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NZ Improv Festival 2014
MONSTER OF THE WEEK at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by Alex Wilson 1 Nov 2014
Succeeds aesthetically but not immersive
Television programmes like The X-Files and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer were some of the purest forms of escapism to be had in the 1990s. Each week you could tune-in to see your favourite protagonist hunt various monsters, demons and beasties as they tried to maintain relationships and lead ‘normal’ lives. Monster of The Week takes this winning formula for tonight’s show and in doing so creates nostalgia for that bygone era of excellent science-fiction. [more]

NZ Improv Festival 2014
GHOST CONFERENCE at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by Alex Wilson 1 Nov 2014
Needs retooling
The tone of the piece is similar to a film by Jim Jarmusch: brooding and contemplative but also lacking a clear narrative or plot progression. Because these characters have all ceased to be, their days consist of scaring people for no particular ends, they are stuck in a vacuum, their lives are inherently meaningless. [more]

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at St James Theatre
reviewed by Lyne Pringle 31 Oct 2014
Go see this production and take the kids, they need to know about Dickens.
Act II is fantastic. Lighting gauzes, costumes and scene changes are imaginatively used to conjure various ghosts and sprits. Here this grand production really takes off. Scrooge moves through his dark night of the soul as he confronts his shortcomings led by the Ghost of Christmas Past; the lithesome Lori Gilchrist with the best entrance in the show and the Ghost of Christmas Present; the flamboyant MacLean Hopper with the best costume in the show. [more]

THE PAPER CINEMA’S ODYSSEY at Lower NZI, Level 1, Aotea Centre
reviewed by Dione Joseph 31 Oct 2014
Sophisticated theatrical magic
Homer’s Odyssey is an epic journey that has become one of the touchstones of the literary canon. But at its heart is the journey of a father who wishes to reunite with his wife and son. Of course in true Homeric style the way home is scattered with obstacles that include monsters, unforgiving gods, descent into the underworld and ravenous suitors waiting to take his wife and kingdom – should he not return. [more]

IN THE PARLOUR at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by Alex Wilson 31 Oct 2014
Truly a delight to hilariously flutter over trivialities
Anna Renzenbrink and Jenny Lovell play sisters Tilly and Flora Georgeson respectively: two delightful sisters from the small English country town of Cottesloe. Rezenbrink and Lovell have been developing these characters over the past three years and their time and dedication is on show. Tilly and Flora seem like they have stepped out of the pages of a Jane Austen novel. [more]

NZ Improv Festival 2014
PLUS ONE at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by Lori Leigh 31 Oct 2014
Delightful and satisfying
The show is divided into three segments, each featuring Haddad joined by one of his international scene partners. No musicians and no complicated premises or concepts here. The show is simply two actors meeting on an empty stage and playing from a place of listening, trust, and skill. [more]

NZ Improv Festival 2014
CONARTISTS OLIVER TWISTED at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by Alex Wilson 31 Oct 2014
Authentically grounded and monumentally silly
As pointed out by our effervescent host, Penny Ashton, Dickens is filled with larger-than-life characters and ConArtists do not disappoint, weaving a story filled to brim with Dickensian tropes of hidden identities, sudden turns of fortune and a hero undergoing a life of hardship, grief and toil. [more]

THE GOOD GOD SINGALONG at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by Jonathan Kingston-Smith 31 Oct 2014
A bawdy, irreverent hour
The improvised lyrics are impressive, with all of the featured soloists adroitly concocting amusing words and phrases. The majority of the cast handle the singing duties well, providing apt harmonies and amusing interjections with only a smattering of the expected pitching issues. There is a marked preference for musical theatre-style belting (with a sliver of Gospel hollering for good measure) and it would perhaps benefit the production to utilise a wider range of vocal expression. [more]

THE TOPP TWINS GRAND OLE TOPPREY TOUR at TSB Showplace
reviewed by Holly Shanahan 30 Oct 2014
A Variety Show with real class
Every time I have seen the Topp Twins it has been a total delight, and they certainly did not disappoint a full house at the TSB Showplace in New Plymouth (where they have had to add a show due to demand: go the Naki!). This show, however, differs from their standard format, playing out much more as a variety show, with some of the most talented country/blues performers NZ has to offer. [more]

THE PAPER CINEMA’S ODYSSEY at Lower NZI, Level 1, Aotea Centre
reviewed by James Wenley (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog) 30 Oct 2014
Dionysus would approve
For a story that has passed from an oral tradition, and then written down by Homer, it’s intriguing how The Paper Cinema tell their Odyssey mainly through visual imagery and sound, filmed and played live. Even with the technological mediation (or perhaps because of) I felt connected with a story that has been retold and repurposed throughout the ages ... [more]
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