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DON GIOVANNI at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
reviewed by William Dart (New Zealand Herald) 20 Sep 2014
Nightclub setting for Opera Don makes sense
From the start, New Zealand Opera's Don Giovanni presented the mix of tragedy and comedy stipulated in the opera's description as "dramma giocoso" (playful drama). Wyn Davies immediately captured its emotional ambivalence in a sharply paced overture from a spruce Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. [more]

The Body Festival 2014
THE WILD HUNT at 442
reviewed by Erin Harrington 20 Sep 2014
A parable of adolescence
The antagonists of the piece are three young women whose hilarious renditions of boorish, fat, black-suited businessmen verge on a combination of Wall Street and The Muppets’ Swedish Chef. They madly shuffle paperwork, boo and cheer and nonsensical financial reports, slam back coffees, and bray at the rugby before finally moving out of their rigid corporate world in an attempt to annex and control the untempered, desirous and raw space of the wild. [more]

The Body Festival 2014
DOMESTIC GODDESSES at Ferrymead Friendly Societies Hall
reviewed by Emily Napolitano 20 Sep 2014
Dancing for sheer enjoyment
Quirky music choices paired with distinctive contemporary, elegant partnering and jazzy jive dance styles keep you on the edge of your seat and grinning from ear to ear. Highlights of the evening include the technical mastery and gorgeous feet of Sean James and the gritty and highly energetic "Who wears the pants," choreographed by Fleur de Thier. [more]

LASHINGS OF WHIPPED CREAM at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by John Smythe 19 Sep 2014
Renders the extraordinary intriguingly ordinary
Having seen the original version by writer/performer Fiona Samuel 21 years ago, the Sara Wiseman in the role nine years ago, I had some misgivings about ‘Mistress Dominique’, the supposedly teenage dominatrix, being played by a drag queen. But Ricky Beirao’s ‘Rhubarb Rouge’ makes it work. [more]

DON GIOVANNI at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
reviewed by Penny Dodd 19 Sep 2014
A great deal to enjoy, ponder and marvel at
It is no mean feat to devise a new production of such a work, in modern dress, with the contemporary social order imposing on the 1787 world of noblemen and servants. Mostly it works really well. My only concerns are that Mozart’s noble musical characterisation of Donna Elvira jars with the modern young woman in jeans and boots, and the questions raised by the surprise twist at the end. [more]

Arts On Tour NZ 2014
BEAUTY AND THE BRO – MEL PARSONS AND JAMES NOKISE at The Mussel Inn, Onekaka (near Takaka)
reviewed by Antony Hodgson 19 Sep 2014
A fine double bill indeed
James' act, Soso Gangster, jumps wildly from topic to topic with stories which must be prepared material but flow out of the heckles and comments from the crowd so smoothly that he simply runs with whatever comes his way. This is not a show where we can just sit back and observe the show, as James brings his material right into the here and now, engaging with every comment that is dished up from the floor. [more]

ROYALS OF KIHIKIHI at Q Theatre, The Vault
reviewed by Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald) 19 Sep 2014
A good introduction to a promising young playwright
In a great touch, the first light seen in this real-time apres-funeral dramedy is the flickering blue of a television. Semi-comatose, Violet watches the Kardashian sisters fight. Later, she models her communication strategies on the reality TV stars, but Khloe's scriptwriters would struggle to keep up with the memorable insults that playwright Samuel Christopher gives his family of characters. [more]

BARNIE DUNCAN IN … HIM at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Nik Smythe 18 Sep 2014
Contemplative study of introspective isolation
Out from his concealed cocoon of current affairs and into this weird, slightly awkward contained environment emerges …him. Tenderly directed by Geoff Pinfield, Barnie Duncan’s conceptual character study delivers what it says on the box: an exquisite and immersive exploration into the reclusive world of a newspaper hoarder. [more]

ROYALS OF KIHIKIHI at Q Theatre, The Vault
reviewed by Johnny Givins 17 Sep 2014
Entertaining and insightful
Royals of Kihikihi is a wonderfully vicious Kiwi production that is filled with surprises, great one liners and lots of laughs. It holds the mirror up to families in small town NZ, reflecting all our contradictions suffering, pain and need for love. A remarkable piece of theatre, it reveals layer by layer, with truth and humour, the damaged lives of three adult children. It is set after the funeral of Maggie Royal, the town drunk. Her children return to their mum’s home after long absences. [more]

MIS{S}CONCEPTION at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by John Smythe 17 Sep 2014
Entertaining and informative
Lively, insightful, informative ‘theatre-in-education’ for adults, Mis{s}Conception has come a long way since its development season in the Fringe. Not that its primary purpose is didactic. It’s more about sharing the experience of a woman attempting to conceive through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), comparing and contrasting it with other women who range from hyper-empathetic to downright insensitive. [more]
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