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THE MALL at Allen Hall Theatre, University of Otago
reviewed by Alison Embleton 24 Oct 2014
The comedy and horror of consumerism, commercialism and violence
The main storyline follows Dean, a depressed and increasingly unstable chain cinema employee who works in the titular mall. Dean shares his inner thoughts and daily grind with the audience through diary entries. Frustrated by his lack of purpose and inability to motivate himself beyond basic tasks his story grows and morphs from mundane and bitterly comedic to utterly horrifying. [more]

OUT OF THE BOX HIP HOP SHOWCASE (2014) at Q Theatre, Rangatira
reviewed by Kerry Wallis 24 Oct 2014
Way beyond the norm for hip hop
‘Influencing Development’, choreographed by Joshua Cesan is a personal favourite of mine. Four dancers starting in a spotlight, one moves forward and is instantly manipulated by the other three dancers as if on a mechanical production line. A bigger group of male performers joins them and the production line becomes 12 strong. Cesan moves naturally down the line while being manipulated by all the performers. When the line repeats, one by one, the rest of the production line falls behind and they all use mechanical sounds to replicate the machinery. An absorbing beginning to change formation. The idea of influence continues well throughout the work and there are arrays of contrasting movements, which are appealing to the eye. [more]

SPIEGELWORLD EMPIRE at Horncastle Hub at Horncastle Arena, Addington
reviewed by Matt Powell 24 Oct 2014
Sexy, sumptuous, spectacular
From the minute we walk into the beautifully appointed Spiegeltent, the performers are all around us, between us, and on top of us, inviting us to play with them as they dance, juggle, take selfies, and suggestively peel carrots. They are testing the boundaries of a fresh audience, yes, but also blurring the line between the show as rehearsed, and the instance of its performance. The stage itself is tiny, but we are drawn into it. [more]

Nelson Arts Festival 2014
THE ROAD THAT WASN'T THERE at Suter Theatre
reviewed by Adrienne Matthews 23 Oct 2014
Multiple talents delight
Essentially this is a tale about following a dream. Maggie, played by Elle Wootton, is thought of by the local community as being demented. She is variously called a “cartographic criminal” and “typographic terrorist” due to her habit of stealing maps from everywhere she can, including books in the local library, but we soon realise that all she is trying to do is find again a map of long ago that showed a paper road. [more]

PERFECT PLACE at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Matt Baker (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog) 23 Oct 2014
Icarian Heights
While there are no new stories under the sun, Colin Garlick's complete lack of an attempt to re-imagine, or at the very least thinly veil, one iota of the stories he has haphazardly drafted onto the page is frankly insulting, with the "stranger in a new world" stumbling over the "freedom of choice" tied together with a borderline plagiarised Tyler Durden-Mark Renton monologue. [more]

HELA at Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St
reviewed by Sharu Delilkan (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog) 23 Oct 2014
Clever, Compassionate and Concise
It appears as if the play has already begun as we file into Q’s Loft space. Solo actress Adura Onashile busily writes on the blackboard with her back facing us and occasionally turns around to mouth words to her ‘other actors’ on stage. Before long you find yourself sucked into Henrietta Lacks’ world, retold with absolute clarity and compassion by the astute and talented Onashile. [more]

I’LL BE FINE at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post) 23 Oct 2014
Like Woody Allen on speed
No one in a play or movie who goes on a road trip ever goes for the hell of it; there’s always an important discovery to be made, not about the trip but about the trip through life so far. Ben Wilson dives head first into these well chartered waters in his first two-hander play with a couple of mates, Jude and Brian, leaving behind their misspent youthful lives in the fleshpots of Courtenay Place. [more]

Nelson Arts Festival 2014
BACK OF THE BUS at Founders Heritage Park
reviewed by Janet Whittington 23 Oct 2014
Inspired and inspiring bus ride performance
This performance is truly unique. Almost every patron is included in the performance at some stage, so is not for the faint hearted or the professional by-stander in life. The effect is very energising, most patrons chatting animatedly to new friends and strangers as the exited the bus. I see a growing audience for this calibre of interactive dance. [more]

THE STATUS OF BEING at 4th Wall Theatre
reviewed by Holly Shanahan 23 Oct 2014
Striking, confronting, profound and delightful
It is important current work that this company are making; work that does not need to be confined in the box we call ‘contemporary dance’. It is theatrical, humorous, beautiful, manic, and strident. With messages that resonate and follow you home. Everyone should make time to see this company and this new work. Let yourself be surprised, swept up, and challenged. [more]

TE MANU AHI (THE FIREBIRD) at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
reviewed by Dr Linda Ashley 22 Oct 2014
Celebrating dance and live music
Organising 140 children to enter and exit a stage once would be impressive but this dance relies on continual smooth transitions between a plethora of different groupings, and there is not one collision to be seen. Slowly forward moving rows of dancers, whirling circles, clusters using dancers on high, low and medium levels as if molten liquid glues them together. Also in the dancers’ timing, the trademark throws and catches amongst the groups, the various lifts and duet balances are carefully set-up amongst the waterfall of other movements so that they seem to appear from nowhere. Much of the large group vocabulary is undoubtedly simple running, jumps to falls, crawling, slithering, distorted creature shapes, side-to-side reaching, stretching up and down but wholly appropriate for the range of ages and abilities. [more]
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