New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

New Zealand professional theatre & dance: reviews, news and your views
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Playmarket Plays for the Young – 2014 winners
WILLEM WASSENAAR photographic tributes [more]  

NZ Improv Festival (Wellington) 28/10-1/11

RNZB: new Artistic Director appointed; 2015 programme announced
THE NEW ZEALAND ARTS AWARDS 3 Nov 2014 – On Sale Now [more

Auckland Theatre Company Establishes Fellowship to Support New Zealand Play Writing, submit by 20/10 [more]
DUNEDIN FRINGE 2015, register by 31/10  2014 [more]
The Performance Arcade 2015, Wellington – Call for Internships,
apply by 31/10 [more]

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
THE STATUS OF BEING at Meteor Theatre, Hamilton
reviewed by Debbie Bright 21 Oct 2014
Extreme physicality, active questioning
Through confrontation and humor, attention is focussed on the power of choice within ourselves over how we respond to the world, an awakening of decision-making inherent within our own views, and empowering sense of responsibility for ourselves and our planet. Ultimately, The Status of Being questions an engineered sense of control. After all, how much choice do we really have in our choices? [more]

See also reviews by:
 val smith
 Bernadette Rae (NZ Herald);

PEACE AND LOVE IN AFRICA at Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland
reviewed by Jennifer Nikolai 20 Oct 2014
Drumming, singing, playing, dancing
The message: Dance is an agent for change, connectivity with a community and personal awareness. Dance is a source of belonging and encourages listening to ancestral wisdom that leads to personal insight and advocacy. [more]

REQUIEM FOR THE FALLEN at Town Hall, Dunedin
reviewed by Brenda Harwood 20 Oct 2014
Stunningly impressive and emotionally draining
The way in which Requiem for the Fallen weaves chorus, string quartet and taonga puoro together to tell a cohesive story of young men leaving home in high spirits to go off to war and the horror of their experiences on the front is impressive. The sheer beauty and sadness of the music and the historic images of young New Zealanders in wartime adds a poignancy that makes the work deeply emotionally affecting. [more]

SHENG DONG: A MOVING SOUND at Theatre Royal, Nelson
reviewed by Janet Whittington 20 Oct 2014
Appreciated greatly by aficionados
The costumes, particularly for the men are truly magnificent, with gold thread outlining the red and black accented shoulder wings in traditional Asian style. Hsieh’s bodice and skirt glitter in richly adorned brocade. The shimmering colour holds the audience gaze, while she dances, through the instrumental pieces, hands held Thai style. Hsieh’s vocal range is phenomenal – I swear she must reach High C above High C. [more]

TASSEL ME THIS at Q Theatre Loft, Auckland
reviewed by Raewyn Whyte (NZ Herald) 20 Oct 2014
Glittering work proves captivating
[Tassel me This] employs a wondrous array of sparkling and shimmering curtains and two memorably sequined garments designed by Fraser Mildon, a golden shroud for Dickins and a short flirty cape for McCall. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Emily Napolitano
 Kerry Wallis

EYE at Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland
reviewed by Kerry Wallis 20 Oct 2014
eye and I are one
His agility as a dancer and his ability to contrast between fluidity and rigidity are mindboggling as he moves effortlessly across the stage. At one point, his entire body becomes a vibrating entity and I can only describe it as stunning. Hanna is undeniably a strong performer with prodigious training. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Jillian Davey
 Raewyn Whyte (NZ Herald);

SONS at Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland
reviewed by Dione Joseph 19 Oct 2014
Poignant and heartfelt emotional maelstrom
Rodger’s writing is brilliant. His characters, particularly his protagonist Noah, are utterly mesmerising. The happy-go-lucky innocent boy who just wants to find his dad ends up putting the world into perspective as he discovers he just wants to have the conversation – about what it means not just to be Samoan, not just to be Afakasi, but it really what it means to be ‘Noah’ growing up in this crazy world where truths are hidden and time is a luxury that is afforded to only a few. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald);

Photo by Paul McLaughlin
ISAAC’S EYE at Circa Two, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 19 Oct 2014
Thoroughly engaging if somewhat ethereal
The primary perversity is that although the imagined encounters between a young Isaac Newton, his friend and would-be wife Catherine Storer, and the more established and respected scientist Robert Hooke took place in the 17th century – circa the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London (1666) – the characters present as 21st century New Zealanders. This is a conceit that works very well. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post);

