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THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at Circa One
reviewed by Jonathan Kingston-Smith and Pepe Becker 29 Mar 2015
A wild, funny and frivolous spectacle
There are, in fact, many mysteries in this tale of Edwin Drood and the cast of lechers, 'exotics', opium-dealers, Classical singers, clergymen and general miscreants that surround 'him'. Not least of all is the one intrinsic to the work itself. This musical is based upon Charles Dickens' final novel. Unfortunately Dickens did something really inconvenient for literary history before he set pen to paper on the final pages of this manuscript ... [more]

ROTUNDA 2015 AUSTRALASIAN TOUR at Air Force Museum
reviewed by Ian Lochead 29 Mar 2015
Metaphoric frame
The horror of battle is conveyed with visceral intensity through projected images and tortured, silhouetted bodies, set against a soundscape of deafening intensity. A moving duo between a living and a dead soldier follows this mayhem, the peace and serenity of the victim contrasting with the anguish and guilt of the survivor. [more]

THE ROYAL NZ BALLET PRESENTS DON QUIXOTE at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
reviewed by Rosemary Martin 27 Mar 2015
Spanish escapism and fabulous dancing
The ballet is strongly based on the dynamics between the lead couple – Kitri and Basilio. Mayu Tanigaito as Kitri and Kohei Iwamoto as Basilio provide us with outstanding chemistry and virtuosic style. If there ever was a time for all the ‘flashy’ dance moves to come out – high extensions, flying jetes, lengthy balances, pirouettes in every which way – Don Quixote is it. Tanigaito and Iwamoto pull out all the stops. While there were a few moments in the act three grand pas de deux where things went ever so slightly astray they remained composed and a joy to watch. [more]

LET IT BE at Civic Theatre
reviewed by Dione Joseph 27 Mar 2015
A Twist and Shout down memory lane
Team up some of the world’s best actors and musicians (including a left-handed guitar player) who have passing resemblances to the four youngsters from Liverpool, unearth some Beatlemania footage including swooning girls from Shea Stadium, intersperse these with some flower-power tunes, trippy graphics and advertisements for highly carcinogenic stimulants, and you have a facsimile of one of the world’s best bands providing hit after hit after hit for almost two solid hours. [more]

New Zealand Performance Festival New York
SLEEP/WAKE at La Mama, Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St
reviewed by Alison Walls 25 Mar 2015
Poetic, skillful and compelling
Difficult to pin down as a theatre piece, Sleep/Wake seems closer to visual — or rather sensory – art, but it is nothing if not atmospheric. The collaboration with Philippa Gander of the Sleep/Wake Research Centre at Massey University sleep is primarily apparent in the introductory section where the Orator (Arthur Meek) explains how sleep patterns are monitored and what research has revealed thus far. [more]

THE GOOD NEWS at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce
reviewed by Jo Blick 25 Mar 2015
Seamless ensemble ring bells
Luckily there’s no group sing-a-long in The Good News and it’s only a religious show in that the subject matter is religion. The polo shirts are a red herring and the three energetic performers – Amy Griffin-Browne, Harriet Hughes and James Cain – take us through some rather bizarre and wonderful re-workings of bible stories, utilising a fine supporting cast of stuffed toys and some rather fetching false beards. [more]

TINY DEATHS at BATS Theatre, The Propellor Stage, 1 Kent Tce
reviewed by Charlotte Simmonds 25 Mar 2015
This show is important
I am not even eager to call it a feminist show. Certainly, we do spend 90 minutes listening to women speak uninterrupted by men, which almost passes the Bechdel test, but as the show consists solely of monologues with no dialogue, the Bechdel test cannot really be applied here. [more]

Photo by Stephen A'Court
AN AWFULLY BIG ADVENTURE at Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St
reviewed by Vanessa Byrnes 25 Mar 2015
Theatrical clarity with flashes of brilliance
This fantastic show for kids and adults alike is a clever, funny, highly accessible piece of theatre that deserves to be seen far and wide. ... Using meta-theatrical, musical, symbolic, semi-Brechtian and other performance devices, the work centres on how to explain war and its effects to children. This is no mean feat, but it’s in the telling and playing that the real genius soars. [more]

BBEALS at Maidment
reviewed by Sarah Knox 25 Mar 2015
All hail Jenny: Bbeals at the Maidment
The Footnote and Danses en L’R dancers are generous with their energy and committed in their performance. They are slick, rehearsed and look great in legwarmers. Manu Reynolds gives an epic farewell performance. Over his years with Footnote Manu has grown into a fearless mover with a strong presence, who should be comfortable on any international stage. But for me Emma Dellabarca is the standout performer of the evening, the underdog of the company, but with an unassuming and mature authenticity in her performance that is satisfying to watch. [more]

New Zealand Performance Festival New York
BREAK UP [WE NEED TO TALK] at La Mama, La Galleria, 47 Great Jones St
reviewed by Sarah Burrell 25 Mar 2015
Sincere, clever, utterly uncontrived journey to raw discomfort
The show charts the protracted fracturing of a couple, their subtle bickering and reliance on one another. Through their dialogue a picture begins to form. They are young, travelling to New York on holiday. They talk about what they might do that day in the overly familiar way of couples that have been together for possibly too long. [more]
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