New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

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ELIZABETH O’CONNOR 1956-2014 [more]
Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School Auckland visit
4-8/8 [more
CNZ To Invest In National Touring
Open Letter from The Clitlective

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Donate to TheatreviewStep up for THEATREVIEW – [more]

Feedback Requested to Auck’s Draft Arts & Culture Strategic Action Plan by 4pm 24/07 [more]
THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE 2015, Artist Forum 27/7; submit by 1/8 [more]
Playmarket: Plays For The Young, submit by 31/7
Summer Shakespeare Wellington 2015 seeks Marketing and Publicity Manager, apply by 1/8 [more]
FLY BATS HOME update + fundraising deadline 1 August [more]
ATC: The Next Stage Festival of New Work, submit by 4/8 [more]    
SILO: WORKING TITLES 2015, submit by 20/8 [more]

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
SISTER ANZAC at Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, 64 King Edward Parade, Devonport, Auckland
reviewed by Johnny Givins 24 Jul 2014
Remarkable ‘herstory’
A unique window on our history opens up with Geoff Allen’s Sister ANZAC. It tells the story of the remarkable women who were the NZ nurses at Anzac Cove in WW1. However it also provides dramatic, human and emotionally satisfying characters that become living history. [more]

DUST PALACE: WITH A STRANGER at Theatre Royal, Nelson
reviewed by Gail Tresidder 23 Jul 2014
Amazing – but why keep so much secret?
A programme, a programme, my kingdom for a programme – please, Dust Palace, allow for those amongst the audience who wish to know the names of the cast, what the music was and some hint towards what is doubtless a deep and meaningful evocation of life, love and the whole darn thing! [more]

See also reviews by:
 Sharu Delilkan (TheatreScenes - the Auckland Theatre Blog);

Photo by Stephen A'Court
A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE at Circa One, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 21 Jul 2014
The corrosive effects of passions denied
Everything depends on our being convinced that Eddie Carbone is a hard-working loving husband and uncle – truly loved by his wife and niece – whose inability to acknowledge and understand the passions that curdle his guts, let alone take responsibility for them, set the course for the tragic outcome. Gavin Rutherford embodies the role utterly in a profoundly complex and riveting performance. [more]

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

PŪTŌRINO HILL at Q Theatre, 305 Queen St, Auckland
reviewed by Lexie Matheson 20 Jul 2014
A profound work of considerable theatrical dexterity
Te Kohe Tuhaka’s excellent production of Chris Malloy’s stunning new play Pūtōrino Hill further enriches the legacy of Taki Rua and provides us with a magnificent example of what a top quality theatre experience should be. From the moment we enter the Q Theatre Loft to the instant I nick five grapes from the table of kai in the foyer before descending the stairs to a freezing Queen Street, I am in another world, a world of mystery, enigma, anger and enchantment. [more]

See also reviews by:
 John Smythe
 Ewen Coleman (The Dominion Post);
 James Wenley (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);
 Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald);

ACHE at Court Theatre Pub Charity Studio, Christchurch
reviewed by Lindsay Clark 20 Jul 2014
Style and a dash of vinegar to relish
It is no surprise to read that this neatly crafted romantic comedy won the 2012 Pumphouse Theatre Award for an Auckland playwright in its fledgling stage, before the workshopping and public reading processes which brought it to the current premier production. Its roots are in middle class contemporary urban culture, where bright young professionals can get away with indecision and 'malaise' before the realities of life put the nips in. [more]

YE JO HAI ZINDAGI – AN INVISIBLE LOVE at Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland LIVE, Auckland
reviewed by Rahul Gandhi 20 Jul 2014
Pioneering with well deserved pride
The festive spirit is palpable as a community gathers around the Herald theatre in Aotea Square, weathering a cold and wet night in stark contrast to their spirits, which aren’t dampened in the least. Familiar faces beam at each other, obviously excited of staging a show in their vernacular tongue. [more]

WASH YOUR MOUTH OUT at Westpoint Performing Arts Centre, Auckland
reviewed by Bronwyn Elsmore 20 Jul 2014
A little more flossing and rinsing required?
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Arthur. Arthur who? Arthur jokes likely to be funny if there’s no crudity? That’s what I’ve come to find out. The debut show of Wash Your Mouth Out bills itself as a night of stand-up comedy focussing entirely on clean humour ... [more]

Photo by Stephen A'Court
UNCLE MINOTAUR at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 19 Jul 2014
Highly imaginative and thought-provoking
As you may expect from the title, there is more epic struggle afoot (as with Second Afterlife) in Dan Bain’s Uncle Minotaur, directed by Sara Brodie. As with Our Parents’ Children, the ‘lost child’ / young adult is female – Greta (Isabella Woods) – but this time it is her father who has left home and her Mother (Ruby Kemp) who is lost in cyberspace. [more]

