New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

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Young Playwrights Share Top Honours [more]  

Dunedin Fringe seeks Administrator, apply by 3 July [more]
MARKETING and COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER – TOI WHAKAARI: NZ Drama School, apply by 9am 9/7 [more]
Creative New Zealand’s review of theatre, respond by 10/7 [more]

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER at 4 Moncrieff St., Mt. Victoria, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 4 Jul 2015
Interactive fun with good values
Elves looking for work in the wake of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies is an excellent starting point for Rachel Henry’s adaptation of the Brothers Grimm* tale. Pilly and Filly – whose real Elvish names are much, much longer – left their North Pole jobs with Santa Claus to work for Peter Jackson and they like New Zealand so much they want to stay. [more]

DEXTER’S DEEP SEA DISCOVERY at TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland
reviewed by Loki Smythe 4 Jul 2015
Fun and jokes for all ages
The main character, Dexter – played by Amanda Tito – has a very stereotypical eight-year-old attitude, thinking shark attacks are awesome and glasses look stupid. [more]

YOU DANCE 2015 at Maidment, Auckland
reviewed by Briar Wilson 3 Jul 2015
Entertaining, energetic and able
When young dancers choreograph their own work, it means that they have reached a good level of sophistication and technical ability – also that they can work together – although presumably needing some oversight. Again I would welcome knowing who had that responsibility – as they should also be acknowledged and congratulated. Thus I commend Jessie McCall’s work overseeing Pointy Dog Youth Dance Company a group stemming from classes at TAPAC. 13 dancers are spread over three pieces, each being choreographed by its dancers, that being a feat in itself. They use a good range of movement, sometimes individual, other times in unison, and in Pendulum convey connection and disconnection with aplomb. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Raewyn Whyte

THE CAPE at Mary Hopewell Theatre, Dunedin
reviewed by Alison Embleton 2 Jul 2015
Realistic and compelling
The rehashing of past events, and the development of new bonds between the characters allows for the audience to get a good sense of their history while also being able to see how they’re growing and changing together on this trip. [more]

THE MOURNING AFTER at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Bronwyn Elsmore 1 Jul 2015
Humour amid the poignant portraits
There’s much humour revealed in the characterisations and the cultural differences. Shekar finds his relatives don’t understand his references to what, to him, is quintessential Sri Lanka: Dilmah tea. Yet the strength of the story lies in the poignant situation of the few still present in the place following the devastation. [more]

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

BEN FAGAN: UNDER THE TABLE at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Candice Lewis 1 Jul 2015
Vulnerability and a good dose of earnestness
From the moment he whistles ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ in order to impress a girl (woman/female/womyn) the tone of this performance really picks up. I’m in. I’m present for this now. [more]

ORANGUTAN at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Nik Smythe 30 Jun 2015
Captivating wordless character study deserves to be ‘heard’ worldwide
By no means a super-realistic depiction, particularly given her white shirt and black pants, the curiosity and contemplation evoked by the mask and her superb expressive characterisation, effectively transport us into its world. [more]

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

THE BOOKBINDER at Baycourt X-Space, Tauranga
reviewed by Gin Mabey 30 Jun 2015
Fresh and simple show uplifts and inspires
Ralph introduces the scene and the characters as a book binding shop, a veteran book binder, and his delightfully Kiwi-accented apprentice. Ralph switches from character to character with wonderful skill using body, voice and accent. [more]

See also reviews by:
 John Smythe
 Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] (The Dominion Post);
 Terry MacTavish
 Melanie Stewart
 Ross MacLeod
 Caroline Harker

reviewed by Geoff Allen 30 Jun 2015
Risky and challenging
Stoppard’s play is a must see for any lover of theatre. It’s not a traditional beginning, middle and end story ... Life and death and what does it all mean. To be or not to be, and if you be… what should you be and how… and what direction should you take, and where is east anyway? [more]

PUNK ROCK at Fortune Theatre, Dunedin
reviewed by Terry MacTavish 28 Jun 2015
A chance to understand them: so beautiful, so evil, so vulnerable
Gut-wrenching, gob-smacking, mind-blowing – Punk Rock, the latest in the Fortune’s great True Grit series, is altogether visceral theatre. How could it be other, when it authentically delves into that thrilling and dangerous time we call adolescence? When body and brain send crazily confused but utterly compelling commands that must be acted on without thought? [more]

