Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

15/02/2015 - 18/02/2015

Auckland Fringe 2015

Production Details



Developed throughout various seasons and showings over a period of eighteen months, BEAST allows performer Taylor Hall to push boundaries and get up close and personal with an audience from 15-18 February at the Basement Theatre as part of Auckland Fringe.

An animalistic story of metamorphosis, narcissism and desperation, BEAST aims to tickle, unnerve, shock and delight an audience. Exploring archetypes drawn from modern society, Hall explores dark themes through lighter forms.

“One of the best pieces of solo performance I have seen for some time”
Theatreview on Taylor Hall’s performance in WINNERS. 

Taylor Hall is a graduate of Toi Whakaari: The NZ Drama School and has trained under Philippe Gaulier at École Philippe Gaulier in Étampes, France.

BEAST premieres at The Basement on February the 15th, 2015.

BEAST plays
Dates:  15th – 18th February, 2015 @ 7pm
Venue:  The Basement Theatre
Tickets:  $18 full/$15 concession
Bookings: // 0508 iTICKET (484-253)
Duration:  50 minutes

Auckland Fringe 2015 is an open access arts festival where anything can happen. It provides a platform for practitioners and audiences to unite in the creation of form forward experiences which are championed in an ecology of artistic freedom. The 2015 programme will see work happening all over the show, pushing the boundaries of performance Auckland wide from February 11 to March 1.

Theatre , Physical , Mask , Clown ,

Deceptively simple, laced with nuances

Review by Dione Joseph 17th Feb 2015

BEAST is a performance that you will either adore or will want to leave within the first few minutes clutching your bottle of anti-bacterial wash. It’s a one man show with a vocabulary that stretches across mime, clowning, body percussion and even kung fu. Intensely physical, this is a tightly wound piece of work that dares to hinge on exploding – and then does so by breaking down any semblance of barriers between the audience and the performer. 

To his credit Taylor Hall has the ability to draw all his audience members in – including a sneaky wolf who slipped in quietly to watch the show. It was after all named BEAST, the animal thought, and perhaps there is a place for dogs at a fringe show? If Hall’s work is to be taken as a case in point then the resounding answer would be YES, because not only does the skilled craftsman acknowledge his four-legged patron – he makes no distinction between him and the rest of his two-legged compatriots. 

And that’s probably one of the reasons why BEAST is so successful. No, not because there is a dog in this audience (who progressively becomes bewildered as the awkward silences, deep breathing and ‘channelling’ morphs into collective chanting, clapping and movement) but because Hall simply doesn’t miss a beat. Completely dedicated to the liminal space between the points of contact between his selected audience member (and there are really few that escape) he brings a rare sense of collusion to his narrative that seems to be a descent into the depths of insanity where, as is inevitable, all is revealed to be crystal clear. 

Deceptively simple, Hall’s performance is laced with nuances that could very well lead to BEAST becoming something akin to the psychedelic performances of the Blue Man Group – and while Hall might not be Blue (obviously) or use drumming to entice his audiences, it certainly has a whirling dervish quality that might continue to develop in future incarnations. 


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The Mark of the Talented Performer

Review by Matt Baker 17th Feb 2015

While the rise of clowning in the Auckland theatre scene is gaining momentum, Taylor Hall’s solo show is nonetheless a unique theatrical experience. An Auckland season of a Toi Whakaari monologue-derived solo-show is a common one, but what Hall has created is a show that is a true culmination of all his training, including movement, mask, improvisation, clowning, mime, physical theatre, and even kung fu. It is an apt show to launch this young actor’s career, the proclaimed inexplicable deity character combining the skill and knowledge of his education and training, as well as his innocence and youth through clowning.

Hall has the audience eating out of the palm of his hands for the full hour. It’s a testament to not only his talent and charisma as a performer, but also to the story he is telling. While the show itself builds exponentially, there is very little variation in the core interactions Hall has with his audience members, but the fact that these are based on such organic moments and that Hall has an incredibly vast vocabulary within a limited text, means there is a never a dull moment. [More]


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