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Photo by Heli Sorjonen
THE PIANIST at Circa Two
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post) 24 Apr 2014
Strikes all the funny notes
Not a word is spoken and there’s precious little piano playing but The Pianist is continuous laughter for an hour from the moment this manic musician burrows his way through the curtains to get onto the stage. [more]

ABSURDITIES at Gryphon
reviewed by Charlotte Simmonds 24 Apr 2014
Fun for adolescents too
If Sam Beckett and Jean Paul Sartre were born in New Zealand in the 90s, met each other at uni and then decided to write a skit show together, I suppose it could look something like this. Sometimes the skits have punchlines and at other times they’re just pure absurdist theatre. [more]

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014
THE 5 STAR COMEDY PREVIEW 2014 at SKYCITY Theatre
reviewed by Andy Manning 24 Apr 2014
Varied, short and punchy
The stars are out tonight as I step into the gaudily lit SkyCity Theatre to have a peek at the upcoming international acts in The 5 Star Comedy Preview 2014. However, ’tis not the stars of Hollywood that pack out the 700 seat theatre; no brash Americans tread the boards with their smutty puns and outlandish laughs. No, tonight, old chaps, is a night of Britannia. [more]

Photo by Heli Sorjonen
THE PIANIST at Circa Two
reviewed by Uther Dean 23 Apr 2014
Sublime comedy in getting everything so perfectly wrong
That we are present this time – we are the pianist's audience as well as The Pianist's audience – adds a level of comic tension to the work that Monckton masterfully manipulates throughout, sometimes clambering through us, creating a beautiful and spontaneous sense that anything can happen. Even the technical operator himself is not safe, becoming another of the malevolent forces against which Monckton struggles. [more]

CINDERELLA MEETS ALADDIN at Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington
reviewed by Erin Harrington 23 Apr 2014
Lively, dynamic, entertaining
Dan Bain’s lively direction is dynamic and entertaining. While the play features a smattering of the expected sight gags, Bain also offers some lovely visual moments, such as the connections formed between Cinderella and Aladdin through movement and gesture at the play’s opening. There is a lot going on in this show but it is tied together cleanly, and it’s really nice to come to a play like this and be genuinely surprised. [more]

Photo by Heli Sorjonen
THE PIANIST at Circa Two
reviewed by John Smythe 23 Apr 2014
A sublimely extraordinary tour-de-catastrophe
The concert pianist is a brilliant persona to bring into the realm of clowning, acrobatics and other circus genres. His default air of cultured superiority and sophistication just aches to be compromised by a clown’s compulsion to stuff it up in the process of pursuing excellence – which of course involves a whole new level of excellence. [more]

Photo by Stephen A'Court
OTHER DESERT CITIES at Circa One
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post) 22 Apr 2014
Unhappy families
“Personal hatred and family affection,” wrote Willa Cather, “are not incompatible; they often flourish and grow strong together.” This could well be the theme of Other Desert Cities ... [more]

RACECARS VS CUPCAKES at Gryphon
reviewed by John Smythe 22 Apr 2014
Liberating kids from gender limitations
Writer-director Moana Ete and Kapitall Kids Theatre (KKT) are to be congratulated for producing an entirely original play for children that doesn’t come pre-branded with the title of a well-known folk tale or favourite children’s book. It’s a risk few companies are prepared to take, marketing-wise, but creating a play from scratch does bring special benefits. [more]

Photo by Stephen A'Court
OTHER DESERT CITIES at Circa One
reviewed by John Smythe 21 Apr 2014
Astutely crafted to explode secrets
Moral dilemma, political allegory and something to play out in our imaginations after the final scene: these are three things I love in a play and Other Desert Cities delivers all three superbly in this impeccably-cast Circa production directed by Ross Jolly. Given Jon Robin Baitz, the playwright, created the TV series Brothers & Sisters, which ran for five seasons, and wrote episodes of The West Wing, it is no surprise that the family dynamics are riven with ambivalence, the dialogue is both loving and challenging, and the mix is potent. [more]

THE WATER STATION at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post) 21 Apr 2014
Theme of slow decline gets under the skin
Megan Evans and her cast of 15 actors have carried off successfully and with great dedication and professional aplomb a revival of their 2013 production at Victoria University of The Water Station, a piece of true avant-garde theatre. [more]
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