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...

Festival of New Zealand works looking for a boost to New York [more]

DUNEDIN FRINGE 2015, register by 31/10, apply for funding by 12/10 2014 [more]

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
SLEEPING OCEAN at 49 Cape Horn Road, Hillsborough, Auckland
reviewed by Jesse Quaid 1 Sep 2014
Not your everyday walk in the park: Sleeping Ocean phase one
Following the guidance of our captain, we wend from one beautifully staged setting to the next. A scattering of white paper boats is vibrant against a green lawn. The drummer, Reuben Jelleyman, sits writing furiously in a battered wooden dinghy amidst daffodils. Where there is dance it is often slow, extended and internally focused. The childish energy of the transitions and the quasi-philosophical musings of the acted moments play against this, leaving the piece as a whole unsettled. [more]

reviewed by John Smythe 31 Aug 2014
All a bit of a slog
There is an inherent danger in seeing a play in one part of the world then mounting a new production in another, expecting it to work as well in the new cultural context. To be in New York feeling disinclined to follow the mobs to the big ticket shows and opt instead for an Off-Broadway play which someone has mentioned in passing, and to feel enamoured of its apparent refusal to conform to basic dramaturgical principles, is one thing. To then produce it in Wellington’s major mainstream theatre is … risky. [more]

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

I AM at The Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland
reviewed by Dione Joseph 31 Aug 2014
IT IS a conversation with the gods
Spearheaded by Ponifasio, artist and activist, I AM is a poetic and visceral invocation that requires, no actually demands, that you relinquish the cerebral demands for comprehension and simply immerse yourself in a complete saturation of the senses. [more]

SHORT + SWEET 2014 THEATRE WILDCARD at TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland
reviewed by Bronwyn Elsmore 30 Aug 2014
Four out of nine head for the Gala
Can a stage play that lasts just ten minutes tell a complete story and leave the viewer satisfied? I’ve sat through many full-length plays only to conclude they would be better condensed to a much shorter time. So generally I welcome the brevity of these short and sweet offerings. [more]

DESTINATION BEEHIVE at Circa Two, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 30 Aug 2014
The hottest ticket in town
‘Simply the Best’ is the tune that hums in my head long after the last of many wonderfully executed numbers ends the show. Destination Beehive is cleverly crafted, wittily written, dynamically directed and choreographed, sublimely sung and ebulliently performed. [more]

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

JAMES NOKISE'S V.I.P - VOTER INFORMATION PACK at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by Lena Fransham 30 Aug 2014
Penetrating intelligence in political commentary
We like laughing at those more powerful than ourselves. We may have limited power to call them to account for their injustices but we can draw satisfaction from seeing their hypocrisy exposed. It is such a release when someone can finally articulate exactly how butt-naked the emperor is. [more]

Photo by Andrew Malmo
BELLEVILLE at Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland LIVE, Auckland
reviewed by Vanessa Byrnes 30 Aug 2014
A test of actors’ stamina and audience generosity
Silo Theatre’s latest offering of this single setting drama is not an easy night out. Packed as it is with four fabulous actors on John Verryt’s semi-naturalistic set, it has all the elements of a tight drama. But overall, it sidesteps its audience and fails to deliver the punch it seeks. [more]

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

OKLAHOMA! at Opera House, Wellington
reviewed by Maraea Rakuraku 29 Aug 2014
Revolutionary once, irrelevant now
I don’t wish to be unkind because of the obvious hard work of the cast and crew, and props to anyone able to sing and dance onstage, but c’mon, we live in a racially and sexually diverse world here and narratives like this contribute little to nothing to the Aotearoa I sit within. [more]

GOODBYE MY FELENI at The Playhouse, Glen Eden, Auckland
reviewed by Nik Smythe 29 Aug 2014
Essentially fulfilling
While set almost entirely in a training camp in Papakura, the roots of D F Mamea’s historical play are widespread. Focussing on the camaraderie between four Pacific Island infantrymen in the 28th Maori Battalion as they prepare to join the war in Europe in 1943, the story examines the definitively human themes of friendship, family, pride and regret. [more]

