New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

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Dunedin Fringe 2014 AWARDS

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2014 READ RAW SEARCH FOR A GREAT PLAYSCRIPT, deadline 30/4 [more]
The Prime Minister’s Awards for Literature (includes playwrights)
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JOBS & OPPORTUNITIES on The Big Idea [more]  

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
BADJELLY THE WITCH at 4 Moncrieff St., Mt. Victoria, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 19 Apr 2014
An excellent holiday investment
What a polished production this is, presented with such assurance that the fun of it takes full flight. Director Daniel Pengelly has assembled a top-flight cast and crew to deliver a quality version of Alannah O’Sullivan’s adaptation of Spike Milligan’s Badjelly the Witch with just four actors and some cleverly manifested creatures and effects. [more]

THE WATER STATION at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 17 Apr 2014
Rich in metaphor
It is almost unheard of for plays devised by companies to be reproduced by other companies even when they result in written scripts (think SEEyD Company, Indian Ink, Red Leap …). Even more unexpected is that a devised play without words from Japan, albeit a classic, would find new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. It has also been produced in India and Singapore. [more]

VICE at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Nik Smythe 16 Apr 2014
Revels in abnormal behaviour
When a mysterious shadowy man with no face in a smart suit takes your ticket and directs you up a graffiti-art covered back stairway festooned with beer crates, wine bottle candles, exotic dolls and such, into a room with a stark white stage where the cast of seven lurk awkwardly and wistfully and so on, and the auditorium floor, walls and half the ceiling thickly papered with thousands of pages of advertising junk mail using sticky tape, it’s fair to assume that what ensues probably won’t be typical, usual or normal. [more]

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

COLT at Suter Theatre, Nelson
reviewed by Janet Whittington 15 Apr 2014
Phenomenal work
The degree of physical complexity builds into a series of stunning poses, romantic, tender, requiring great strength and skill from the performers. Sarah-Foster Sproull’s direction and choreography augmented by the dancers own input is acknowledged in the opening credits of the programme. Her thoughts about community are portrayed by the community spirit that went into this phenomenal piece. I think this combined choreography is what finally lifts this performance into a class of its own and validates Foster-Sproull’s concept. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Jonathan W. Marshall

THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT at The Pumphouse, Takapuna, Auckland
reviewed by Grace Hoet 14 Apr 2014
The power of creation and the enchantment of storytelling
The Owl and the Pussy Cat breaks the mould on what is often an assumption that Children’s Theatre is for children, often fun for the younger generations with adults purely there as chaperones. The Tim Bray production of The Owl and the Pussy Cat is a colourful delight for both children and adults. [more]

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES at Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch
reviewed by Lindsay Clark 13 Apr 2014
Complexity handled with charm
Melanie Camp's direction keeps plot and execution nicely balanced. A critical factor, and one she stresses in her programme notes, is the positioning of the audience. The fourth wall convention is well and truly disestablished as we are addressed, admonished and engaged. The response to a twitter about pace sees the whole of the first half replayed at reckless speed to open the second half, to the delight of a thoroughly charmed audience. [more]

PROMISE AND PROMISCUITY: A NEW MUSICAL BY JANE AUSTEN at Rangi Ruru Girls School, Merivale Lane, Christchurch
reviewed by Robert Gilbert 13 Apr 2014
Literary witticism, acerbic satire, musical mirth and dollops of double entendre
Every character is a lesson in human nature and study societal snobbery. The lemon-lipped Lady Wrexham and her withering son Reginald, the dashing Digby Dalton, the lisping Thomasina, and the suppurating horror that is Horatio have us all sniggering at the frivolities and mindlessness of the middle-class. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Bronwyn Elsmore

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES at Globe Theatre, Dunedin
reviewed by Jennifer Aitken 12 Apr 2014
All very natural
What I enjoy most about this production is that these actors are real women – which is kind of the point – and they are not trying to be anything else. We get a sense of each woman’s personality as they share the monologues with us. The actors are really enjoying themselves, laughing with us and acknowledging the truth and universality behind the things they are telling us which makes the audience very comfortable. [more]

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

MOKO at SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland
reviewed by Paul Young 11 Apr 2014
Moments of sublime beauty
Undeniably strong dancing by all, a bold aesthetic, conviction, and a strong ethical compass make Atamira a company worth supporting and encouraging. While I miss the charisma and characteristic diversity of the old guard, I am looking forward to what comes next. I hope its nothing that I can imagine. [more]

CAROUSEL AND CLOTHESLINE at Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland
reviewed by Candice Frankland 10 Apr 2014
Infused with enchantment
An audience favourite was the Saturday Night Fever inspired acrobat act performed by Coen Clarke and Jason Fergusson adorned in white spandex bell bottoms and all their disco glory! Rather than repelling the crowd with his cheesy antics, Clarke draws sniggers and giggles while transforming his lifter Jason from a green and reluctant participant into a dancing queen. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Jonathan W. Marshall

