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
POLITICS @ THE PLAYHOUSE, Wellington, 10 & 17/9 [more

Festival of New Zealand works looking for a boost to New York
THE NEW ZEALAND ARTS AWARDS 3 Nov 2014 – On Sale Now [more]

Q Auckland seeks expressions of interest 2015 Fringe and Pride Fest, submit by 23/9 [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
BEAUTY AND THE BRO – MEL PARSONS AND JAMES NOKISE at The Mussel Inn, Onekaka (near Takaka), Nelson
reviewed by Antony Hodgson 19 Sep 2014
A fine double bill indeed
James' act, Soso Gangster, jumps wildly from topic to topic with stories which must be prepared material but flow out of the heckles and comments from the crowd so smoothly that he simply runs with whatever comes his way. This is not a show where we can just sit back and observe the show, as James brings his material right into the here and now, engaging with every comment that is dished up from the floor. [more]

Photo by Neil MacKenzie
DON GIOVANNI at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland
reviewed by Penny Dodd 19 Sep 2014
A great deal to enjoy, ponder and marvel at
It is no mean feat to devise a new production of such a work, in modern dress, with the contemporary social order imposing on the 1787 world of noblemen and servants. Mostly it works really well. My only concerns are that Mozart’s noble musical characterisation of Donna Elvira jars with the modern young woman in jeans and boots, and the questions raised by the surprise twist at the end. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Elizabeth O’Connor

LASHINGS OF WHIPPED CREAM at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 19 Sep 2014
Renders the extraordinary intriguingly ordinary
Having seen the original version by writer/performer Fiona Samuel 21 years ago, the Sara Wiseman in the role nine years ago, I had some misgivings about ‘Mistress Dominique’, the supposedly teenage dominatrix, being played by a drag queen. But Ricky Beirao’s ‘Rhubarb Rouge’ makes it work. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Johnny Givins
 India Hendrikse (Keeping Up With NZ);
 Jacqui Stanford (GayNZ);

BARNIE DUNCAN IN … HIM at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Nik Smythe 18 Sep 2014
Contemplative study of introspective isolation
Out from his concealed cocoon of current affairs and into this weird, slightly awkward contained environment emerges …him. Tenderly directed by Geoff Pinfield, Barnie Duncan’s conceptual character study delivers what it says on the box: an exquisite and immersive exploration into the reclusive world of a newspaper hoarder. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Gus Simonovic
 Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald);
 Matt Baker (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

SHORT + SWEET DANCE 2014 - PROGRAMME 1 at TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, Auckland
reviewed by Raewyn Whyte 17 Sep 2014
Celebrating the dance experience
Ultimately, the standout work is Vivian Hosking-Aue’s Opaque delivered by a considerably experienced group of nine men whose backgrounds include all of the current “dance training sources” this city offers , with luminary high school dance programmes such as Rutherford High School, private studios The Dance Studio and Boyzdance, Black Grace Urban Youth Movement, UNITEC, U of A, Excel, Pacific Dance Choreolab, Dziah and Identity crews in the mix. Small wonder that their performance is electrifying, with terrific contemporary/hiphop/commercial fusion choreography rotating their talents, leaving room for fantastic physical tricks, and providing a surprise ending, capping off the mayhem with a schmaltzy group serenade delivered to an apparently random woman from the audience. [more]

WILD BEES at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Cherie Moore 17 Sep 2014
Grounded in truth
Set in a conference room in Wellington, Wild Bees tell the story of an employees’ union in the early 90s taking on their company to negotiate a new contract – one that is fair for everyone. With the upcoming election so close, it is the perfect time to be staging a political work, and to look at poignant political moments from New Zealand’s past. [more]

See also reviews by:
 James Wenley (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

MIS{S}CONCEPTION at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 17 Sep 2014
Entertaining and informative
Lively, insightful, informative ‘theatre-in-education’ for adults, Mis{s}Conception has come a long way since its development season in the Fringe. Not that its primary purpose is didactic. It’s more about sharing the experience of a woman attempting to conceive through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), comparing and contrasting it with other women who range from hyper-empathetic to downright insensitive. [more]

ROYALS OF KIHIKIHI at Q Theatre, The Vault, Auckland
reviewed by Johnny Givins 17 Sep 2014
Entertaining and insightful
Royals of Kihikihi is a wonderfully vicious Kiwi production that is filled with surprises, great one liners and lots of laughs. It holds the mirror up to families in small town NZ, reflecting all our contradictions suffering, pain and need for love. A remarkable piece of theatre, it reveals layer by layer, with truth and humour, the damaged lives of three adult children. It is set after the funeral of Maggie Royal, the town drunk. Her children return to their mum’s home after long absences. [more]

THE SOUND OF MUSIC at St James Theatre, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 15 Sep 2014
Gets to the heart of a well-wrought story
What impresses me most with this revival, however, is how unified the story is thematically (book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, inspired by Maria Augusta von Trapp’s memoir, The Trapp Family Singers). It pits limits against liberty, repression against freedom, in every dimension of the dramatisation. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Ewen Coleman (The Dominion Post);

OUT OF OUR HEADS at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Nik Smythe (3) 14 Sep 2014
The most mixed bag of all
Tonight’s programme opens in writer/director Marie Moodie’s stark, ‘brave new world’ type future in her cerebral fifteen-minute play Farewell to the Master. An impressively costumed, pale golden fembot, billed only as ‘Automaton’ (Charlotte Thomas), greets the convening audience as we take our seats. Behind her stands ‘Knut’, a similarly impressive tall silver android with electrical-wire dreadlocks for hair and a Geordi Laforge-style visor (Jonny Aukisitino). Next to Knut, a sombre fellow of extra-terrestrial origin ‘Klaatu’ (Zachary Robinson) lies prostrate. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Nik Smythe
 Nik Smythe (2)

WHEEL OF EXPERIENCE at Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland
reviewed by Tamati Patuwai 11 Sep 2014
A national theatrical treasure
Wheel of Experience is a refreshingly courageous blast of music, theatricality and a good ol’ yarn. Playing Loft at Q Theatre, this swift and piercing jaunt down some of New Zealand’s darker historical corridors is a rigorous experience and should be seen. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Penny Dodd
 Vivienne Quinn

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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]

7 Aug 2014 - KISS THE FISH ticket giveaways for special Auckland shows Go in the draw to win a double pass to Indian Ink’s KISS THE FISH at Q Theatre (Auckland) on either Friday 29th or Saturday 30th August Directed by Justin Lewis / Written by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis Starring Jacob Rajan, Nisha Madhan, Julia Croft, James Roque, Dave Ward Be part of the magic, as INDIAN INK return to Q THEATRE for a special recording of their hit show.   [more]