New Zealand theatre reviews, performace reviews and performing arts directory



New Zealand professional theatre & dance: reviews, news and your views
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CAPITAL E ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION OF STEPHEN BLACKBURN [more]
The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2014: Nominees
[more]
THE BRUCE MASON PLAYWRITING AWARD 2014 [more]

Milestones to be Honoured at Theatre Awards Nationwide
[more]
AUCKLAND THEATRE AWARDS 2014: MAJOR NEW DISTINCTIONS [more]

Centrepoint: 40 years of professional theatre in the Manawatu [more]
2014 WESTPAC NEW ZEALAND ARTS AWARDS RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED [more]

BATS CALLS FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR STAB 2015, by 28/11/14 [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
LIGHT WAY OUT at The Open Stage, Hagley Community College, Christchurch
reviewed by Emily Napolitano 28 Nov 2014
Humour, intimacy, and wonderfully idiosyncratic choreography
Highlights include The Long And The Short Of It, Parts I and II, choreographed by Fleur de Thier. In this dance the long hair of one dancer is used dramatically as a prop, illustrating the ways we are fascinated by, idolize and yet torment those who have what we want. The object of desire gets her own back at the end, surreptitiously cutting off the hair of her imitators. [more]


SEI ‘O FAFINE at The Pumphouse, Auckland
reviewed by Dr Linda Ashley 28 Nov 2014
Fragilities of family life unpicked
This is a work of light and dark, anguish and redemption, struggle and shame, and pain and heartbreak. It tells the story through the eyes of the various players. The performers are a tour de force, and each of them has a moment to shine. They are tuned in with each other in movement and voice as a highly cohesive group. They also brilliantly capture the humorous side of the lives of the sisters as they endeavour to be Tongan women and embody all the expectations of traditional cultural protocols and the associated punishments. A kung fu paper-rock-scissors battle that settles an argument and, in seeking the perfect body a round of cosmetic remedies which includes spoofs on dental, plastic and dietary treatments, are both highly amusing. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Sharon Mazer
 Hannah Molloy

Photo by Jem Cresswell
SPIEGELWORLD EMPIRE at Odlins Plaza, Taranki Wharf, Wellington
reviewed by Lyne Pringle 28 Nov 2014
An entertaining evening unlike any other
Two themes pervade the evening: ribald lewdness and concentrated balance. The spirit of New York City is evoked with a cache of tried-and-true images such as the stars and stripes, the Statue of Liberty and the Occupy Movement to create a loose framework for the action. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Matt Powell
 Ann Hunt (The Dominion Post);

WHITE ELEPHANT at Hannah Playhouse (previously Downstage), Wellington
reviewed by Deborah Eve Rea 28 Nov 2014
Mocking society and gloriously revolting
Our Bouffon-esque General (Anya Tate-Manning), Mayor (Madeline McNamara and Banker (Thomas Eason) arrive with noise, fanfare and ceremony, luring Zanni with promises of food and money in order to enslave them to carry out medial tasks. The Zanni perform plays, dance, fornicate and fight each other for the amusement and approval of the Bouffons. [more]


THE UNDERARM at Lawson Field Theatre, Gisborne
reviewed by Juliet Blakeney 27 Nov 2014
Very funny and thought-provoking
Greg Chappell really dropped the ball. Cricket is said to be a 'gentleman's game' but the Aussies well and truly proved it's "not really". The infamous underarm bowl in Melbourne demonstrated beyond doubt that when you transport a sport to the other end of the globe the gentlemanly quality becomes forgotten. [more]

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

AT THE WAKE at Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland LIVE, Auckland
reviewed by Dione Joseph 27 Nov 2014
Finely wrought work performed with rambunctious audacity and finesse
At the Wake chronicles the sequence of events that unfurl at Olivia’s funeral. Daughter of a mouthy Scottish diva, she was knocked up by her Samoan lover at the tender age of sixteen and left to rear her baby boy on her own. Fast forward 25 years and cancer has brought the three most important people in her life into the same space as they gather together to mourn her passing. [more]

See also reviews by:
 Paul Simei-Barton (New Zealand Herald);
 Sharu Delilkan (TheatreScenes: The Auckland Theatre Blog);

SHEEP at Q Loft, tickets collected at The Basement, Auckland
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]

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

HOU (2014) at Shed 1, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland
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]


EMBODY at Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington
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]


DEAD TRAGIC at Circa Two, Wellington
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]

See also reviews by:
 John Ross

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]


Chat Back
"PERSONAL STATEMENT re CTTA 2014 Nominations   For the first time in 16 years of being on the Chapman Tri..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

"Or to make it really easy (and private), here is the link to the Survey Monkey option: https://www.surveymonke..." - Editor   [read full forum post]

"Best Pash: Bruce Hopkins and Hershal Herscher as Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre,  Jews Brothers Bloomsday Be..." - Steve Dedalus   [read full forum post]

"You've seen the shows, you've read the reviews, now you can make your opinion count... Deadline: 5pm Thursda..." - Rachel Forman   [read full forum post]

"You should have seen the production from Blenheim Reportory... director ..Pam logan...Cast wonderful........An..." - Michele Devereux-Austin   [read full comment]

"This link to the Toi Whakaari FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Toi-Whakaari-NZ-Drama-School/18330332504..." - Editor   [read full forum post]

"This tribute compiled by Robbie's friend Raj:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BANNGiOZEU&feature=yo..." - Editor   [read full forum post]

"Robert Tripe 1973-2014   Equity New Zealand is very sad to announce the death of actor Robert Tripe.&nbs..." - John Smythe   [read full forum post]

"ATTENTION: Our show on Saturday 8 November will begin an hour earlier than usual to avoid the hooliganism of f..." - The Bacchanals   [read full comment]

"So glad you had a good time :) I would just like to state for the record that absolutely no audience plants we..." - Jennifer O'Sullivan   [read full comment]

"A minor correction: I was in the aerobics love triangle scene, but the set up was by Laura Irish :) " - Jennifer O'Sullivan   [read full comment]

"I am pleased that the critics of my review connected more with this production of Anne Boleyn than I did,..." - Richard Howard Reviewer   [read full comment]


News
28 Nov 2014 - CAPITAL E ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION OF STEPHEN BLACKBURN Capital E announced today that Stephen Blackburn has resigned after more than ten years with the organisation, most recently as their National Theatre for Children’s Creative Producer. Speaking today of Mr Blackburn’s decision, Capital E Director, Stuart Grant said “we are very sad to be saying goodbye to our friend and colleague as he embarks on this new chapter. During his time at Capital E Stephen’s passion and commitment to providing unforgettable theatrical experiences to young New Zealand audiences has revolutionised the industry’s attitude towards theatre for children.”   [more]

26 Nov 2014 - The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2014 A Grand Celebration of Wellington Professional Theatre. Sunday 14 December, 7pm Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place Chapman Tripp are proud to present their annual ceremony in honour of theatrical excellence and creativity – The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, 7pm Sunday 14th December at Paramount Theatre.   [more]

24 Nov 2014 - POLITICAL SHENNANIGANS, ECOLOGICAL TERRORISM AND TWITCHY FAIRYTALES LEAD TO AWARD FOR WELLINGTON PLAYWRIGHT The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. The $10,000 cash prize recognises early success in the career of the winning playwright and is designed to encourage their continued exploration of the theatre medium. Ralph graduated from Victoria University with a BA (Honours) First Class in Theatre and English Literature before going on to train at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the UK.   [more]

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]