New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

New Zealand professional theatre & dance: reviews, news and your views
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Adam NZ Play Award 2015 Winners Announced [more]
Auckland Fringe Awards 2015

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HUMOROUS ARTS TRUST (Wellington) seeks PART TIME ADMINISTRATOR, apply by 31/3 [more]
PLAYWRIGHTS b4 25, submit by 1/4

PANZ 10 Minute PLAY COMPETITION 2015, submit by 30/04 [more

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
BBEALS at Opera House, Wellington
reviewed by Chris Jannides 30 Mar 2015
There is much in this show that the audience enjoys immensely. It is clear people want a laugh from the get-go. So these happiness wishes are well catered to. Water splashes on us from some hidden source, titillating us as the house lights dim. Dialogue made up of well-known lines from pop songs receives a joyous response. A cacophony of animal impersonations provokes much merriment. A small female dancer looking helplessly up at the microphone on a stand that is too high for her - more giggles. We all love humour in dance. The audience welcomes the laughs, and laughs as often as it can. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Georgia Davenport
 Hahna Briggs (DANZ Magazine);
 Julia Harvie
 Sarah Knox

ALL YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS FULFILLED FOREVER at La Mama, Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St, NYC, USA
reviewed by Sarah Burrell 30 Mar 2015
Compelling evidence of The Playground Collective’s original vision
The Playground Collective’s latest creation, All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever, is not easily explained, which is part of what makes it such compelling viewing. It defies both definition and expectation. At the heart of the story is Simon, a young man living in Aro Valley recovering from the recent death of his father and dealing with his girlfriend moving overseas. But that is just one of the production’s many layers; if we step back a bit Simon’s story is just part a bigger narrative. [more]

See also reviews by:
 John Smythe
 Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] (The Dominion Post);

ROTUNDA 2015 AUSTRALASIAN TOUR at Air Force Museum, Christchurch
reviewed by Sheree Bright 29 Mar 2015
Very touching
As the mood changes, the brass band plays an old contemplative anthem. Gareth Okan goes upside down in a shoulder stand; it is a backwards and upside down world. He has lost his mind. Hannah Tasker-Poland tries desperately to bring him back to her. Forsythe's ‘line extrusion’ technique is used here to enhance the depth of meaning. When broken-hearted by the trauma of the loss of her beloved, she slowly, movingly draws out an imaginary line from her heart. Rotunda significantly and beautifully expresses the voices of the women of war, the uncertainty of separation, the unbearable worry, longing, loss and the optimistic determination of recovery. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Lyne Pringle
 Ann Hunt (Dominion Post);
 Ian Lochhead

GRAND OPENING at Opera House, Wellington
reviewed by Shannon Friday 29 Mar 2015
Engaging grumpy kids is doing something right
Grand Opening, an interactive show produced by Barbarian Productions, is basically a tour of the Opera House. Instead of seeing an empty space and being told about its history, we see artists and technicians at work. And we're encouraged to think not only about the space, but also about our guides, our partners in the tour and all the myriad people who work here ... [more]

Photo by Tabitha Arthur
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at Circa One, Wellington
reviewed by Jonathan Kingston-Smith and Pepe Becker 29 Mar 2015
A wild, funny and frivolous spectacle
There are, in fact, many mysteries in this tale of Edwin Drood and the cast of lechers, 'exotics', opium-dealers, Classical singers, clergymen and general miscreants that surround 'him'. Not least of all is the one intrinsic to the work itself. This musical is based upon Charles Dickens' final novel. Unfortunately Dickens did something really inconvenient for literary history before he set pen to paper on the final pages of this manuscript ... [more]

LET IT BE at Civic Theatre, Auckland
reviewed by Dione Joseph 27 Mar 2015
A Twist and Shout down memory lane
Team up some of the world’s best actors and musicians (including a left-handed guitar player) who have passing resemblances to the four youngsters from Liverpool, unearth some Beatlemania footage including swooning girls from Shea Stadium, intersperse these with some flower-power tunes, trippy graphics and advertisements for highly carcinogenic stimulants, and you have a facsimile of one of the world’s best bands providing hit after hit after hit for almost two solid hours. [more]

reviewed by Rosemary Martin 27 Mar 2015
Spanish escapism and fabulous dancing
The ballet is strongly based on the dynamics between the lead couple – Kitri and Basilio. Mayu Tanigaito as Kitri and Kohei Iwamoto as Basilio provide us with outstanding chemistry and virtuosic style. If there ever was a time for all the ‘flashy’ dance moves to come out – high extensions, flying jetes, lengthy balances, pirouettes in every which way – Don Quixote is it. Tanigaito and Iwamoto pull out all the stops. While there were a few moments in the act three grand pas de deux where things went ever so slightly astray they remained composed and a joy to watch. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Lyne Pringle
 Mona Williams (DANZ Magazine);
 Candice Egan and Mark Quigley
 Hannah Molloy
 Ann Hunt (Dominion Post);

Photo by Stephen A'Court
AN AWFULLY BIG ADVENTURE at Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland
reviewed by Vanessa Byrnes 25 Mar 2015
Theatrical clarity with flashes of brilliance
This fantastic show for kids and adults alike is a clever, funny, highly accessible piece of theatre that deserves to be seen far and wide. ... Using meta-theatrical, musical, symbolic, semi-Brechtian and other performance devices, the work centres on how to explain war and its effects to children. This is no mean feat, but it’s in the telling and playing that the real genius soars. [more]

