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SALUTE - REMEMBERING WORLD WAR at St James Theatre
reviewed by Deirdre Tarrant 24 May 2015
War and its effects placed centre stage
The Soldiers Mass by Jiri Kylian and made for twelve men premiered at Nederlands Dans Theatre in 1980. Kylian's own Czech nationality and his response to events that changed the path of Europe and plunged the western world into a time of war and conflict is as relevant and powerful in today's world where politics still dominate and egos still command decisions that affect the lives of all of us. The music by Bohuslav Martinu drives battalions of bodies forward in unison phrasing that breaks and re-forms and relentlessly moves them to their doom. Unexpected vocabulary erupts from the ranks, and exhaustion, camaraderie and dependency in the worst situation we can imagine is strongly evoked. They are not allowed to rest, and we are not allowed to rest, and all the anguish of lost boys and sons and fathers and the futility of warfare washes in waves over the stage. [more]

CHEKHOV GONE WILDE at Garnet Station Café, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere
reviewed by Lexie Matheson 23 May 2015
Flashes of glory, sadness, silliness and great humanity
Each scene stands alone and makes excellent theatre while collectively they paint a picture of the blissful damage done by Cupid, that chubby wee boy with the bow. Graham subtly reminds us that Cupid is from the Latin ‘cupido’ meaning not just romantic love but desire as well and there’s achingly, painfully, plenty of that too. [more]

LYSISTRATA at BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce
reviewed by Jonathan Kingston-Smith 23 May 2015
A savage, explosively entertaining whip-crack of a play
Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is a play of sexual politics in the most direct sense. At a spritely 2426 years old, it is couched in the structure and techniques of Greek Old Comedy, although it demonstrates a shift away from rigid observation of those guidelines. Ultimately its goal is to expose the populace to scathing political and social statements cloaked beneath a veneer of absurdity. So it is unsurprising that The Bacchanals, those vigilante thespians, have taken Lysistrata and dragged it – quivering and moaning – into a contemporary climate where the prime minister views the lives of 143 troops as an acceptable down-payment for admission to ‘the club’. [more]

SALUTE - REMEMBERING WORLD WAR at St James Theatre
reviewed by Ann Hunt (The Dominion Post) 23 May 2015
Powerful and moving show
Salute. Remembering World War 1, is a true collaboration between the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand Army Band. (The Army Band, which accompanies three of the four choreographies, is stunning and is vigorously conducted by Captain Graham Hickman. [more]

FALLOUT: THE SINKING OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Kathryn van Beek 22 May 2015
Fresh telling a timely reminder
That was thirty years ago now, and many New Zealanders weren’t yet born when the ship went down. But the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior is too important an event to forget – so how do you bring it to life for the people who didn’t experience it first-hand? Writer Bronwyn Elsmore’s new play is the answer to that question. It pulls you into the events by following four people whose lives were changed by the Rainbow Warrior in different ways. [more]

FALLOUT: THE SINKING OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald) 22 May 2015
Vivid reminder of terrorism in NZ
It's worth being reminded, by this semi-fictionalised oral history, how unbelievably insolent and sordid "Underwatergate" was. As Bronwyn Elsmore's straight-talking, wonderfully-illustrated show outlines clearly and simply, the killer-agents of a supposedly friendly nation carried out state terrorism in downtown Auckland. They didn't even bother to hide their tracks, and they mostly got away with it. [more]

THE RITE OF SPRING (2013) at BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce
reviewed by Jillian Davey 22 May 2015
Exhausting,charming, intelligent dance batlles
It’s not until mid-way through, when the dancers take a quick break to change the clothes they’ve sweated through and have a few gulps of water that I realise how easily I’ve slipped into my university days. I put away my pen and paper for a while to enjoy the performative aspect of the evening. As Lee and Martins switch corners, it dawns that it’s a game; a marathon, a sporting event and a spectacle that should be enjoyed by the spectators, not recorded. [more]

NZ International Comedy Festival 2015
CHRIS PARKER - NO MORE DANCING IN THE GOOD ROOM at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Adam Naughton 21 May 2015
Intimately fabulous
[APOLOGY: This review somehow did not get published when it was submitted on 6 May. Here it is now. – ED] Growing up as kids we become familiar with spaces in the house e.g. the space to sit at the table and eat properly, the outside space to run around and do crazy stuff (like break windows and tackle each other), the space for reading and sleeping … and the space with valuable stuff in it where you should be careful and sensible. [more]

THE ARMED MAN at Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street
reviewed by Ann Hunt 18 May 2015
A most effective coda to the futility of this war and all wars
Coming as it does in the sequence of the recent World War One commemorations, The Armed Man is a most effective coda to the futility of this war and all wars. [more]

JARRED FELL - POSSIBLE at Q Theatre, Rangatira
reviewed by Stewart Lund 18 May 2015
One of New Zealand's best
What makes Fell such an enjoyable watch is his ability to lull the audience and his oft-unsuspecting participants into a false sense of security (or occasional insecurity, such as during the almost unbelievable pick-pocketing sequence). We are taken on a journey through each segment, and the pay-off or punchline is always worthwhile. [more]
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