New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

New Zealand professional theatre & dance: reviews, news and your views
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Season’s Greetings from Theatreview! [more]

The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2014: WINNERS & Nominees

The Auckland Theatre Awards 2014 nominations
Milestones Honoured at Theatre Awards Nationwide [more]  

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
MARY’S CHRISTMAS IN WELLINGTON at Newtown Community Centre, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 17 Dec 2014
Quietly insightful humour
For some reason I had assumed the Mary of the title would be a contemporary woman but it’s the biblical Mary, mother of Jesus, whose reimagined story is played out – amid a number of other scenarios – in Mary’s Christmas. The witty messing about with wacky anachronisms and character quirks presupposes there are still enough people in their audiences who know the traditional story. [more]

THE SANTA CLAUS SHOW 2014 at The Pumphouse, Takapuna, Auckland
reviewed by Joanna Page 13 Dec 2014
Finally, it’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas
After a rather trying week the thought of finishing work in time to get Masters Ten Months and Four to The Pumphouse in time for the Gala Performance of The Santa Claus Show had me feeling a tad humbugular. Not so the smalls, and the anticipation of seeing Santa was almost too much. [more]

MARY’S CHRISTMAS IN DUNEDIN at Playhouse Theatre, Dunedin
reviewed by Alison Embleton 12 Dec 2014
Creatively collaborative comedy
And they say women don’t make good comedians. If only ‘they’ had the chance to see Mary’s Christmas. A deftly crafted series of short sketches revolving around Christmas, the ladies of Discharge explore what the festive season means to all; from a new flatmate who’s never experienced Christmas to a parish pageant rendition of Die Hard: the pantomime. [more]

THE REVIEWERS at Level 2, Anvil House, 138-140 Wakefield Street, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 10 Dec 2014
Multiple rings of ‘reality’ ring false
The promo material calls it “shows within shows within shows” but actually The Reviewers plays fast and loose with shows without shows without shows … And by “without” I mean both standing outside and lacking, in this case rhyme or reason; without any internal logic to make it a cohesive show. [more]

DOGS at Level 2, Anvil House, 138-140 Wakefield Street, Wellington
reviewed by John Smythe 10 Dec 2014
Not enough
When you settle your audience in a restaurant setting without a ‘stage’ as such, the expectations and anticipation that usually attend the preshow moments diminish. Because the game ‘restaurant’ is being played – complete with waiters who welcome us, ply us with water and will serve real food – anything that breaks the restaurant convention is automatically unsettling and potentially entertaining. [more]

HAURAKI HORROR at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Dione Joseph 8 Dec 2014
Ridiculous romp encapsulates the silly season
When I was little I used to make my numerous Barbie dolls indulge in amorous lesbian affairs and cajole my one and only Ken to accept the responsibilities of polygamy and do endless acts of service (I’m talking cleaning the pool, kitchen and car, whatever you might be thinking) to keep his women accustomed to the life they were leading. However, having no brothers I don’t quite know what a lot of little boys were doing back then. But on Saturday night as I watched Tom (Sainsbury) and Chris (Parker) swordfight with an appropriate ectothermic animal ... [more]

See also reviews by:
 Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald);
 James Wenley (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

ROMEO AND JULIET at TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland
reviewed by Lexie Matheson 7 Dec 2014
Keeping it real, spontaneous and new
TAPAC* is the chosen venue for Young Auckland Shakespeare Company’s classy modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s social commentary disguised as tragic romance, Romeo and Juliet. Directors Paul Gittins and his prodigiously talented progeny Calum Gittins have wisely focused on a topical social equivalent and their 2014 production is as modern as tomorrow. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Paul Simei-Barton (New Zealand Herald);

BUS TICKET MOVING ON at Bus-bay outside the TSB Arena, 4 Queens Wharf, Wellington
reviewed by Deborah Eve Rea 7 Dec 2014
Best enjoyed with a friend
Most characters seek out private conversation with audience members, some more successfully actually engaging and listening to audience members while other performers are little distracted and fall into the trap of ‘talking at’ their chosen audience member. [more]

GRIMEY TIMES at Athenaeum Theatre Basement, Dunedin
reviewed by Jennifer Aitken 6 Dec 2014
Howells of laughter a joy
Grimey Times has a unique and intriguing narrative. They play follows millionaire children’s horror writer Morris Grimes as he confronts the demons from his past in order to embark upon the journey of writing his autobiography. Intercut throughout the narrative are scenes from a television adaptation of Grimes’ novels, Grimey Times; Howells’ establishes and then utilises this convention well. [more]

A VERY MERRY SCRIPTLESS 2014 at Court Theatre Pub Charity Studio, Christchurch
reviewed by Erin Harrington 6 Dec 2014
Comedic troops go over the top
It might be wartime, but by golly it’s still Christmas. This homage to World War One front line shows offers us, the assembled troops, some good keen British seasonal entertainment from the Ancillary Reserves Service Entertainment (ARSE) Brigade, as directed by Dan Bain... [more]

DO NOT TOUCH THE EXHIBITION at Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave, Christchurch
reviewed by Erin Harrington 6 Dec 2014
Commitment, passion and vulnerability is fresh and exciting
After the show we have the opportunity to talk to the performers, and their questions and comments about their own work reinforces how robust, intelligent and rewarding the devising process has been for them. It also highlights that they are interested in theatre as practice and process, not just as an opportunity to perform. [more]