ADAM PAGE at Granary Festival Café, Founders Heritage Park, Nelson
reviewed by Janet Whittington 19 Oct 2014
A multi-skilled man in a million
He is equally an accomplished comedian as much as a musician. And man can he play! The sax is the best I hear anywhere, his passion as strong, and his flute as beautiful. I am very impressed with this man. Period! No two concerts are the same as each track is improvised on the spot. This is a skill in itself. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Lucy O'Connor

SISTERS IN ARMS at Suter Theatre, Nelson
reviewed by Adrienne Matthews 19 Oct 2014
Thought-provoking explorations
Every culture has its own unique history, shaped by monumental events. In Sisters in Arms, the individual is given permission to speak their own and their family’s history. Surprisingly, for two such vastly different cultures, the stories have many similarities. This work allows us to see the importance of the true writers of history. “The importance of personal histories – these are the truths, the true histories, not the histories written by conquerors.” [more]

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

MODERN MĀORI QUARTET at Festival Mainstage, Founders Heritage Park, Nelson
reviewed by Melanie Stewart 19 Oct 2014
Billed as the new face of Māori showbands, handsome, hilarious and harmonious, The Modern Māori Quartet is entertainment at its best. These four performers – James Tito, Mataraki Whaturau, Francis Kora and Maaka Pohatu – all Toi Whakari trained actors, bounce onto the stage and hold my attention for the full 110 minutes of performance and leave me wanting more. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Brenda Harwood

Chat Back
"Thank you Rachael - As noted at the end of the review, production information may also be found by clickin..." - Editor   [read full comment]

"Hello, I am the general Manager/Producer for Okareka Dance Company and I must appologise for the lack of prog..." - Rachael Penman   [read full comment]

"Dear Geni Thank you for reading my review thoughtfully! It is always a relief when us reviewers actually feel..." - Linda Ashley   [read full comment]

" I am not in agreement with lumping the five (I counted only 5) performances in the Prime Program as some..." - geni   [read full comment]

"For my Realtime Australia review of Dan Belton's Satellites, see:-" - Dr Jonathan W Marshall   [read full comment]

"Having witnessed the emergence of feminist political theatre – memorably Betty Can Jump at The Pram Fact..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"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]

14 Oct 2014 - A NEW FUTURE FOR THE KATHERINE MANSFIELD MENTON FELLOWSHIP The Winn-Manson Menton Trust has joined with the Arts Foundation of New Zealand to set up a permanent capital fund that will secure New Zealand's iconic Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship for the future.   [more]

9 Oct 2014 - TROLLS, DRAGONS AND MAJOR LIFE DECISIONS The annual PLAYMARKET PLAYS FOR THE YOUNG competition attracts submissions of the most innovative, provocative and original NZ plays for young people. Previous winners of the competition, now in its sixth year, include Sarah Delahunty, Richard Finn, Joey Moncarz, Emily Duncan, Holly Gooch and Stephanie Matuku. PLAYMARKET, the agency and service organisation for New Zealand playwrights, is delighted to announce the winning playwrights and we congratulate them and all who submitted.   [more]

8 Oct 2014 - WILLEM WASSENAAR photographic tributes WILLEM WASSENAAR died in Holland last weekend. He was a galvanising force in the Wellington theatre scene. Will we ever see his like again?   [more]

7 Oct 2014 - The Performance Arcade 2015, Wellington – Call for Internships The Performance Arcade is inviting people to get involved in the 2015 Arcade, with registrations for Internships now open. The Performance Arcade takes place 18-22 February 2015. An Arcade Internship is an opportunity to work in a professional environment on a large-scale dynamic arts event. The Arcade team is experienced in developing roles for interns and ensuring that the experience will be of benefit to your future career. Interns are a valued part of the Arcade team.   [more]

3 Oct 2014 - NEW ZEALAND IMPROV FESTIVAL – a tasty theatrical treat The best of the nation’s talent spiced up with international flavour Towards the end of October the sixth incarnation of New Zealand Improv Festival hits Wellington. With a line up that includes old favourites from around the country, and brand new international guests from as far away as Mexico, this year’s programme will give Wellington audiences a taste of the diversity and quality present in the ever-growing world of improvised theatre.   [more]

3 Oct 2014 - EWEN GILMOUR It is with deep sorrow that we confirm that comedian Ewen Gilmour has passed away of natural causes in the comfort of his own home overnight, at the age of 51. The whole comedy family here in New Zealand and across the world are grieving the shock loss of a comedy legend and a great friend.   [more]

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]