New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

New Zealand professional theatre & dance: reviews, news and your views
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The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2014: Nominees [more]

Milestones to be Honoured at Theatre Awards Nationwide

Centrepoint: 40 years of professional theatre in the Manawatu [more]

Stage Manager, THE COURT THEATRE Christchurch, apply by 24/11 [more]
Adam NZ Play Award 2015, submit by 1/12 [more]
CALLS FOR PROPOSALS FOR TE MANU KA TAU 2015 Showcases by 1/12 [more]

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
HOU (2014) at Shed 1, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland
reviewed by Kerry-Ann Stanton 25 Nov 2014
An atmosphere of give and take
This one off show, as part of Southside Arts Festival - Urbanesia, nurtures talent and provides opportunities for upcoming Maori choreographers and foster the development of new work in the community. And along the way Jack Gray, Bianca Hyslop and Kelly Garnham Nash bring us with them. We are welcomed, as always by Atamira, grounded in the moment and ready for the performance. The shed at Corban’s Estate Arts Centre (CEAC) is buzzing with a good gathering of Atamira whanau and friends. The vibe is willing and friendly as we stack one upon the other up the bleachers [more]

EMBODY at Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington
reviewed by Sam Trubridge 24 Nov 2014
Committed, well-conceived, generously gifted dance works
It is a fantastic evening of committed and well conceived dance works. The informality of the presentation is somewhat distracting, with dancers scurrying back and forth to prepare each new presentation. But it is a programme with great spirit. The short introduction that the artists make before the programme begins communicates some of the intentions behind their works, and is also a nice way of framing this casual relationship: inviting us into the artists' works, their concepts, and their negotiation of the work live on stage. On top of this 'embodied' nature, the trio of works all share a kind of generosity - between performers on stage, and with the audience. [more]

DEAD TRAGIC at Circa Two, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 24 Nov 2014
Bound to make you feel better about your own lot in life
As the two dozen-strong playlist rolls out – displayed in two halves like juke-box selection charts – it’s surprising to realise how familiar the often long-forgotten songs, and even ones we’ve never heard, are. We’ve hummed along with those tunes so many times … Even more startling is the darkness of the pop-tuned lyrics ... [more]

See also reviews by:
 John Ross

ONE MAN TWO GUVNORS at Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch
reviewed by Lindsay Clark 23 Nov 2014
Promises a season of pure joy
It is a considerable coup for The Court to be staging this delectable comedy only three years after its hugely popular staging in London and even less time since it was acclaimed in New York. To assemble the talent and teamwork critical for tackling the adapted eighteenth century hit deserves further respect, for its complexity demands serious creative application from all involved. [more]

THE UNDERARM at 4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth
reviewed by Holly Shanahan 22 Nov 2014
A ball-busting comedic night out for everyone
There are wonderfully funny moments throughout this play (jokes I even wrote down to take home and tell friends!) and the fact that the men are the rowdiest of the bunch in the audience reflects how much appeal this play has to a general audience. We all know and ‘love’ this story and it is great to see it engage people in theatre. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Maryanne Cathro
 Jo Hills (Taranaki Daily News);

WATCH at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 22 Nov 2014
BATS flies home into tangled webs
First, the splendiferous venue: old BATS reconstructed, renovated and rejuvenated; ‘BATS to the Future’, as one wit has put it. Architecturally she may be seen as the sophisticated but still precocious live-theatre love-child of Art-Deco cinemas the Embassy, just up the road, and the Roxy in Miramar, whence hail her generous fairy godparents (or star parents, if you prefer). [more]

reviewed by John Smythe 21 Nov 2014
Comedy, tragedy, anguish and joy amid too many inaccuracies
If you absorb Forty Years of Centrepoint Theatre: The History According to Hawes in a couple of sittings, reading fast, you will get a rich and juicy impression of the Centrepoint journey through its first four decades. Peter Hawes’ jocular prose makes for a jaunty read. [more]

MAMMA MIA! at St James Theatre, Wellington
reviewed by Jo Hodgson 21 Nov 2014
Laugh-till-you-cry / cry-till-you-laugh again
No matter which era you are from, you have no doubt encountered an ABBA song or two. The Swedish pop group firmly established themselves as one of the most popular groups in the world in 1976. Subsequent generations who missed the initial craze have been brought into the fan fold through the stage musical which premiered in 1999 and the blockbuster movie first screened in 2008. Based on this history it is no wonder the audience is buzzing with excitement prior to curtain-up and claps excitedly as the beautifully realistic and picturesque Greek Island taverna set is revealed. [more]

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

2014 NZ SCHOOL OF DANCE GRADUATION SEASON at Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington
reviewed by Jillian Davey 20 Nov 2014
A crop of great talents
We’re treated to a relatively rare appearance of sections of a Douglas Wright piece, “rapt” .... The programme tells us that “the dance language…is loosely based on the Lord’s Prayer as signed by the deaf”. Loosely indeed. It’s far from literal, but a story is definitely told. It incorporates all the devotion, and all the madness, of a religious experience. It’s fast and furious but the movement is so well executed that we seem to have all the time in the world to register and appreciate it as if it were gentle and delicate. It’s one of the best performances I’ve seen from the contemporary students of NZSD. [more]

FALLING AND OTHER SHORT PLAYS at A bookshop near you,
reviewed by Robert Gilbert 19 Nov 2014
Sharp, witty, and profound
FALLING and other short plays is a collection of 14 brilliantly penned ten-minute masterpieces. In each one, Angie manages to explore epic themes, complex characters, razor-sharp dialogue, and a unique sense of rhythm. Multi-layered characters cleverly voice each play. [more]