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

Photo by Michael Smith
RUPERT at Q Theatre, 305 Queen St, Auckland
reviewed by Nik Smythe 28 Jun 2015
The razzle dazzle of media hegemony
McColl’s adroit direction provides optimum clarity within a wholly complex and relentlessly forward-moving tale. The excellent ensemble cast comes to the party with myriad mostly exaggerated depictions of the people that played critical roles in the eponymous anti-hero’s journey from 50s Marxist Oxford slacker to modern day freemarket tycoon. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Sharu Delilkan and Tim Booth (TheatreScenes_The Auckland Theatre Blog);

Chat Back
"This kind of thing happens surprisingly often (or depressingly often if you're a playwright experiencing it). ..." - Phil Braithwaite   [read full comment]

"Thanks for the nice words, Mary – I’m glad you enjoyed it on the page! (and am totally deligh..." - Declan Greene   [read full comment]

"It is quite sad that the playwrights intentions can not be fulfilled. I wonder what the reasoning behind the c..." - Mary S   [read full comment]

"Hi Jan. Thank you for your thoughtful review of the play - really glad you enjoyed it. I just wanted to res..." - Declan Greene   [read full comment]

"NZ Herald: Cutting of nude scene riles playwright " - Editor   [read full comment]

"One of the worst dance performances we have ever been to. TERRIBLE!! Under rehearsed, wouldn't even call it co..." - Disappointed   [read full comment]

"It must also be noted that 2080 was workshopped in Auckland Theatre Company’s The Next Stage 2015 and ha..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"" - Dr Jonathan W Marshall   [read full comment]

"Rectifying the lack of credits; (the set came together very late). Poster ideas and copy by myself and Stephen..." - Jeremy Elwood   [read full comment]

"PS: I am delighted to add that this Hamlet wishes his too, too SOLID flesh would melt, thaw and dissolve ..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

" Wesley Enoch, Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company, has written an open letter to the Austral..." - Editor   [read full forum post]

"According to Eltham’s earlier article, “$104.8 million over four years has been ripped out of the ..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

26 Jun 2015 - CREATIVE NEW ZEALAND’S REVIEW OF THEATRE Have your say in Creative New Zealand’s review of theatre Creative New Zealand is inviting you to participate in our review of how we can best support and develop New Zealand theatre. Our review will discuss Creative New Zealand’s responsibility for theatre, the key roles we fund through our multi-year investment programme Toi Tōtara Haemata (Arts Leadership) and how we prioritise our other funding programmes, initiatives and special opportunities.   [more]

26 Jun 2015 - MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER – Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School is New Zealand’s leading specialist tertiary education provider for the performing arts. We are looking for a talented marketing and communications practitioner to help us grow the school in an increasingly competitive environment. The main focus for the successful candidate will be on student recruitment – growing the number of enquiries the school receives as well as the number of applications and ensuring that every course is over-subscribed.   [more]

23 Jun 2015 - DUNEDIN FRINGE SEEKS ADMINISTRATOR The Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust is looking for an administrator to assist with the running of the Trust and its projects. The Trust produces several annual events including the Dunedin Fringe Festival and the NZ Young Writers Festival. The successful candidate will have an interest in the arts, experience with keeping accounts, have an eye for detail and be comfortable working with a small and passionate team. The position is 20 hours per week ongoing. The position begins Monday 27 July 2015 (negotiable), ideally with some hand-over the week prior.   [more]

4 Jun 2015 - YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS SHARE TOP HONOURS Auckland playwright Nathan Joe and Wellington playwright Cassandra Tse shared top honours in the Playwrights b4 25 competition, announced at a function at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre on Thursday 4 June 2015. The competition, run by Playmarket, recognises the best new writing for the stage by writers under the age of 25.   [more]

2 Jun 2015 - SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE ON SCREEN – 2015 Shakespeare is alive and well and living in the 21st Century in New Zealand with a myriad of local live productions and a veritable feast of “live theatre on screen” from Shakespeare’s Globe On Screen (SGOS) 2015.   [more]

28 May 2015 - The Performance Arcade announces its open call to artists from New Zealand and around the world for its 2016 programme of works, which opens to the New Zealand public on Wellington Waterfront, March 2-6, 2016.   [more]

25 May 2015 - The Theatre NOW Project: New Work Generator Why don’t we make theatre about _________? The Theatre Now Project will facilitate an ongoing, long-term group of theatre writers, actors and directors interested in generating and developing new work to respond to the issues of NOW.   [more]

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]