January 4, 2024


Ngā mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou mai i te whānau o Te Whare Tapere Tirohanga Hou!

Happy New Year to all from the Theatreview whānau!

2023 has been a significant year for Theatreview. Here are some of the highlights:

Website Upgrade

Our website upgrade (stage one) – created by Wellington-based site design and development company Dartworks, and funded by Creative New Zealand (CNZ) – went live on 1 February 2023. Special thanks to Trust Chair Dawn Sanders for sustaining productive communications with Wil McDonald and Trustee/Treasurer Marjorie McKee for monitoring progress, paying close attention to numerous details and for her tireless data updating. We are currently seeking funding for stage two, to improve the searchability even more and attend to a number of back-end issues in admin.

Nationwide again!

Over the past year we have at last been able to return to nationwide review coverage, thanks to funding from CNZ, Wellington City Council and Auckland Council. Huge thanks also to our loyal Donors whose generous contributions, be they small or large, support what we do and enhance our credibility in the eyes of funding bodies. (To become a donor, see here).

Lyne Pringle is our Dance Editor Nationwide.
Associate Editors for Theatre are
Lexie Matheson (Auckland)
Lisa Warrington (Dunedin) and
Julie McCloy (Christchurch).
John Smythe is Theatre Editor for Wellington and the rest of New Zealand, and Managing Editor.

Throughout the country a huge number of Reviewers with a wealth of experience in the performing arts volunteered their services in return of two comps, by way of honouring and contributing to the art form they love and respect. Their collective mahi ensures ephemeral productions are reflected on, responded to and retained in the historical record: Theatreview’s freely available and readily searchable archive.


In the calendar year 2023, Theatreview published:
363 theatre reviews (334 commissioned + teasers & links to 29 external)
112 dance reviews (100 commissioned + teasers & links to 12 external)
= 475 reviews all up.

As a bonus we also published 20 articles under Headlines, 7 Deadlines and 14 Comments to reviews under Views & Qs.

89,927 Users engaged through
128,631 Sessions for
244,692 Pageviews.
*See below for full Google Analytics details.

Reviewer workshops

In order to increase the range and diversity of our dance writers in Auckland, Dance Editor Lyne Pringle approached Sarah Foster Sproull who is a lecturer in dance at Auckland University. Sarah recommended the following people, who are either PHD candidates or studying at a post graduate level at Auckland University: Rose Tapsell, Eleanor Tubman, Teianna Chenkovich, Alesha Mehta, Chastity Samoa and Iatua Felagai Taito.

Lyne then ran a 3 hour dance reviewing workshop for these aspiring contributors on August 5th at TAPAC (The Auckland Performing Arts Centre). Francesca Horsley (previously dance reviewer for The Listener and The Herald) offered review writing advice alongside Lyne, Dr Felicity Molloy (senior dance writer) and Dr Marianne Schultz (historian and dance researcher).

The workshop was relatively short, it was highly focused and brimming with information for these burgeoning writers. As well as general discussion, both Lyne and Francesca provided PowerPoints with tips on reviewing. They were also guided through a writing task focussed on reviewing a short dance work.

As a follow-up, participants were invited to a drive link which contains a recording of the workshop, abstract of the recording, PowerPoint presentations and further resources. (For access to those details, contact lyne.pringle@gmail.com)  

In the months following the hui in Auckland, most of the writers have been very responsive to requests and have contributed intelligent, insightful, respectful reviews that offer some valuable critical feedback to the artists they are commenting on. The diversity of dance reviewers in Auckland has improved with the addition of a deep thinking cohort of young writers.

In Wellington, informed by Lyne’s experience and largely driven by Trustee Bette Cosgrove’s commitment and admin skills, we convened an Emerging Reviewers Workshop on 2 September 2023 – in the upstairs space at Le Moana Arts office in Taranaki Street (fa’afetai Kasi Valu). Facilitators were John Smythe, Lyne Pringle and Lynda Chanwai-Earle with a diverse group of nine participants.

Back: Vaishalee Bhana, Margaret Austin, Isabella Jensen, Nitika Erueti-Satish, Lyne Pringle, Lynda Chanwai-Earle, Kasi Valu 
Front: Carys Chapman-Vari, Shemaia Dixon, Mitchell Manuel, John Smythe, Kepe Usoali-Jansen. 

This workshop has also added valued new voices to Wellington’s rich assortment of performing arts reviewers.

See the full report here.

Tau tātou ingoa Māori

Facilitated by Trustee Sally Thorburn, Rakauoteora Te Maipi QSM, known as Koro Don (Tuhoe, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Te Arawa) gifted Theatreview he ingoa Māori – see all the details here.

Auckland-based designer Michael Smythe, who has created our logos pro bono since Theatreview’s inception, ingeniously incoporated ‘te whare tapere tirohanga hou’ as a warm cloak. The new logo went live on 25 September.


Lyne Pringle and Sally Thorburn stepped down as Trustees in 2023 and we are delighted to have welcomed Dan Slevin, Mitch Manuel, Brigitte Knight and Sefa Enari. Our indispensible team of voluntary Trustees as at December 2023 is:
Dawn Sanders ONZM, QSM, Chair (Arts Manager)
Marjorie McKee, treasurer (actor, finance and graphics contractor)
Bette Cosgrove (English teacher, former performing arts administrator)
John Smythe (writer, actor, playwright, theatre critic)
Dan Slevin (freelance writer, adviser on strategic planning, project manager)
Mitchell Manuel (actor, writer, digital graphic and textile designer)
Brigitte Knight (dance tutor, artistic director, critic, freelance adjudicator and choreographer)
Iosefa Enari, MNZM (dancer, choreographer, artistic director and educator)

See About Us for further information and updates throughout the year.

In 2024 the Editors plan to convene an Editorial Advisory Panel to serve as ‘outside eyes’ on their mahi.


*Google Analytics in detail

1/1-30/6/2023 (last on UA)1/7-31/12/2023 (first on GA4)TOTAL 2023
(new users)46,96842,32689,294
sessions per user1.431.431.43
page views127,576117,116244,692
pages per session1.91.911.90
avg session duration00:01:3700:02:4500:02:11
accessed fromNew Zealand33,51470.82%31,51065,02472.31%
internationally –  
United States4,3469.18%2,2776,623
United Kingdom1,6583.50%1,4523,110
Cities in New Zealand  
Lower Hutt9501.90%9121,862
Palmerston North4610.92%461922
Upper Hutt2720.55%167439
(not set)2,9285.87%2,5605,488
and internationally  
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