New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

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Letter from CNZ to Tōtara and Kahikatea Clients [more]

COMEDY FOR NEPAL fundraiser, Q Theatre Auckland, 24 May 8.30pm

Professional practitioners: please join the Performing Arts Directory here
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THE PLAY’S THE THING—EXPLORING HAMLET, Wellington, Saturdays from 23/5 to 6/6 [more]

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
LYSISTRATA at BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
reviewed by Jonathan Kingston-Smith 23 May 2015
A savage, explosively entertaining whip-crack of a play
Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is a play of sexual politics in the most direct sense. At a spritely 2426 years old, it is couched in the structure and techniques of Greek Old Comedy, although it demonstrates a shift away from rigid observation of those guidelines. Ultimately its goal is to expose the populace to scathing political and social statements cloaked beneath a veneer of absurdity. So it is unsurprising that The Bacchanals, those vigilante thespians, have taken Lysistrata and dragged it – quivering and moaning – into a contemporary climate where the prime minister views the lives of 143 troops as an acceptable down-payment for admission to ‘the club’. [more]

CHEKHOV GONE WILDE at Garnet Station Café, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere, Auckland
reviewed by Lexie Matheson 23 May 2015
Flashes of glory, sadness, silliness and great humanity
Each scene stands alone and makes excellent theatre while collectively they paint a picture of the blissful damage done by Cupid, that chubby wee boy with the bow. Graham subtly reminds us that Cupid is from the Latin ‘cupido’ meaning not just romantic love but desire as well and there’s achingly, painfully, plenty of that too. [more]

THE RITE OF SPRING (2013) at BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
reviewed by Jillian Davey 22 May 2015
Exhausting,charming, intelligent dance batlles
It’s not until mid-way through, when the dancers take a quick break to change the clothes they’ve sweated through and have a few gulps of water that I realise how easily I’ve slipped into my university days. I put away my pen and paper for a while to enjoy the performative aspect of the evening. As Lee and Martins switch corners, it dawns that it’s a game; a marathon, a sporting event and a spectacle that should be enjoyed by the spectators, not recorded. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Jonathan W. Marshall

FALLOUT: THE SINKING OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Kathryn van Beek 22 May 2015
Fresh telling a timely reminder
That was thirty years ago now, and many New Zealanders weren’t yet born when the ship went down. But the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior is too important an event to forget – so how do you bring it to life for the people who didn’t experience it first-hand? Writer Bronwyn Elsmore’s new play is the answer to that question. It pulls you into the events by following four people whose lives were changed by the Rainbow Warrior in different ways. [more]

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

CHRIS PARKER - NO MORE DANCING IN THE GOOD ROOM at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Adam Naughton 21 May 2015
Intimately fabulous
[APOLOGY: This review somehow did not get published when it was submitted on 6 May. Here it is now. – ED] Growing up as kids we become familiar with spaces in the house e.g. the space to sit at the table and eat properly, the outside space to run around and do crazy stuff (like break windows and tackle each other), the space for reading and sleeping … and the space with valuable stuff in it where you should be careful and sensible. [more]

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

JARRED FELL - POSSIBLE at Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland
reviewed by Stewart Lund 18 May 2015
One of New Zealand's best
What makes Fell such an enjoyable watch is his ability to lull the audience and his oft-unsuspecting participants into a false sense of security (or occasional insecurity, such as during the almost unbelievable pick-pocketing sequence). We are taken on a journey through each segment, and the pay-off or punchline is always worthwhile. [more]

THE ARMED MAN at Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street, Wellington
reviewed by Ann Hunt 18 May 2015
A most effective coda to the futility of this war and all wars
Coming as it does in the sequence of the recent World War One commemorations, The Armed Man is a most effective coda to the futility of this war and all wars. [more]

KARST - NZSD CHOREOGRAPHIC SEASON 2015 at Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington
reviewed by Chris Jannides 17 May 2015
Of course, ultimately, the NZSD’s annual choreographic season serves two purposes. It’s a double showcase - one being the choreographic works, the other an opportunity to display and celebrate the calibre and abilities of the student dancers themselves as performers. What a beautiful powerhouse of talent there is in this 2015 year group, who are more than ably supported by the equally assured skills of students in other years. Considering they will all be launching themselves into the workforce in the not-too-distant future, I am thinking: how can each and every one of them not make an impact and succeed in some way in this most difficult and competitive of industries? Based on tonight, surely they will. [more]

VER NA VAVETAR LOVE AT WAR at Glen Eden Playhouse, Auckland
reviewed by Mihir Mistry 17 May 2015
The Gandhi legacy
If there is one human emotion that has challenged and often vanquished life itself, it is vengeance. As powerful as love and the simple act of forgiveness, revenge has shaped us, our thinking, our cultures, customs, beliefs and our boundaries. [more]

THE 5PM PROJECT 2015 at Hannah Playhouse (previously Downstage), Wellington
reviewed by Shannon Friday 17 May 2015
Not quite as successful as it could be
The goal here is simple: get a bunch of professional comedians together, and get them to perform stuff specifically for teenagers. Simple, right? I mean, what could be easier than making teenagers – who get bonus points of awesome for being uninterested in grown-ups – laughing? [more]

