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STAB at BATS
WATCH at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce
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]

THE UNDERARM at 4th Wall Theatre
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]

FORTY YEARS OF CENTREPOINT THEATRE: THE HISTORY ACCORDING TO HAWES at Centrepoint
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]

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Isaac Theatre Royal
reviewed by Sheree and Angel Bright 21 Nov 2014
Spirits lifted and imaginations transported
There is mystery and anticipation as the show begins. The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nigel Gaynor expertly executes the score which infuses the evening and establishes the tone. Through music composed by Carl Davis and theatrical design elements created by Lez Brotherston and Jon Buswell, the atmosphere of a classical Christmas is convincingly set. Bells ring. Snow falls. A Dickens tale begins. [more]

MAMMA MIA! at St James Theatre
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post) 21 Nov 2014
Jukebox musical with catchy ABBA songs
And it is the energy, not to mention the polished skill, of the entire company, that Lyndee-Jane Rutherford’s lively direction, Leigh Evan’s often comic choreography, and Michael Nicholas Williams and Tim Bridgewater’s musical direction have melded into an impressive ensemble. [more]

MAMMA MIA! at St James Theatre
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]

2014 NZ SCHOOL OF DANCE GRADUATION SEASON at Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
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]

THE UNDERARM at 4th Wall Theatre
reviewed by Jo Hills (Taranaki Daily News) 19 Nov 2014
Howzat! - A play with superb spin
You'll be bowled over by The Underarm. 4th Wall Theatre has done it again and brought another topnotch performance to New Plymouth. It's one theatre experience you don't want to miss. It will be as much of a talking point as the cricket game that initiated this incredibly clever and humorous play. [more]

Photo by Stephen A'Court
ROGER HALL’S RED RIDING HOOD THE PANTOMIME 2014-15 at Circa One
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post) 17 Nov 2014
Jokes galore in Hall panto
This year’s full-on, high energy, thoroughly enjoyable romp of a panto is threatened with closure right at the start when Grandma Hood (Gavin Rutherford) announces that she has received a text from Bill English announcing further financial cuts. [more]
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