EDINBURGH FRINGE 2014 WRAP #3 at Various Fringe venues, Edinburgh, Scotland
reviewed by Dione Joseph 28 Aug 2014
Important questions | Much to offer | Beautiful writing vs frenetic acting | Clever and confident | Largely unimaginative | Much to like | Polished but lacks substance | Inspiring
At a time when war once more is leering at her victims in Gaza it isn’t surprising that a number of works address the issues of responsibility, corruption and – yes – fundamentalism across both camps. [more]

Photo by Tatiana Harper
EARNEST at Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland
reviewed by Vanessa Byrnes 28 Aug 2014
Refreshing messing wickedly funny
This modern retelling of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is a sharp, energetic, beautifully pitched piece of theatre. Fractious Tash and Last Tapes Theatre Co have a hit on their hands and are to be toasted for pulling off such a stylish, complete piece of theatre. Benjamin Henson skillfully directs the company of eight wonderful male actors with rhythmic flair. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald);
 Sharu Delilkan and Tim Booth (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

BANGING CYMBAL CLANGING GONG at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by Fiona McNamara 27 Aug 2014
A gift to New Zealand theatre
After bursting on stage, the Barbarian tells us she doesn’t want us to think of this as a piece of theatre, but a demonstration of another way of life: a way of life in which we run and fight and never hold back. This Barbarian has a bloody passion for justice ... [more]

Chat Back
"I agree that the producer’s demand is a ridiculous one – although I would like to see what evidenc..." - Matt Baker   [read full comment]

"How does a picture frame around the stage help us "to draw comparisons to [sic] us as people then... and as pe..." - sam trubridge   [read full comment]

"Sloppy review. Ali Hakim doesn't even enter in the first 10 minutes which proves the reviewer to be exaggerati..." - Ahurangi   [read full comment]

"the show may not be grandiose and bombastic, the review is." - Simon Taylor   [read full comment]

"Of course a reviewer can comment on programming decisions Matt. The decision on which specific script/libretto..." - sam trubridge   [read full comment]

"Every now and again a review is written that says so much more about the reviewer than the show. This is certa..." - matt hudson   [read full comment]

"To get reviewed producers or publicists need to request it and supply information as per the 'Request a review..." - Editor   [read full comment]

"Firstly, I am suprised that this is the first review of this New Zealand tour since it has been on a fair few ..." - Levy   [read full comment]

"A furious producer has phoned to say this review is ridiculous, it takes no account of the 800 people who "wen..." - Editor   [read full comment]

"Absolutely bloody right. An awesome show. The unexpectedly moving and poignant ending really got me.  Jo..." - Ruby Schmidt   [read full comment]

"No need to get personally offensive, ‘nom-de-web’, and make extraordinary judgements about a criti..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"This review has an impeccable flavour of racial prejudice and a very colonial, white, middle-class, biased vie..." - nom-de-web   [read full comment]

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]

29 Jul 2014 - TIMON OF ATHENS auditions, Wellington, 13 & 14/9 New Zealand's first production of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens in 150 years! Want to know how a city’s most popular and successful man can end up bankrupt and destitute? The Summer Shakespeare Trust is thrilled to announce that 2015’s Victoria University of Wellington Summer Shakespeare will be Timon of Athens, directed by Brett Adam, Head of Directing at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School.   [more]

27 Jul 2014 - The Bacchanals are taking Dean Parker's ONCE WE BUILT A TOWER to the South Island The Bacchanals are a multi-award winning company based in Wellington, dedicated to exploring text-based theatre, redefining classic works, and ensuring that theatre remains a place for social, spiritual, political and psychological debate. The Bacchanals believe that theatre should be accessible to all - economically, intellectually and geographically - and that audiences should be able to access theatre outside of the main centres.   [more]

21 Jul 2014 - ELIZABETH O'CONNOR 1956-2014 It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Elizabeth O’Connor, a theatre stalwart of Christchurch, a valued teacher, scholar, dramaturge, Literary Manager at the Court Theatre and a sometime reviewer for Theatreview and Radio NZ.   [more]

18 Jul 2014 - ARTIST FORUM The Performance Arcade 2015 Sunday 27 July, 2pm-4pm at The Hub, Toi Poneke, Abel Smith Street, Wellington. The Playground is running an informal artist forum and workshop for anyone applying to be part of The Performance Arcade 2015 or who is interested in making a contribution to the event.   [more]

17 Jul 2014 - SUMMER SHAKESPEARE (Wellington) 2015: Timon of Athens Marketing and Publicity Manager   [more]