See also reviews by:
 John Smythe
 Elle Wooton

BREAK UP [WE NEED TO TALK] at La Mama, La Galleria, 47 Great Jones St, NYC, USA
reviewed by Sarah Burrell 25 Mar 2015
Sincere, clever, utterly uncontrived journey to raw discomfort
The show charts the protracted fracturing of a couple, their subtle bickering and reliance on one another. Through their dialogue a picture begins to form. They are young, travelling to New York on holiday. They talk about what they might do that day in the overly familiar way of couples that have been together for possibly too long. [more]

See also reviews by:
 James McKinnon
 Dione Joseph
 Matt Baker (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

TINY DEATHS at BATS Theatre, The Propellor Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
reviewed by Charlotte Simmonds 25 Mar 2015
This show is important
I am not even eager to call it a feminist show. Certainly, we do spend 90 minutes listening to women speak uninterrupted by men, which almost passes the Bechdel test, but as the show consists solely of monologues with no dialogue, the Bechdel test cannot really be applied here. [more]

THE GOOD NEWS at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
reviewed by Jo Blick 25 Mar 2015
Seamless ensemble ring bells
Luckily there’s no group sing-a-long in The Good News and it’s only a religious show in that the subject matter is religion. The polo shirts are a red herring and the three energetic performers – Amy Griffin-Browne, Harriet Hughes and James Cain – take us through some rather bizarre and wonderful re-workings of bible stories, utilising a fine supporting cast of stuffed toys and some rather fetching false beards. [more]

Chat Back
"Thanks for your review Shannon.  A few things I'd like to add - Firstly Barbarian Productions would like ..." - Thomas LaHood   [read full comment]

"Tonight the first heat of Two Day Plays 2015 took place, with 4 new plays premiering at BATS Theatre, all of w..." - Dean Hewison   [read full forum post]

"hear, hear, Lyne.  Couldn't put my finger on it but agree that there was something lacking in this show w..." - Jo Hilder   [read full comment]

"Hi! Thanks for the review and for the lovely kind words!  Just to be clear I directed, designed and prod..." - Freya Desmarais   [read full comment]

"Kia ora Tania,Thank you very much for your review. A few points I wish to make in response to your review.1.&n..." - Emma Feather Shaw   [read full comment]

"I should add a caveat, however. There is an extended joke in the performance - concerning a 'bubbly' young wom..." - Jonathan Kingston-Smith   [read full comment]

"Please note: Paintball Corp has a NO ALCOHOL policy (which includes ‘pre-loading’) for the safety ..." - Editor   [read full comment]

"Agreed, a fantastic night out. Even the small audience was laughing itself silly, me included. In WELLINGTON! ..." - Maryanne Cathro   [read full comment]

"BLAIR PEACH. Blair Peach was murdered by the London police Special Patrol Group in April, 1979, at an anti-naz..." - Dean Parker   [read full forum post]

"Hi - thanks for the review. I just wanted to confirm we did in fact finish just a couple of minutes after 4, ..." - Lyndon Hood   [read full comment]

"Thank you Maria - corrected now." - Editor   [read full comment]

"Just FYI the actor is called Tayo Aluko." - Maria WILLIAMS   [read full comment]

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]

14 Mar 2015 - HUMOROUS ARTS TRUST (Wellington) SEEKS PART TIME ADMINISTRATOR The Humorous Arts Trust is a charitable trust helping grow and support the Wellington comedy community through workshops and regular gigs, including our open mic night Raw Meat Monday and the Wellington Raw Comedy Quest. We are bringing on board a part time administrator...   [more]

6 Mar 2015 - ADAM NZ PLAY AWARD 2015 The Adam NZ Play Award celebrates the best in new writing for the theatre. Playmarket is excited to announce the shortlisted plays and playwrights for 2015.   [more]

5 Mar 2015 - AUDITIONS IN CHRISTCHURCH FOR BOTH COURT THEATRE AND DUNEDIN’S FORTUNE THEATRE, 24 MARCH 2015 Auditions for The Court Theatre in Christchurch in conjunction with The Fortune Theatre from Dunedin will be happening at The Court Theatre on Tuesday 24 March 2015. Here's your chance to be seen by both companies. (The Fortune Theatre are also holding their own auditions on Wednesday 11 March, also in conjunction with The Court Theatre).   [more]

3 Mar 2015 - AUCKLAND FRINGE AWARDS CELEBRATE A CRACKER OF A SEASON. Running over a vibrant three weeks, Auckland Fringe and it’s participating companies and venues, have presented the city with a diverse programme of Theatre, Dance, Comedy and Music. Sadly it all came to a close on Sunday, and was celebrated at the highly anticipated 2015 Auckland Fringe Awards. Hosted by renowned taste-makers The Basement Theatre, the best of the high quality programme were recognized with awards hosted handsomely by Eli Mathewson and Hamish Parkinson.   [more]

2 Mar 2015 - BATS THEATRE LIMITED STAB 2015 Producer Fixed Term Contract POSITION DESCRIPTION POSITION PURPOSE The STAB commission is an integral part of the annual BATS Theatre programme. STAB originated in 1995 from BATS’ desire to initiate a commission that allowed theatre artists to experiment in a supportive environment. The STAB commission is funded by Creative New Zealand and commissioned by BATS, with BATS acting as the Executive Producer. The purpose of this position is to be the Wellington based producer for the project that has received the 2015 major STAB commission. This project is a collaboration between BATS, Long Cloud Youth Theatre and Canberra Youth Theatre.   [more]