APT Y IDOS at Q Theatre Loft, Auckland
reviewed by Raewyn Whyte 10 Apr 2014
Disconnection, dissociation and detachment
The degree to which you respond to this work as a timely warning, or reject it as “just another dance ” will no doubt depend on your own degree of reliance on your cell phone and Facebook and other digital devices and the relationships they make possible. Still, it raises issues which can only be addressed one person at a time, and it would seem hopeful that the work can have some salutary effect. [more]

reviewed by Candice Lewis 9 Apr 2014
Honest, raw and hopeful characters hold the focus
Bukowski: drunkard, genius and icon. We are bearing witness to the inspiration of his ‘Bluebird’ poem for 13 writers. I want to be critical, to find all the holes, to spit through them and shout “Bukowski wept!” Instead, as the series of vignettes unfolds, I remind myself to blink. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Matt Baker (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

Chat Back
"I have no problem perceiving the premise of the production and its title. Wake Up Tomorrow captures the half-d..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"It's worth noting that Plato's 'Apology of Socrates' was what we would now call an apologia. This from Wikiped..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"Thanks for the critique, Vanessa. Much appreciated. Just for the sake of clarity though, Chris O'Connor compos..." - Gary Henderson   [read full comment]

"To be honest Lexie, I barely see his lips moving when I can see his face.  That's why it's harder to tell..." - nik smythe   [read full forum post]

"Another goodie can be seen here:" - Michael Smythe   [read full forum post]

"Thank you all for the great contributions - some very good laughs in there. Let's see how much proves to be pr..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

"Jeeze Wain we've been off the wagon for donkeys." - Jim Gilbert   [read full forum post]

"Oh dear me. I don’t suppose that Labour lot care two hoots about the Eketahuna & Environs Gilbert &a..." - Muriel Wainwright   [read full forum post]

"I, also, have been communicating with Winston. I asked him some pertinent questions and his response was 'read..." - Lexie Matheson   [read full forum post]

"The list seems to have overlooked the Aotearoa Gucci Socialist Right-to-Party-After-All-Live-Performance-Event..." - Linda Ashley   [read full forum post]

"Here is the Key: Hamlet Act I sc 5, line 108." - Anon   [read full forum post]

"Live performance is a dead duck you nationalistic dummköpfe! Everything needs to go straight to the Web u..." - I P   [read full forum post]

14 Apr 2014 - BATS THEATRE LIMITED NOTICE OF 20TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the 20th Annual General Meeting of BATS Theatre Limited will be held at BATS Theatre, Corner of Cuba and Dixon Streets, Wellington, on Saturday 3rd May 2014 commencing at 2.00pm.   [more]

9 Apr 2014 - HELPING BATS FLY HOME The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords.   [more]

9 Apr 2014 - 2014 READ RAW SEARCH FOR A GREAT PLAYSCRIPT Auckland Playwrights Collective & The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) announce The 2014 Read Raw Search for a Great PlayScript is now open   [more]

1 Apr 2014 - PERFORMING ARTS POLICIES FORESHADOWED As the General Election looms a political analyst has sifted through the mostly hard-to-find Arts policies of political parties and summarised the implications for the performing arts as follows...   [more]

29 Mar 2014 - ADAM NZ PLAY AWARDS 2014 The dilemmas of modern reproduction examined in award-winning play. IVF isn’t foolproof and IUDs aren’t failsafe. iPhones come with ovulation apps and being married doesn’t mean you have to breed. Seed follows four women as they try to get pregnant, stay pregnant or become un-pregnant.   [more]

25 Mar 2014 - THE PRIME MINISTER’S AWARDS FOR LITERATURE These awards recognise notable literary achievement and are offered to writers who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature. Individuals and organisations are invited to nominate writers for these awards.   [more]

24 Mar 2014 - DUNEDIN FRINGE 2014 AWARDS The 2014 Dunedin Fringe Festival has ended on a high note with an elaborate Awards Night at the Dunedin Railway Station. 14 awards were handed out at the ceremony that acknowledged the achievements of hundreds of participating artists. Increased ticket sales and a number of sold out shows has left Festival organisers up-beat about the future of the Festival.   [more]

18 Mar 2014 - Christopher Finlayson 18 March, 2014 New Arts Council members appointed Thirteen inaugural members have been appointed to the new Arts Council, established by the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Act 2014, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson announced today. “I am delighted with the calibre of the members who have made themselves available for the new Arts Council,” Mr Finlayson said.   [more]