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MARY’S CHRISTMAS IN WELLINGTON at Newtown Community Centre
reviewed by John Smythe 17 Dec 2014
Quietly insightful humour
For some reason I had assumed the Mary of the title would be a contemporary woman but it’s the biblical Mary, mother of Jesus, whose reimagined story is played out – amid a number of other scenarios – in Mary’s Christmas. The witty messing about with wacky anachronisms and character quirks presupposes there are still enough people in their audiences who know the traditional story. [more]

THE SANTA CLAUS SHOW 2014 at The Pumphouse, Takapuna
reviewed by Joanna Page 13 Dec 2014
Finally, it’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas
After a rather trying week the thought of finishing work in time to get Masters Ten Months and Four to The Pumphouse in time for the Gala Performance of The Santa Claus Show had me feeling a tad humbugular. Not so the smalls, and the anticipation of seeing Santa was almost too much. [more]

MARY’S CHRISTMAS IN DUNEDIN at Playhouse Theatre
reviewed by Alison Embleton 12 Dec 2014
Creatively collaborative comedy
And they say women don’t make good comedians. If only ‘they’ had the chance to see Mary’s Christmas. A deftly crafted series of short sketches revolving around Christmas, the ladies of Discharge explore what the festive season means to all; from a new flatmate who’s never experienced Christmas to a parish pageant rendition of Die Hard: the pantomime. [more]

DOGS at Level 2, Anvil House, 138-140 Wakefield Street
reviewed by John Smythe 10 Dec 2014
Not enough
When you settle your audience in a restaurant setting without a ‘stage’ as such, the expectations and anticipation that usually attend the preshow moments diminish. Because the game ‘restaurant’ is being played – complete with waiters who welcome us, ply us with water and will serve real food – anything that breaks the restaurant convention is automatically unsettling and potentially entertaining. [more]

THE REVIEWERS at Level 2, Anvil House, 138-140 Wakefield Street
reviewed by John Smythe 10 Dec 2014
Multiple rings of ‘reality’ ring false
The promo material calls it “shows within shows within shows” but actually The Reviewers plays fast and loose with shows without shows without shows … And by “without” I mean both standing outside and lacking, in this case rhyme or reason; without any internal logic to make it a cohesive show. [more]

HAURAKI HORROR at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald) 8 Dec 2014
Silly, shambolic and fun
The Basement's Christmas fundraising tradition is as scruffy and silly as a present wrapped by toddlers using tinsel and a gluestick. This year, the kids gifting the hokiness – even more of it than usual – are playwrights Thomas Sainsbury and Chris Parker. [more]

HAURAKI HORROR at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Dione Joseph 8 Dec 2014
Ridiculous romp encapsulates the silly season
When I was little I used to make my numerous Barbie dolls indulge in amorous lesbian affairs and cajole my one and only Ken to accept the responsibilities of polygamy and do endless acts of service (I’m talking cleaning the pool, kitchen and car, whatever you might be thinking) to keep his women accustomed to the life they were leading. However, having no brothers I don’t quite know what a lot of little boys were doing back then. But on Saturday night as I watched Tom (Sainsbury) and Chris (Parker) swordfight with an appropriate ectothermic animal ... [more]

ROMEO AND JULIET at TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs
reviewed by Paul Simei-Barton (New Zealand Herald) 8 Dec 2014
Timeless tale of love gets shot in the arm from young Shakespeareans
Shakespeare's tale of teenage love is brought to life with an authentic, very contemporary infusion of teenage vitality from the Young Auckland Shakespeare Company. [more]

ROMEO AND JULIET at TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs
reviewed by Lexie Matheson 7 Dec 2014
Keeping it real, spontaneous and new
TAPAC* is the chosen venue for Young Auckland Shakespeare Company’s classy modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s social commentary disguised as tragic romance, Romeo and Juliet. Directors Paul Gittins and his prodigiously talented progeny Calum Gittins have wisely focused on a topical social equivalent and their 2014 production is as modern as tomorrow. [more]

BUS TICKET MOVING ON at Bus-bay outside the TSB Arena, 4 Queens Wharf
reviewed by Deborah Eve Rea 7 Dec 2014
Best enjoyed with a friend
Most characters seek out private conversation with audience members, some more successfully actually engaging and listening to audience members while other performers are little distracted and fall into the trap of ‘talking at’ their chosen audience member. [more]
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