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MR MCGEE & THE BITING FLEA at Hannah Playhouse (previously Downstage)
reviewed by John Smythe 20 Apr 2014
Great pleasure all round
The harmonised singing – often a cappella, sometimes with recorded backing, other times accompanied by the actors on guitar or ukulele – is sublime (composer, Timothy Sexton; musical director, Michael Nicholas Williams) and it often carries much of the story. [more]

BADJELLY THE WITCH at 4 Moncrieff St., Mt. Victoria
reviewed by John Smythe 19 Apr 2014
An excellent holiday investment
What a polished production this is, presented with such assurance that the fun of it takes full flight. Director Daniel Pengelly has assembled a top-flight cast and crew to deliver a quality version of Alannah O’Sullivan’s adaptation of Spike Milligan’s Badjelly the Witch with just four actors and some cleverly manifested creatures and effects. [more]

Credit: Evan Li
COPPELIA at St James Theatre
reviewed by Deirdre Tarrant 19 Apr 2014
Sumptuous sentimentalism
The company has many ensemble pieces and are in exuberant mood and strong. The opening act Czardas in particular fills the stage with Hungarian élan. The Townspeople and leads have some stunning lifts in Act 1. The key roles are well cast to tell the story with Sir Jon Trimmer an entertaining and irrepressible Dr Coppelius. [more]

THE WATER STATION at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon
reviewed by John Smythe 17 Apr 2014
Rich in metaphor
It is almost unheard of for plays devised by companies to be reproduced by other companies even when they result in written scripts (think SEEyD Company, Indian Ink, Red Leap …). Even more unexpected is that a devised play without words from Japan, albeit a classic, would find new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. It has also been produced in India and Singapore. [more]

VICE at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by James Wenley (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog) 16 Apr 2014
Perverse
For the past few weeks, Jordan Mooney has been posting a series of clips promoting a range of different vices. The crazy-eyed front man has whipped himself, walked naked in the wilderness, shoved his face in a toilet bowl, and lit his hair on fire. [more]

VICE at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Nik Smythe 16 Apr 2014
Revels in abnormal behaviour
When a mysterious shadowy man with no face in a smart suit takes your ticket and directs you up a graffiti-art covered back stairway festooned with beer crates, wine bottle candles, exotic dolls and such, into a room with a stark white stage where the cast of seven lurk awkwardly and wistfully and so on, and the auditorium floor, walls and half the ceiling thickly papered with thousands of pages of advertising junk mail using sticky tape, it’s fair to assume that what ensues probably won’t be typical, usual or normal. [more]

COLT at Suter Theatre
reviewed by Janet Whittington 15 Apr 2014
Phenomenal work
The degree of physical complexity builds into a series of stunning poses, romantic, tender, requiring great strength and skill from the performers. Sarah-Foster Sproull’s direction and choreography augmented by the dancers own input is acknowledged in the opening credits of the programme. Her thoughts about community are portrayed by the community spirit that went into this phenomenal piece. I think this combined choreography is what finally lifts this performance into a class of its own and validates Foster-Sproull’s concept. [more]

THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT at The Pumphouse, Takapuna
reviewed by Grace Hoet 14 Apr 2014
The power of creation and the enchantment of storytelling
The Owl and the Pussy Cat breaks the mould on what is often an assumption that Children’s Theatre is for children, often fun for the younger generations with adults purely there as chaperones. The Tim Bray production of The Owl and the Pussy Cat is a colourful delight for both children and adults. [more]

PROMISE AND PROMISCUITY: A NEW MUSICAL BY JANE AUSTEN at Rangi Ruru Girls School, Merivale Lane
reviewed by Robert Gilbert 13 Apr 2014
Literary witticism, acerbic satire, musical mirth and dollops of double entendre
Every character is a lesson in human nature and study societal snobbery. The lemon-lipped Lady Wrexham and her withering son Reginald, the dashing Digby Dalton, the lisping Thomasina, and the suppurating horror that is Horatio have us all sniggering at the frivolities and mindlessness of the middle-class. [more]

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES at Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington
reviewed by Lindsay Clark 13 Apr 2014
Complexity handled with charm
Melanie Camp's direction keeps plot and execution nicely balanced. A critical factor, and one she stresses in her programme notes, is the positioning of the audience. The fourth wall convention is well and truly disestablished as we are addressed, admonished and engaged. The response to a twitter about pace sees the whole of the first half replayed at reckless speed to open the second half, to the delight of a thoroughly charmed audience. [more]
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