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NO MAN'S LAND at Shed 1, Corban Estate Arts Centre
reviewed by Bronwyn Elsmore 30 Jul 2014
Deepening storylines in polished production
An onion field in West Auckland is hardly the place to go on a chilly winter night. Neither is the venue for this play, I’ve been there before, and it’s pretty much that: a shed. But I’m hoping the story is warming and worth leaving the comfort of home for. It has the necessary ingredients to make it so: the playwright Suli Moa has proved himself with two earlier plays (Kingdom of Lote, and A Heart’s Path), and the cast and Director are all well trained in Toi Whaakari New Zealand Drama School. As it turns out, my hopes are not only met, but exceeded. [more]

ALBERT BLACK JUKEBOX KILLER at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Johnny Givins 30 Jul 2014
Infectious commitment and energy
Albert Black tells of a young Belfast boy who survives the WWII Blitz and death of his father to become, at 19, a ‘10 Pound Pom’ immigrant to NZ. Importantly Albert Black is a Bodgie; just the sight of him enflames the conservative NZ society. Albert tells his story directly to the audience. He is charming, naughty, with Irish lilt and sparkling eye. [more]

AN UNSEASONABLE FALL OF SNOW at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Nik Smythe 30 Jul 2014
Simplicity belies complexity and vice versa
This one-act mystery play by celebrated Kiwi playwright Gary Henderson, written in 1998, is an intriguing psychological study of the innermost private depths of the human condition, as mysteries often are. Precisely ‘what is this mystery?’ is the initial overriding mystery: a defensive young man is being interrogated by an officious investigator about a serious incident the previous night. But why? [more]

CONSTELLATIONS at Circa Two
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson 29 Jul 2014
Glimpses of other universes
The plot is both simple and complex. It starts at an ordinary barbecue where Marianne meets Roland. He is an apiarist and she a quantum physicist. The meeting abruptly ends there but it also continues as we are given glimpses of some of the other scenarios that can occur in the infinite possibilities of existence in a parallel universe. [more]

FALL AND RECOVERY at Hagley Open Stage
reviewed by Sheree Bright 28 Jul 2014
Sheryl Robinson's legacy celebrated in style
Thisperformance of Fall and Recovery celebrated her legacy and raised funds for the Sheryl Robinson Memorial Scholarship which is awarded every year towards tertiary study to a current or former member of the Hagley Dance Company. The evening featured works from Rebound Dance Company, Hagley Theatre Company, Hagley Dance Company, graduates and professional dancers. [more]

Nelson Winter Festival 2014
JEZEBEL OF JAZZ: SONGS AND STORIES WITH ANITA O’DAY at Old St John's
reviewed by Ruth Allison 28 Jul 2014
Much more than our money’s worth
Liz Kirkman brings American Jazz singer of the ’50s Anita O’Day to life with a full repertoire of fifteen songs and a narrative told through an imagined conversation mainly with her mother. The spirit and vulnerability of O’Day is captured in the constant battle O’Day had with her mother and the father she never really knew but mostly with her producers over her wish to sing her own way. She may have been known as the Jezebel of Jazz but she was also the queen of improvisation. [more]

CONSTELLATIONS at Circa Two
reviewed by John Smythe 28 Jul 2014
Variations on a relationship
Initially it seems he’s tossing around different options for how a relationship might start when Marianne and Roland meet at a barbecue, and the actors – Erin Banks and Richard Dey, in this Rachael Lenart-directed production at Circa Theatre – are testing the options for him. But of course the variations are the point, although her opening gambit about licking elbows remains a constant. [more]

THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN at Q Theatre, Rangatira
reviewed by Paul Simei-Barton (New Zealand Herald) 28 Jul 2014
An angel, a drug lord, a star
The Good Soul of Szechuan presents a thoroughly contemporary take on the age-old question of whether there is enough goodness remaining within humanity to justify our continued existence. [more]

THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN at Q Theatre, Rangatira
reviewed by Lexie Matheson 28 Jul 2014
Funny, outrageous, unpleasant at times yet very moving
It’s only with the appearance of Malcolm’s alter-ego Shui Ta that we realise just what a fabulous transformational actor Malcolm is. The characters are poles apart and it’s hard to believe that they’re created by the same actor, often in almost the same breath. This production is so incredibly good – ATC’s best for yonks – that to say Malcolm’s performance alone is worth the ticket price is to minimise the whole but there, I’ve said it anyway and I’m happy to stand by it. [more]

BILL MASSEY’S TOURISTS at Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post) 28 Jul 2014
Personal family story shares experience of bloody war
“If you can survive Passchendale, you can survive anything,” says Jan Bolwell’s grandfather in her third and most poignant solo play about her family. Though part fiction and part family stories, it conveys with a compelling simplicity what it was like for a 20 year-old New Zealander to be thrown into the maelstrom of bloody war. [more]
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