New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

New Zealand professional theatre & dance: reviews, news and your views
Contributing constructively to the continuing conversation...

RNZB: new Artistic Director appointed; 2015 programme announced [more
THE NEW ZEALAND ARTS AWARDS 3 Nov 2014 – On Sale Now [more]
Festival of New Zealand works looking for a boost to New York [more]

The Little Yellow Digger Theatre Workshops, 29/9 – 8/10, book now [more]
DUNEDIN FRINGE 2015, register by 31/10, apply for funding by 12/10 2014 [more]
Auckland Theatre Company Establishes Fellowship to Support New Zealand Play Writing, submit by 20/10 [more]

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS at Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch
reviewed by Lindsay Clark 1 Oct 2014
Simple fun with lashings of song and dance
Well-loved nursery tales these days often morph into something unrecognisable, but this re-telling of the inquisitive little blondie finds a happy balance. There is sufficient embellishment in the additional personae of Puss in Boots and Humpty Dumpty to give a bit of a back story ... [more]

EVERYTHING IS SURROUNDED BY WATER at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 1 Oct 2014
Prosaic yet epic and poetic; dark yet light; exquisite
Though names and places have been changed “to protect the innocent” and he ventures into ‘magic realism’, there is no doubting the authenticity of his subjective experience. And the way he tells it brings it vividly alive in our imaginations: still the best ‘special effect’ theatre has to offer. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Lucy O'Connor

TOIA at NASDA Theatre, E Block, CPIT, Christchurch
reviewed by Jess Probert 1 Oct 2014
An intimate and captivating story
A standout moment being what seemed to be part of a dream that the two of them shared. All four dancers sit down on the floor, very relaxed, and close their eyes. The lighting changes from a very natural daylight feeling to a slightly ethereal blue, a dancer rises slowly and begins to move around the stage using light footed jumps and turns, looking to the sky and using hand gestures that imitate plucking stars from the sky. Another dancers rises and takes her by the hand and tries to pull her down as if she is frightened that she will get caught. Eventually, both of the dancers are moving around the space together, smiling and laughing as if this is what they are longing for; the freedom to be together and dance among the stars. [more]

THE MOVIE STAR at NASDA Theatre, E Block, CPIT, Christchurch
reviewed by Erin Harrington 1 Oct 2014
Bumbler seeks cinematic mojo
The component parts of the show are mostly strong but the overall narrative conceit and some of the tricks need further development, and I came away a bit confused as to the overall intention of the piece. By the end of The Movie Star I can certainly see where it is all heading: the nervous, shy actor’s search for a voice, both literal and figurative, leads him through various genres and emotional states (and, perhaps, auditions?) before he finally finds a meaningful (and quite silly) cinematic raison d’être. It’s certainly a strong concept. [more]

GOD-BELLY at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 1 Oct 2014
Refreshing intelligence, insight and physicality
Visceral, physical and very watchable, God-Belly parallels obsessive quests for perfection, manifested through eating disorders, in two very different eras and contexts: ancient and modern. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Lori Leigh
 Ewen Coleman (The Dominion Post);
 Cherie Moore

Photo by Mitchell Botting
WE WERE ALWAYS WATCHING at Meteor Theatre, Hamilton
reviewed by Brenda Rae Kidd 1 Oct 2014
Timely satire
First – may I say - I love Antony Aiono (pictured)! Why is there not more about this multi-talented actor in the media? The man can sing, is funny as a twit and can pull out the tears when he needs too. Fantastic stuff. This play is worth catching if only to see Aiono himself. A collaborative effort, We Were Always Watching is a satire, bringing attention to events and issues which should gravely concern us all. [more]

THE LISTIES 6D (IT’S TWICE AS GOOD AS 3D) at Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland LIVE, Auckland
reviewed by Kate Ward-Smythe 30 Sep 2014
The sum of the parts totally deserves the multitude of awards on the mantelpiece: the show is a hugely entertaining well-paced wild romp: messy at times, with a few farts jokes here and there, plus a whole lotta hilarity and originality. [more]

reviewed by John Smythe 30 Sep 2014
Lively and inventive enough ...
It’s a great idea: take a boy called Jack and a cow called Daisy and set them off on a quest that recalls the well-known exploits all those Jacks, and the odd cow, in nursery rhymes and folk tales. A Well and a Plum Pie Bakery, upstage right and left, give us a clue where we’re heading. [more]

IMPROV FOR KIDS! at Circa Two, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 29 Sep 2014
Highly successful
The state of early childhood education and parenting must be very healthy indeed if the first audience for the Improv for Kids school holiday season is anything to go by. Their eagerness to offer ideas and participate inventively on stage with a clear understanding of what’s required is delightfully reassuring. [more]

THE MONSTER WARS at Hohepa Canterbury Hall, Christchurch
reviewed by Erin Harrington 29 Sep 2014
An inventive family-friendly good-versus-evil story
The determined sword-wielding Queen and the goofy, enthusiastic Hunter complement one another well. The set invokes a storybook world that was once rich and lush but that is now dying and distressed - that is, a world in need of a hero. [more]

TASSEL ME THIS at The Open Stage, Hagley Community College, Christchurch
reviewed by Emily Napolitano 29 Sep 2014
Evoking our pursuit of that special something
Jessie McCall and Shani Dickins are beautifully strong and graceful dancers, combining clean body isolations with seemingly effortless jumps and turns. Their ingeniously profound choreography is eerie and almost painfully intimate, exquisitely highlighted in their fierce duets and dynamic partner work. Particularly unique is the inventive way they remove each other’s golden boots after a secretly joyous celebration, set to an original soundscore by James Risbey. [more]