See also reviews by:
 Aminata Hamadi

CLASS COMEDIANS SHOWCASE 2015 - WELLINGTON at Hannah Playhouse (previously Downstage), Wellington
reviewed by Shannon Friday 17 May 2015
Massive effort pays off
Class Comedians is a programme run by the Comedy Trust that encourages young comedians to develop their talents and skills. Under the tutelage of James Nokise (who also hosts) and Anya Tate-Manning, eight young people have taken to the stage to try out their stuff – many of them performing for the first time. [more]

LIVE LIVE CINEMA: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland LIVE, Auckland
reviewed by Nik Smythe 16 May 2015
Trans-dimensional multi-tasking marvel
Rather than recreate a more authentic sound-studio setting, the live cast plays the whole thing out upon a colourfully cluttered stage strewn with buckets, instruments, toys, gizmos and gadgets, food items, mics, amps and other appliances, along with story-related props such as flowers and shop signage to keep them in the mood. [more]

Chat Back
"Here is a link to Vote Arts, Culture and Heritage 2015" - Editor   [read full forum post]

"LETTER FROM CNZ TO TŌTARA AND KAHIKATEA CLIENTS  19 May 2015 Dear colleagues, In late April, the ..." - Editor   [read full forum post]

"You're absolutely right, Robbie. Now corrected with all due enbarrassment. Thank you." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

""late last century" would imply the 1990s, not the 1890s, yes?" - Robbie Ellis   [read full comment]

"Fixed - ED" - Editor   [read full comment]

"! Humble apologies, I think my error must be due to reviewing Laura and Tom last week. The contrite reviewer." - nik smythe   [read full comment]

"Hey - thanks for the review - the other comedian was called Louise Beuvink not Laura Beuvink.    M..." - Ashton Brown   [read full comment]

"Kia Ora Emily, and John and Raewyn, Our sincere thanks for taking the time to organise Emily Napolitano to&..." - Tanemahuta Gray   [read full comment]

"Hi Tim, I appreciate the offer but if I can make it to your show I'd be glad to pay my way. Send me a message ..." - Dione Joseph   [read full comment]

"I regret getting into this convo. Nothing to do with me. I don't envy anyone's position as a reviewer, as I'm..." - tom Furniss   [read full comment]

"Robbie: It's "public" in FB privacy terminology, yes. But it's not public in the common lexicon, as in a publi..." - Tim Batt   [read full comment]

"When Comedy Fest comes round every year, Editor/John has a hell of a time finding enough reviewers in two citi..." - Robbie Ellis   [read full comment]

21 May 2015 - FORTUNE THEATRE 86 HOUR SHAKESPEARE MARATHON Here is our schedule! We may not be running to the minute. This page will keep you up to date with the real running time!   [more]

12 May 2015 - The play’s the thing—EXPLORING HAMLET A short lecture series exploring Hamlet as Elizabethan audiences would have experienced it, coincides with the Globe Theatre’s upcoming world tour of Shakespeare’s most famous play. Local Shakespeare expert David Lawrence will present the lectures through the Victoria University Continuing Education programme. As well as being suitable for anyone attending the Globe-to-Globe performance of Hamlet in Wellington on 1 to 2 June, he says, it is also aimed at people interested in how Shakespeare’s plays work in performance, both in their original context and today.   [more]

8 May 2015 - COMEDY FOR NEPAL Hosted by Te Radar Fundraiser for Oxfam New Zealand’s Nepal Earthquake Response The worst earthquake in 80 years has hit Nepal: buildings are flattened, thousands are injured, the death toll has exceeded 8000 and is rising every day. At this stage survivors are in a race against time to secure shelter and adequate sanitation before the monsoon rains begin in early June.   [more]

22 Apr 2015 - CALL FOR DIRECTORS The Summer Shakespeare Trust (Wellington) is seeking a Director for the 2016 Summer Shakespeare production Directors will be asked to choose from one of the following plays: Henry VIII | Julius Caesar | Love's Labour's Lost | The Comedy of Errors | Much Ado About Nothing   [more]

31 Mar 2015 - ARTS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE MINISTRY FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES Theatreview has discovered the Government plans to transfer oversight of the Arts and Creative Industries to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). This will apply to all arts and creative products that originate in New Zealand – i.e. where the Intellectual Property (IP) is held by New Zealanders.   [more]

28 Mar 2015 - ADAM NZ PLAY AWARD 2015 WINNERS ANNOUNCED New Zealand’s dark history and violent present revealed in award-winning plays. PLAYMARKET is pleased to announce the ADAM NZ PLAY AWARD winners for 2015: Anders Falstie-Jensen for Centrepoint and Hone Kouka for Bless the Child. The Adam NZ Play Award recognises and celebrates the best in new writing for the theatre. Director of Playmarket Murray Lynch announced the win at Circa Theatre on 28 March 2015 alongside four other special award winners.   [more]

21 Mar 2015 - Binge Culture is currently in New York City on our first ever international tour. We are taking part in New Zealand New Performance Festival at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. We want to let you know that we are live streaming our six hour durational performance Break Up [We Need to Talk] on Saturday 21 March 1.30pm-7.30pm EST/ 21 March 5:30pm-11:30pm GMT/ Sunday 22 March at 6.30am- 12.30pm NZT at our website,   [more]

18 Mar 2015 - Celebrating our 25th year of creativity and chaos! 25th NZ Fringe Festival was celebrated Sunday 15th March with an Awards Ceremony at St Peter's on Willis Street, acknowledging the hard work, creativity and bravery of all participants - and encouraging them to push themselves and think out side the box for NZ Fringe 2016.   [more]