New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory


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Letter from CNZ to Tōtara and Kahikatea Clients [more]  

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THE PLAY’S THE THING—EXPLORING HAMLET, Wellington, Saturdays from 23/5 to 6/6 [more]
The Theatre NOW Project: New Work Generator, Auckland, express interest by 4/6 [more]
THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE 2016 call for proposals, by 31/7 [more]



Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
THE BEST POSSIBLE ALBUM PARTY THAT ANYBODY HAS EVER BEEN TO at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Nik Smythe 27 May 2015
More than just hilarious stereotype humour and virtuoso musical parody
Childhood bffs-cum-hip-hop divas Donna Rose (Frith Horan in a close fitting short leopard-print dress and glam heels) and Karla (Kate McGill in a blue Adidas tracksuit and gold hi-top chucks) have just flown into Auckland on Jetstar First Class, to promote their debut album KRYSTOPIA. They are flanked by a handful of sassy young dancers ... [more]

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

WINGS at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 27 May 2015
Absorbingly dark
The great strength of Jess Sayer’s script, rich in character and contemporary dialogue, is that she throws up questions and makes us wait for answers, building tension in the process which allows for bursts of comic release as the whys and wherefores are drip-fed to great dramatic effect. [more]

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

SALUTE - REMEMBERING WORLD WAR at St James Theatre, Wellington
reviewed by Jan Bolwell (DANZ Magzine) 25 May 2015
Reminders of war and death
It is a joy to once again experience Jiři Kylián’s masterwork Soldier’s Mass, first performed by the RNZB in 1998. Set to a score by Bohuslav Martinů for a male choir, its context is the Second rather than the First World War. That matters not a jot, for this brilliant piece of choreography makes universal statements about war and ‘the pity of war’. The men dance as a choir, surging through the space in formations that constantly dissolve and then reintegrate. They sink into the ground into prayer positions, rise and lift each other, and then push upstage, often with their backs to the audience, always with a sense of internal and external motion that cannot be stilled. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Deirdre Tarrant
 Ann Hunt (The Dominion Post);
 Chris Jannides

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER THE MUSICAL at Queenstown Memorial Hall, Queenstown
reviewed by Tanya Surrey 25 May 2015
An entertaining night out
The show tells the story of Tony Manero, an Italian American living with his family in Brooklyn in 1976. He spends his weekends at the local discotheque revelling in the admiration he gets from the crowd for his dancing. [more]


THE MENAGERIE MAY 2015 at Fringe Bar, 26 Allen St, Wellington
reviewed by Thomas Aitken 24 May 2015
Diverse and eclectic
At the end of every month Wellington’s Fringe Bar becomes a singing, dancing and laughing hot house of good old fashioned burlesque. The Menagerie is masterminded by Rachel Rogue who brings together a freakishly eclectic mix of talented performers for a truly unique and raunchy variety show. [more]


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]

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

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);
 James Wenley (MetroMag online);
 Matt Baker (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

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);

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

"WHY NOBODY KNEW: BUDGET 2015 REVELATION  By Ben Eltham   ArtsHub [Australia]   The [Australia..." - Editor   [read full forum post]

"In Australia, the 22 May 2015 federal budget saw $105 million reduction in the Australia Council, resulting in..." - Raewyn Whyte   [read full forum post]

"NB In 1999, The Royal NZ Ballet female dancer Pieter Symonds was one of the performers comprising the necessar..." - Raewyn Whyte   [read full comment]

"Here is a link to Vote Arts, Culture and Heritage 2015   http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2015/estimate..." - 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]


News
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]

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]