THE CARETAKER at Shed 40, 40 Fryatt Street, Waterfront, Dunedin
reviewed by Terry MacTavish 29 Sep 2014
Credible ambiguities, shift sympathies, bound by compassion
“Well?” I ask anxiously. My illustrious guest was actually present at the first production of this classic Pinter play in London, 1960. How will the Fortune compare? I feel a surge of parochial pride when she replies, “They’re every bit as good. Excellent, really excellent!” [more]

See also reviews by:
 Barbara Frame (Otago Daily Times);

Chat Back
"Yes, I saw the show in Auckland and agree with this review. I too was underwhelmed by what i thought would be ..." - Hannah McQuilkan   [read full comment]

"The most interesting thing about Trees Beneath the Lake for me – taking the exemplary writing, performan..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"On the advice of The Theatreview Trust this forum thread is now closed." - Editor   [read full forum post]

"Thanks. I really hope people from the production I commented on speak up as I'd love to hear if these viewpoin..." - Matt Baker   [read full forum post]

"Further to Nik and Raewyn’s responses, Matt: We used to work to a calendar year. When we didn’t ..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

"Apologies for my Auckland-centric interpretation of John’s words. The questions, however, still stand. ..." - Matt Baker   [read full forum post]

"A small note in response to Matt Baker who says:  On February 28th 2014, Theatreview received $35,0..." - Raewyn Whyte   [read full forum post]

"Thank you for your detailed overview of your position Matt.  I can state categorically that I’m al..." - nik smythe   [read full forum post]

"Oh, one last thing. Nik, I think the reason no one has told you what more they want from you, is because no on..." - Matt Baker   [read full forum post]

"I have, in the past, both publicly and privately, addressed specific issues with reviews and reviewers on Thea..." - Matt Baker   [read full forum post]

"I’ll use a quote or two from Kathryn’s review purely because I’m commenting on this page to ..." - Matt Baker   [read full comment]

"I am simply trying to point out why it is that the net is spread so wide in order to get all productions revie..." - Editor   [read full forum post]

24 Sep 2014 - Book School Holiday THEATRE WORKSHOPS to The Little Yellow Digger! We present full and half-day theatre workshops, that encapsulate the whole theatre experience. Activities include drama games, a backstage tour of a working theatre, and hands on workshops geared around the show as well as tickets to see The Little Yellow Digger, by Betty & Alan Gilderdale live on stage at the Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna.   [more]

17 Sep 2014 - AUCKLAND THEATRE COMPANY ESTABLISHES FELLOWSHIP TO SUPPORT NEW ZEALAND PLAY WRITING Auckland Theatre Company (ATC) is delighted to announce the inaugural ATC Patrons' Playwright Fellowship. The fellowship is designed to provide a playwright who has an on-going commitment to write distinctive and ambitious plays, with the opportunity to join ATC for six months, while writing a new play for ATC main bill presentation.   [more]

16 Sep 2014 - SUMMER FESTIVALS // 2015 SUBMISSIONS Expressions of interest for shows at Q as part of Auckland Fringe and Auckland Pride Festival 2015 are now open! Q is excited to welcome back Auckland Fringe and the annual Auckland Pride Festival to kick off 2015 with the freshest, most outrageous, beyond-experimental and ridiculously brilliant line-up of music, theatre, comedy and dance.   [more]

15 Sep 2014 - RNZB appoints a new Artistic Director and announces 2015 programme. The Royal New Zealand Ballet is delighted to announce the appointment of 36 year old Italian Francesco Ventriglia as the company’s new Artistic Director. Francesco Ventriglia was appointed after an extensive international recruitment process. “The calibre of applicants was extremely high,” says RNZB Chair Candis Craven. “Francesco greatly impressed the board with the breadth of his artistic vision, his intellect, his knowledge of repertoire, and his great energy. ...   [more]

5 Sep 2014 - The Arts Foundation is pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale for the New Zealand Arts Awards at Auckland’s SkyCity Theatre on November 3. Close to half a million dollars will be awarded to extraordinary New Zealand artists at varying stages in their artistic careers. Attendees will be treated to live performances including a world premiere performance by innovative young composer, producer and musician, Dudley Benson. Tickets to the New Zealand Arts Awards are available from The Arts Foundation website and cost $49-$60   [more]

3 Sep 2014 - POLITICS @ THE PLAYHOUSE Hannah Playhouse, Wednesdays 10 & 17 September ‘DIRTY POLITICS’, 6pm on Wednesday 10 September. ‘OLD GUARD’, 6pm on Wednesday 17 September   [more]

27 Aug 2014 - FESTIVAL OF NEW ZEALAND WORKS LOOKING FOR A BOOST TO NEW YORK A group of 20 dedicated Wellington artists are flying themselves over to New York to share a mini-festival of 10 New Zealand works at the renowned La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in New York, in early 2015. New Zealand New Performance Festival will showcase not just the creative cream of Wellington, but the collaboration, community and commitment that comes with it.   [more]

12 Aug 2014 - DUNEDIN FRINGE REGISTRATION DATES AND ARTIST FUNDING ANNOUNCED The Dunedin Fringe Festival will be back in 2015 with another incredibly entertaining programme of artistic experimentation and any artist can be part of it. As an open access Festival we welcome all artists and all art forms. Anyone can register an event and be part of our next Festival which runs from 12-22 March.   [more]