YOUNG GUNS COMEDY SHOWCASE at San Francisco Bathhouse, 171 Cuba St, Wellington
reviewed by Phoebe Smith 5 Dec 2014
Continuous peals of laughter
The Humorous Arts Trust’s Young Guns Comedy Showcase draws a large crowd at the San Fran (San Francisco Bathhouse) on Thursday night. The show features eight young comedians who are billed as ‘the cream of the crop’ from the more than 50 first-time performers at Raw Meat Mondays in 2014. [more]

Chat Back
"Because the two aren't mutually exclusive 😎" - nell williams   [read full comment]

"Hi Nell. My reviews are ALWAYS my own subjective viewpoint, articulated – I hope – in a way that i..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"(Premature post submit!) This is useful to hear from someone who sees a lot of theatre and is able to write s..." - nell williams   [read full comment]

"Funny that John should mention consideration of those who don't usually go to the theatre and what they might ..." - nell williams   [read full comment]

"Hi Sherilee I certainly agree that part of the point of undertaking a course of fulltime study is to reach be..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"Kia ora, Tristan! Thank you for sharing. Genuinely, this is an incredibly generous offer. I think that to res..." - Sherilee Kahui   [read full comment]

"Here's a link to my attempt at a review" - Tristan Rodway   [read full comment]

"Kia ora everyone! I am the Director of The Reviewers and am henceforth engaging. I will start by saying that ..." - Sherilee Kahui   [read full comment]

"Fair enough Emma but the efficacy of risk-taking and discovery though failure is not supported unless someone ..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"While I agree that an understanding of the principles dramaturgy is pivotally important for theatre students, ..." - Emma Willis   [read full comment]

"I too would welcome the engagement of the theatre makers in question. And may I point out once more I am not s..." - John Smythe   [read full comment]

"I don't think the directors you speak of are throwing away two years of skill building. Maybe they are working..." - Eleanor Bishop   [read full comment]

18 Dec 2014 - SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM THEATREVIEW! The year is almost over ... so it’s time to thank you all whole heartedly for your interest in and contributions to Theatreview this year. Over 2014 we will have published 663 reviews of 608 theatre productions. Dance reviews take our total to 813 reviews of 719 shows. And including the reviews we link to in other publications, Theatreview will have published 1,082 performing arts reviews in 2014.   [more]

16 Dec 2014 - AWARD WINNERS FOR 2014 DUNEDIN THEATRE AWARDS (Name of nominee/“Name of Production”/production company or group). Winners are in bold type.   [more]

14 Dec 2014 - THE CHAPMAN TRIPP THEATRE AWARDS 2014: WINNERS and NOMINEES An Evening Celebrating Community and Theatrical Excellence! Another fantastic year of the Cultural Capital’s theatrical excellence was celebrated last night, (Sunday 14 December), at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards in Paramount Theatre. After a tumultuous year full of heavy loss for the community, these Awards were a reflection of the importance to support each other through the good and bad times. “We are a community and this is not a competition. It’s a quest” – a statement that perfectly encapsulated the tone of the evening from Simon Haren (winner of Most Original Production with Isobel McKinnon – Dinner with Izzy & Simon).   [more]

9 Dec 2014 - CIRCA THEATRE SEEKS MARKETING AND AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Circa Theatre, Wellington: Work With Us Marketing and Audience Development Manager Job Description Full time, Contract Position (Start date: February 2015) This role provides an exciting opportunity for an individual with a background in marketing, arts administration and audience development to join the staff of Wellington’s leading professional theatre. The Marketing and Audience Development Manager reports to the Circa Council and is accountable for the effective creation and implementation of marketing and audience development strategies.   [more]

1 Dec 2014 - Auckland Theatre Awards winners 2014 TOP ACCOLADES HANDED OUT TO AUCKLAND’S THEATRE COMMUNITY The Auckland Theatre Awards celebrated their 6th anniversary last night with the introduction of formally judged Excellence Awards. The first time such awards have been given out in Auckland. The awards were decided on by a panel of 6 judges who were kept secret until the event last night. The judging panel for 2014 were; theatre maker Marie Adams, actor and director Rachel House, playwright Sam Brooks, actor and theatre manager Sam Snedden, festival director Carla von Zon and theatre administrator/lover Gilli Sutton.   [more]

1 Dec 2014 - THE AUCKLAND THEATRE AWARDS 2014 nominations The People's Choice awards received over 200 nominations this year... and here are our lucky nominees....come along on Monday to find out who the winners are!   [more]

28 Nov 2014 - CAPITAL E ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION OF STEPHEN BLACKBURN Capital E announced today that Stephen Blackburn has resigned after more than ten years with the organisation, most recently as their National Theatre for Children’s Creative Producer. Speaking today of Mr Blackburn’s decision, Capital E Director, Stuart Grant said “we are very sad to be saying goodbye to our friend and colleague as he embarks on this new chapter. During his time at Capital E Stephen’s passion and commitment to providing unforgettable theatrical experiences to young New Zealand audiences has revolutionised the industry’s attitude towards theatre for children.”   [more]

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]