Photo by Stephen A'Court
SECOND AFTERLIFE at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 19 Jul 2014
Insight, wit and wisdom plus plenty to ponder
Ralph McCubbin Howell cements his status as one of NZ’s best young playwrights with Second Afterlife and director Kerryn Palmer, her designers and crew, and her exemplary cast of six do him proud. [more]

Photo by Stephen A'Court
OUR PARENTS’ CHILDREN at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 19 Jul 2014
The good bits are excellent
Alex Lodge’s Sci-fi ‘gothic fairytale’, Our Parents’ Children, set in the very near future, pairs Mary (Angel Faifai) with her Skype-buddy Joe (Kelly Moen) from the USA’s Bible Belt. Whereas under-parented Mary’s mother has left and her workaholic father, John (Owen Baxendale) only comes home to slug a whisky and take to his study, over-parented Joe has been brought up in a crushingly Christian community. [more]

KISS THE FISH at Municipal Theatre, Napier
reviewed by Karen Beaumont 19 Jul 2014
“Great fun,” “entertaining,” “clever” are just some of the comments to be heard on leaving the theatre. The audience are abuzz, having thanked the performers with enthusiastic applause, foot stomping and a few standing ovations. While I can agree with many of these sentiments, there are elements of the performance that, for me, are not quite so “cool.” [more]

See also reviews by:
 Mark Houlahan
 Nik Smythe
 Sharu Delilkan (TheatreScenes - the Auckland Theatre Blog);
 Paul Simei-Barton (New Zealand Herald);
 Simon Wilson (Metro Arts);
 John Smythe
 Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post);
 Gail Tresidder

BORN BEFORE ’74 at Gryphon, Wellington
reviewed by Jo Hodgson 19 Jul 2014
Short and sweet nostalgic cabaret
Born before 74 endeavours to capture the spirit of the music and life of the (mostly) 60s and 70s. The show is made up of amusing pastiches from these eras delivered by glitzy Constance Craving. Emma Kinane comically supports her with witty repartee of facts for our age groups ... [more]

Chat Back
"This production does everything it should with real flair.  I am particularly impressed with the way the ..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"Thanks Dan, fixed now - and my apology for not picking it up at the time." - Editor   [read full comment]

"Thanks for a lovely review. Important to note that the grandma in this season is played by Hamish Parkinson, n..." - Dan Bain   [read full comment]

"This is a very clear rendition of OTHELLO. I discover things I haven’t realised before and some of the i..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment Candice, I really do appreciate it and the points that you..." - Christopher Stratton   [read full comment]

"Hi Christopher, I also wondered about these portrayals. I deliberately didn't say too much about much of the d..." - Candice Lewis   [read full comment]

"I was highly offended by this show, specifically the portrayal of mental illness. As the reviewer states, ther..." - Christopher Stratton   [read full comment]

"Corin Havers also writes, “I remember a time when reviews were written for the audience, not researchers..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

""He could actively seek out and nurture the brave, risky critics instead of driving them away," writes Corin H..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

"As one of the reviewers who may or may not be included in the critique offered above, I want to commend the pe..." - Dr Jonathan W Marshall   [read full forum post]

"What, are you still here?" - nik smythe   [read full forum post]

"Matt Baker asks ‘Why was the complaint "that too many Theatreview reviews were too glowing and not criti..." - Corin Havers   [read full forum post]

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]

17 Jul 2014 - SUMMER SHAKESPEARE WELLINGTON 2015 SEEKS STAGE MANAGER SUMMER SHAKESPEARE (Wellington) 2015: Timon of Athens   [more]

16 Jul 2014 - FEEDBACK REQUESTED TO AUCKLAND COUNCIL’S DRAFT ARTS & CULTURE STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN by 4pm 24/07 Auckland Council published the Draft Arts & Culture Strategic Action Plan (ACSAP) on Monday 22 June and has invited written feedback and input on the Draft Plan. Submissions close at 4pm Thursday 24 July. A copy of the summary of the Draft Plan is available online here – and printed copies are now at libraries and Local Board offices across Auckland.   [more]

14 Jul 2014 - Te Kura Toi Whakaari o Aotearoa New Zealand Drama School We're hitting the Auckland! Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School is heading up to the 'big smoke' this August! We'll be getting in touch with individual schools very shortly, if you'd like us to visit your school feel free to get in touch with us as well ...   [more]

8 Jul 2014 - SILO: WORKING TITLES 2015 A development programme for female writers. WORKING TITLES has been part of Silo Theatre's development arm since 2012. In 2015, they are looking to create a development opportunity specifically for female theatre makers.   [more]

8 Jul 2014 - ATC: THE NEXT STAGE FESTIVAL OF NEW WORK Auckland Theatre Company's Literary Unit is calling for submissions of full-length plays (either original works or adaptations) for its annual national festival of new work, The Next Stage.   [more]