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Regent Theatre (Dunedin), Dunedin
reviewed by Hannah Molloy 16 Nov 2014
Exuberant and joyous dancing
The audience was full of children and it was charming to hear their people explaining what was happening, and the little cries of excitement, wonder, and occasionally a whimper of fear in the eerie parts. I think the highlight for me was the tiny guy in front of us who leaped to his little feet clapping and bouncing at the end – I put the two curtain calls down to his infectious enthusiasm for what he had seen. (Sometimes it takes a little unfettered joy to shake a Dunedin audience out of its complaisance.) [more]

See also reviews by:
 Lyne Pringle
 Sheree and Angel Bright

LADIES NIGHT at Fortune Theatre, Dunedin
reviewed by Terry MacTavish 16 Nov 2014
Audience response verges on ecstatic
As soon as the stage lights go up, the chiefly female audience is in full cry. It is positively terrifying but no doubt about it, these ladies are hot on the trail of a fantastic evening and the pursuit never lets up. [more]

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

Chat Back
"PERSONAL STATEMENT re CTTA 2014 Nominations   For the first time in 16 years of being on the Chapman Tri..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

"Or to make it really easy (and private), here is the link to the Survey Monkey option: https://www.surveymonke..." - Editor   [read full forum post]

"Best Pash: Bruce Hopkins and Hershal Herscher as Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre,  Jews Brothers Bloomsday Be..." - Steve Dedalus   [read full forum post]

"You've seen the shows, you've read the reviews, now you can make your opinion count... Deadline: 5pm Thursda..." - Rachel Forman   [read full forum post]

"You should have seen the production from Blenheim Reportory... director ..Pam logan...Cast wonderful........An..." - Michele Devereux-Austin   [read full comment]

"This link to the Toi Whakaari FB page:" - Editor   [read full forum post]

"This tribute compiled by Robbie's friend Raj:" - Editor   [read full forum post]

"Robert Tripe 1973-2014   Equity New Zealand is very sad to announce the death of actor Robert Tripe.&nbs..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

"ATTENTION: Our show on Saturday 8 November will begin an hour earlier than usual to avoid the hooliganism of f..." - The Bacchanals   [read full comment]

"So glad you had a good time :) I would just like to state for the record that absolutely no audience plants we..." - Jennifer O'Sullivan   [read full comment]

"A minor correction: I was in the aerobics love triangle scene, but the set up was by Laura Irish :) " - Jennifer O'Sullivan   [read full comment]

"I am pleased that the critics of my review connected more with this production of Anne Boleyn than I did,..." - Richard Howard Reviewer   [read full comment]

26 Nov 2014 - The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2014 A Grand Celebration of Wellington Professional Theatre. Sunday 14 December, 7pm Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place Chapman Tripp are proud to present their annual ceremony in honour of theatrical excellence and creativity – The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, 7pm Sunday 14th December at Paramount Theatre.   [more]

24 Nov 2014 - POLITICAL SHENNANIGANS, ECOLOGICAL TERRORISM AND TWITCHY FAIRYTALES LEAD TO AWARD FOR WELLINGTON PLAYWRIGHT The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. The $10,000 cash prize recognises early success in the career of the winning playwright and is designed to encourage their continued exploration of the theatre medium. Ralph graduated from Victoria University with a BA (Honours) First Class in Theatre and English Literature before going on to train at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the UK.   [more]

19 Nov 2014 - MILESTONES TO BE HONOURED AT THEATRE AWARDS NATIONWIDE At this year’s theatre awards ceremonies and end-of-year celebrations a new nationwide initiative – The New Zealand Theatre Service Honours – will be launched. Practitioners who have reached milestone achievements by participating in 25, 50 or 100 professional shows are eligible to receive the honours. These honours will be presented annually at the regional theatre awards and end of year celebrations. Much like a rugby capping ceremony the purpose of the awards is to celebrate commitment and longevity.   [more]

17 Nov 2014 - Calls for proposals for Te Manu Ka Tau 2015 Showcases Deadline: Monday 1 December 2014 Creative New Zealand in association with the Auckland Arts Festival is calling for proposals from theatre, dance, music and cross artform companies and artists to showcase work for international presenters.   [more]

9 Nov 2014 - THE AUCKLAND THEATRE AWARDS INTRODUCE MAJOR NEW DISTINCTIONS FOR 2014. Launching a new initiative, the Auckland Theatre Awards (ATA) will grant a selection of up to ten formally judged ‘Excellence Awards’. Having been chosen by a panel of 6 professionals these awards will celebrate a range of disciplines, and be for both individuals and groups.   [more]

5 Nov 2014 - ROBERT TRIPE From Rob's brother Will: Please share the following far and wide, we would love to see as many of you who can make it there on Saturday – it will be a wonderful party for an amazing brother!   [more]

4 Nov 2014 - ADAM NZ PLAY AWARD 2015 Submissions are open for the Adam NZ Play Award 2015. Awards are given in the following categories: * Best Play * Best Play by a Maori Playwright * Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright * Best Play by a Woman Playwright   [more]

4 Nov 2014 - 2014 WESTPAC NEW ZEALAND ARTS AWARDS RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED Following a ceremony at SkyCity Theatre this evening, the Arts Foundation of New Zealand has announced the 2014 recipients of their Laureate and New Generation Awards, the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency and Award for Patronage donations, including over half a million dollars in cash donations. Tonight’s Westpac New Zealand Arts Awards ceremony marks over $4.8million in philanthropic donations made to 167 New Zealand artists since the Foundation’s inception.   [more]