REVIEW: An Awkward Family Christmas (Outfit Theatre Company)

November 23, 2012
The title tells you all [by James Wenley] The ‘awkward’ brand of humour is one well known to audiences. Popularised in modern times by the Ricky Gervais School of comedy, it employs cringe, painful pauses, and a whiff of nastiness to sell its humour. Thomas Sainsbury has long done his own successful spin on the genre, and is a great […]

REVIEW: Yeti is Dead / I am Tom (Comedy Festival)

April 30, 2012
Yeti Strikes Back [by James Wenley] When we last saw Yeti, she had been shot by a jealous Yvette Parsons after the Himalayan visitor had started an affair with Yvette’s husband, Thomas Sainsbury…. That would seem to have been the end of our beloved Yeti. That is, until the sequel. Turns out Yeti isn’t dead, but has been in a […]

REVIEW: Play Me Deadly (Rebels and Robots)

March 2, 2012
B-Theatre Fun: So bad its good [by James Wenley] Bela Lugosi’s career was rock bottom by the time he was working with infamously bad film director Ed Wood. After gaining success as Dracula in the 1930 film, Lugosi became a regular in horror films. By the 1950s however, he was washed up and irrelevant until Ed Wood bought him out […]

Looking Back: 2011 – A Theatrical year in Review

December 29, 2011
Q opens in triumph, Fringe overshadows Festival, Outfit Rise, Rugby, Rugby, Rugby, and the Death of the Theatre. [by James Wenley] Attending the recent Hackman Theatre awards, Auckland Theatre circa 2011 would appear to be in rude health. Rude being the word, hosts Nic Sampson and Joseph Moore proudly observing it was a record year of nudity on stage, from […]

Theatre XMAS Madness!! A Criminal Christmas & A Krazy Kristmas

December 9, 2011
These shows won’t last, buy your ticket today! [by James Wenley] Turns out Xmas is a lot like the Rugby World Cup, whether you’re into it or not, you simply can’t avoid it – its everywhere. Xmas trees and tinsels have sprouted up everywhere. All I want for Christmas is you is on repeat. A GIANT Xmas Tree bauble has […]

The Basement Fest, and TheatreScenes’ 100th blog!

October 6, 2011
Time to Celebrate! [by James Wenley] There’s a lot of good performance on at the moment. Too much. How can one get to it all? Auckland theatre – you need an ‘on demand’ service. Anything Goes is at the Civic, I haven’t yet managed to get to any of the Tempo Dance Festival at Q, there’s a myriad of performances […]

REVIEW: Young and Hungry Festival Auckland 2011

August 4, 2011
Cow, Tigerplay and Disorder. What a threesome! [by James Wenley] If you haven’t already, rush to see the Young & Hungry Festival, there’s not much time left… there’s a Zombie apocalypse on don’t you know? Under Auckland Theatre Company’s guidance, the third year of Young & Hungry in Auckland is arguably the strongest yet, containing two Young and Hungry classics – […]

REVIEW: The Family Wilder

July 8, 2011
Dark and Twisted [by James Wenley] After a string of collaborations and monologue directing, Thomas Sainsbury returns to The Basement with The Family Wilder, setting his style to the dark camp of the thriller genre’s twist and turns. Harry McNaughton plays the softly-spoken writer Clive, who is tasked with writing the biography of Wilder Family patriarch and ruthless businessman Bill. […]

REVIEWS: ‘Space Race’, ‘I am a Yeti’ and the funny play (Comedy Festival)

May 3, 2011
There’s something happening in Auckland right now, and it’s hilarious. [by James Wenley]  And I’m not talking about the Comedy Festival proper. We Aucklanders have known this is hilarious for a number of years now. Auckland’s stand-up comic fraternity (anyone who has ever appeared on 7 Days, ever) have been on a renaissance roll for a while.  No, I’m talking […]

REVIEW: Joseph and Mahina (Auckland Fringe)

February 26, 2011
Romeo & Juliet. Antony & Cleopatra…. Joseph & Mahina? I’ve written about Thomas Sainsbury plays many times before in Craccum Magazine. He’s something of a modern kiwi Shakespeare type, dominating Auckland over the last several years with a huge output of low budget but manically funny. Like Shakespeare he sometimes acts in his plays too and he directs most of […]
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