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CHEKHOV GONE WILDE at Garnet Station Café, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere
reviewed by Lexie Matheson 23 May 2015
Flashes of glory, sadness, silliness and great humanity
Each scene stands alone and makes excellent theatre while collectively they paint a picture of the blissful damage done by Cupid, that chubby wee boy with the bow. Graham subtly reminds us that Cupid is from the Latin ‘cupido’ meaning not just romantic love but desire as well and there’s achingly, painfully, plenty of that too. [more]

LYSISTRATA at BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce
reviewed by Jonathan Kingston-Smith 23 May 2015
A savage, explosively entertaining whip-crack of a play
Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is a play of sexual politics in the most direct sense. At a spritely 2426 years old, it is couched in the structure and techniques of Greek Old Comedy, although it demonstrates a shift away from rigid observation of those guidelines. Ultimately its goal is to expose the populace to scathing political and social statements cloaked beneath a veneer of absurdity. So it is unsurprising that The Bacchanals, those vigilante thespians, have taken Lysistrata and dragged it – quivering and moaning – into a contemporary climate where the prime minister views the lives of 143 troops as an acceptable down-payment for admission to ‘the club’. [more]

FALLOUT: THE SINKING OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Kathryn van Beek 22 May 2015
Fresh telling a timely reminder
That was thirty years ago now, and many New Zealanders weren’t yet born when the ship went down. But the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior is too important an event to forget – so how do you bring it to life for the people who didn’t experience it first-hand? Writer Bronwyn Elsmore’s new play is the answer to that question. It pulls you into the events by following four people whose lives were changed by the Rainbow Warrior in different ways. [more]

FALLOUT: THE SINKING OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Janet McAllister (New Zealand Herald) 22 May 2015
Vivid reminder of terrorism in NZ
It's worth being reminded, by this semi-fictionalised oral history, how unbelievably insolent and sordid "Underwatergate" was. As Bronwyn Elsmore's straight-talking, wonderfully-illustrated show outlines clearly and simply, the killer-agents of a supposedly friendly nation carried out state terrorism in downtown Auckland. They didn't even bother to hide their tracks, and they mostly got away with it. [more]

THE RITE OF SPRING (2013) at BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce
reviewed by Jillian Davey 22 May 2015
Exhausting,charming, intelligent dance batlles
It’s not until mid-way through, when the dancers take a quick break to change the clothes they’ve sweated through and have a few gulps of water that I realise how easily I’ve slipped into my university days. I put away my pen and paper for a while to enjoy the performative aspect of the evening. As Lee and Martins switch corners, it dawns that it’s a game; a marathon, a sporting event and a spectacle that should be enjoyed by the spectators, not recorded. [more]

NZ International Comedy Festival 2015
CHRIS PARKER - NO MORE DANCING IN THE GOOD ROOM at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave
reviewed by Adam Naughton 21 May 2015
Intimately fabulous
[APOLOGY: This review somehow did not get published when it was submitted on 6 May. Here it is now. – ED] Growing up as kids we become familiar with spaces in the house e.g. the space to sit at the table and eat properly, the outside space to run around and do crazy stuff (like break windows and tackle each other), the space for reading and sleeping … and the space with valuable stuff in it where you should be careful and sensible. [more]

THE ARMED MAN at Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street
reviewed by Ann Hunt 18 May 2015
A most effective coda to the futility of this war and all wars
Coming as it does in the sequence of the recent World War One commemorations, The Armed Man is a most effective coda to the futility of this war and all wars. [more]

JARRED FELL - POSSIBLE at Q Theatre, Rangatira
reviewed by Stewart Lund 18 May 2015
One of New Zealand's best
What makes Fell such an enjoyable watch is his ability to lull the audience and his oft-unsuspecting participants into a false sense of security (or occasional insecurity, such as during the almost unbelievable pick-pocketing sequence). We are taken on a journey through each segment, and the pay-off or punchline is always worthwhile. [more]

NZ International Comedy Festival 2015
CLASS COMEDIANS SHOWCASE 2015 - WELLINGTON at Hannah Playhouse (previously Downstage)
reviewed by Shannon Friday 17 May 2015
Massive effort pays off
Class Comedians is a programme run by the Comedy Trust that encourages young comedians to develop their talents and skills. Under the tutelage of James Nokise (who also hosts) and Anya Tate-Manning, eight young people have taken to the stage to try out their stuff – many of them performing for the first time. [more]

NZ International Comedy Festival 2015
THE 5PM PROJECT 2015 at Hannah Playhouse (previously Downstage)
reviewed by Shannon Friday 17 May 2015
Not quite as successful as it could be
The goal here is simple: get a bunch of professional comedians together, and get them to perform stuff specifically for teenagers. Simple, right? I mean, what could be easier than making teenagers – who get bonus points of awesome for being uninterested in grown-ups – laughing? [more]
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