silently impressed after estimating the cost for a […]

REVIEW: Heart Go…Boom! (Massive Theatre Company)

July 30, 2023

Heart Go…Boom! is an entertaining and affecting devised piece which explores and critiques the relationships we have with ourselves, and with others.  The play consists of five performers sharing semi-autobiographical solo pieces and wider ensemble work. The stories depicted are a great mix of universal and personal – from self-service checkout woes to having a twin, or from fitting-in to […]

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: I Get So Emotional Baby (Basement Theatre)

October 13, 2022

[Raspberry sauce with a side of body horror] Jessie McCall’s latest choreographic offering I Get So Emotional Baby demonstrates the inexhaustible vocabulary of the human form. Palpable female emotion collides with references to the male gaze in an engrossing and stimulating work.  The movement focused I Get So Emotional Baby offers a tightly woven series of images and motifs pertaining […]

REVIEW: Po’ Boys and Oysters (Black Creatives Aotearoa)

September 28, 2022

[Timeless and timely] Empty of performers, the main stage at Basement is adorned with eye-catching intricacies to represent a living area and kitchen – there’s a sumptuous green velvet couch, colourful map of Haiti and a potted plant… with browning leaves. After house lights dim, our central characters Jo (Layla Pitt) and Flo (Estelle Chout) enter with varying states of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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