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SHEEP at Q Loft, tickets collected at The Basement
reviewed by Nik Smythe 26 Nov 2014
A rich, convoluted work of extraordinary depth and power
Arthur Meek’s monumental, frequently poetic (I hesitate to use the descriptor ‘Shakespearean’) 2011 script is complex in detail but broadly coherent enough to follow, and remarkably relatable given said complexity. Eight scenes explore seven time periods set around multiple generations of two rival families from the same Canterbury district: the sheep-farming Pykes and the entrepreneurial Albrechts. [more]

SOUTHSIDE FESTIVAL 2014 - URBANESIA
HOU (2014) at Shed 1, Corban Estate Arts Centre
reviewed by Kerry-Ann Stanton 25 Nov 2014
An atmosphere of give and take
This one off show, as part of Southside Arts Festival - Urbanesia, nurtures talent and provides opportunities for upcoming Maori choreographers and foster the development of new work in the community. And along the way Jack Gray, Bianca Hyslop and Kelly Garnham Nash bring us with them. We are welcomed, as always by Atamira, grounded in the moment and ready for the performance. The shed at Corban’s Estate Arts Centre (CEAC) is buzzing with a good gathering of Atamira whanau and friends. The vibe is willing and friendly as we stack one upon the other up the bleachers [more]

DEAD TRAGIC at Circa Two
reviewed by John Smythe 24 Nov 2014
Bound to make you feel better about your own lot in life
As the two dozen-strong playlist rolls out – displayed in two halves like juke-box selection charts – it’s surprising to realise how familiar the often long-forgotten songs, and even ones we’ve never heard, are. We’ve hummed along with those tunes so many times … Even more startling is the darkness of the pop-tuned lyrics ... [more]

EMBODY at Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
reviewed by Sam Trubridge 24 Nov 2014
Committed, well-conceived, generously gifted dance works
It is a fantastic evening of committed and well conceived dance works. The informality of the presentation is somewhat distracting, with dancers scurrying back and forth to prepare each new presentation. But it is a programme with great spirit. The short introduction that the artists make before the programme begins communicates some of the intentions behind their works, and is also a nice way of framing this casual relationship: inviting us into the artists' works, their concepts, and their negotiation of the work live on stage. On top of this 'embodied' nature, the trio of works all share a kind of generosity - between performers on stage, and with the audience. [more]

ONE MAN TWO GUVNORS at Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington
reviewed by Lindsay Clark 23 Nov 2014
Promises a season of pure joy
It is a considerable coup for The Court to be staging this delectable comedy only three years after its hugely popular staging in London and even less time since it was acclaimed in New York. To assemble the talent and teamwork critical for tackling the adapted eighteenth century hit deserves further respect, for its complexity demands serious creative application from all involved. [more]

STAB at BATS
WATCH at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce
reviewed by John Smythe 22 Nov 2014
BATS flies home into tangled webs
First, the splendiferous venue: old BATS reconstructed, renovated and rejuvenated; ‘BATS to the Future’, as one wit has put it. Architecturally she may be seen as the sophisticated but still precocious live-theatre love-child of Art-Deco cinemas the Embassy, just up the road, and the Roxy in Miramar, whence hail her generous fairy godparents (or star parents, if you prefer). [more]

THE UNDERARM at 4th Wall Theatre
reviewed by Holly Shanahan 22 Nov 2014
A ball-busting comedic night out for everyone
There are wonderfully funny moments throughout this play (jokes I even wrote down to take home and tell friends!) and the fact that the men are the rowdiest of the bunch in the audience reflects how much appeal this play has to a general audience. We all know and ‘love’ this story and it is great to see it engage people in theatre. [more]

MAMMA MIA! at St James Theatre
reviewed by Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post) 21 Nov 2014
Jukebox musical with catchy ABBA songs
And it is the energy, not to mention the polished skill, of the entire company, that Lyndee-Jane Rutherford’s lively direction, Leigh Evan’s often comic choreography, and Michael Nicholas Williams and Tim Bridgewater’s musical direction have melded into an impressive ensemble. [more]

MAMMA MIA! at St James Theatre
reviewed by Jo Hodgson 21 Nov 2014
Laugh-till-you-cry / cry-till-you-laugh again
No matter which era you are from, you have no doubt encountered an ABBA song or two. The Swedish pop group firmly established themselves as one of the most popular groups in the world in 1976. Subsequent generations who missed the initial craze have been brought into the fan fold through the stage musical which premiered in 1999 and the blockbuster movie first screened in 2008. Based on this history it is no wonder the audience is buzzing with excitement prior to curtain-up and claps excitedly as the beautifully realistic and picturesque Greek Island taverna set is revealed. [more]

FORTY YEARS OF CENTREPOINT THEATRE: THE HISTORY ACCORDING TO HAWES at Centrepoint
reviewed by John Smythe 21 Nov 2014
Comedy, tragedy, anguish and joy amid too many inaccuracies
If you absorb Forty Years of Centrepoint Theatre: The History According to Hawes in a couple of sittings, reading fast, you will get a rich and juicy impression of the Centrepoint journey through its first four decades. Peter Hawes’ jocular prose makes for a jaunty read. [more]
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