New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory

New Zealand professional theatre & dance: reviews, news and your views
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Milestones to be Honoured at Theatre Awards Nationwide [more]

Centrepoint: 40 years of professional theatre in the Manawatu [more]

Stage Manager, THE COURT THEATRE Christchurch, apply by 24/11 [more]
Adam NZ Play Award 2015, submit by 1/12 [more]
CALLS FOR PROPOSALS FOR TE MANU KA TAU 2015 Showcases by 1/12 [more]

Latest Theatre and Performance Reviews
ONE MAN TWO GUVNORS at Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch
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]

THE UNDERARM at 4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth
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]

See also reviews by:
 Maryanne Cathro
 Jo Hills (Taranaki Daily News);

WATCH at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
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]

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]

MAMMA MIA! at St James Theatre, Wellington
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]

See also reviews by:
 Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post);

2014 NZ SCHOOL OF DANCE GRADUATION SEASON at Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington
reviewed by Jillian Davey 20 Nov 2014
A crop of great talents
We’re treated to a relatively rare appearance of sections of a Douglas Wright piece, “rapt” .... The programme tells us that “the dance language…is loosely based on the Lord’s Prayer as signed by the deaf”. Loosely indeed. It’s far from literal, but a story is definitely told. It incorporates all the devotion, and all the madness, of a religious experience. It’s fast and furious but the movement is so well executed that we seem to have all the time in the world to register and appreciate it as if it were gentle and delicate. It’s one of the best performances I’ve seen from the contemporary students of NZSD. [more]

FALLING AND OTHER SHORT PLAYS at A bookshop near you,
reviewed by Robert Gilbert 19 Nov 2014
Sharp, witty, and profound
FALLING and other short plays is a collection of 14 brilliantly penned ten-minute masterpieces. In each one, Angie manages to explore epic themes, complex characters, razor-sharp dialogue, and a unique sense of rhythm. Multi-layered characters cleverly voice each play. [more]

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Regent Theatre (Dunedin), Dunedin
reviewed by Hannah Molloy 16 Nov 2014
Exuberant and joyous dancing
The audience was full of children and it was charming to hear their people explaining what was happening, and the little cries of excitement, wonder, and occasionally a whimper of fear in the eerie parts. I think the highlight for me was the tiny guy in front of us who leaped to his little feet clapping and bouncing at the end – I put the two curtain calls down to his infectious enthusiasm for what he had seen. (Sometimes it takes a little unfettered joy to shake a Dunedin audience out of its complaisance.) [more]

See also reviews by:
 Lyne Pringle
 Sheree and Angel Bright

LADIES NIGHT at Fortune Theatre, Dunedin
reviewed by Terry MacTavish 16 Nov 2014
Audience response verges on ecstatic
As soon as the stage lights go up, the chiefly female audience is in full cry. It is positively terrifying but no doubt about it, these ladies are hot on the trail of a fantastic evening and the pursuit never lets up. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Barbara Frame (Otago Daily Times);

Photo by Stephen A'Court
reviewed by Lena Fransham 16 Nov 2014
Rapt kids amplifies adult enjoyment
It seems to me that Red Riding Hood, ostensibly a children’s tale despite its bawdy folk origins, is ideal panto material. The genre, much like the Riding Hood tale, layers adult themes and humour under the childish appeal of its presentation: the hammy caricatures, garish colours, corny jokes and playful interactive narratives are traditionally laden with innuendo and adult sub-texts. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post);

SEP ARATE at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
reviewed by Christina Houghton 15 Nov 2014
Cross-referentiality and visual disorientation
Including D.Js and an after party this event encompassed what it is to bring people together as art and community. Once again I am reminded that this kind of event promotes a way of being that is supportive, subversive and outside social constructs of power and authority, encouraging creativity resistance and strength. Such an outlook is particularly important for the development of young people's identity but also encourages ways of thinking that support the performing arts as valuable for the growth of our community. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Jesse Quaid
 Matt Baker (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

PURE AND DEEP at Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland LIVE, Auckland
reviewed by Kate Ward-Smythe 14 Nov 2014
Great substance and wonderful comedy
Because of the skilful way Toa weaves references of Dave and Venus’ past into this independent sequel, Pure and Deep is a stand-alone enriching experience for people who missed Bare (such as myself), as well as a fascinating catch up, for those who met the couple back in 1998, or at any of the subsequent productions of Toa’s iconic first play. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Matt Baker (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

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19 Nov 2014 - MILESTONES TO BE HONOURED AT THEATRE AWARDS NATIONWIDE At this year’s theatre awards ceremonies and end-of-year celebrations a new nationwide initiative – The New Zealand Theatre Service Honours – will be launched. Practitioners who have reached milestone achievements by participating in 25, 50 or 100 professional shows are eligible to receive the honours. These honours will be presented annually at the regional theatre awards and end of year celebrations. Much like a rugby capping ceremony the purpose of the awards is to celebrate commitment and longevity.   [more]

17 Nov 2014 - Calls for proposals for Te Manu Ka Tau 2015 Showcases Deadline: Monday 1 December 2014 Creative New Zealand in association with the Auckland Arts Festival is calling for proposals from theatre, dance, music and cross artform companies and artists to showcase work for international presenters.   [more]

9 Nov 2014 - THE AUCKLAND THEATRE AWARDS INTRODUCE MAJOR NEW DISTINCTIONS FOR 2014. Launching a new initiative, the Auckland Theatre Awards (ATA) will grant a selection of up to ten formally judged ‘Excellence Awards’. Having been chosen by a panel of 6 professionals these awards will celebrate a range of disciplines, and be for both individuals and groups.   [more]

5 Nov 2014 - ROBERT TRIPE From Rob's brother Will: Please share the following far and wide, we would love to see as many of you who can make it there on Saturday – it will be a wonderful party for an amazing brother!   [more]

4 Nov 2014 - ADAM NZ PLAY AWARD 2015 Submissions are open for the Adam NZ Play Award 2015. Awards are given in the following categories: * Best Play * Best Play by a Maori Playwright * Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright * Best Play by a Woman Playwright   [more]

4 Nov 2014 - 2014 WESTPAC NEW ZEALAND ARTS AWARDS RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED Following a ceremony at SkyCity Theatre this evening, the Arts Foundation of New Zealand has announced the 2014 recipients of their Laureate and New Generation Awards, the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency and Award for Patronage donations, including over half a million dollars in cash donations. Tonight’s Westpac New Zealand Arts Awards ceremony marks over $4.8million in philanthropic donations made to 167 New Zealand artists since the Foundation’s inception.   [more]

4 Nov 2014 - AUCKLAND ARTS FESTIVAL, 4 - 22 March 2015 - programme now launched and tickets on sale for 100+ world class productions   [more]

3 Nov 2014 - Are you ready to push some boundaries and take a leap into the unknown? STAB originated in 1995 from BATS Theatre’s desire to initiate a commission that allowed theatre artists to experiment in a supportive environment. 2015 will be the 20th anniversary of STAB – which is pretty darn exciting! In 2015, BATS has a total pool of $80,000 to commission: ...   [more]