Theatre Reviews

Midsummers Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Pop-up Globe

Arguably William Shakespeare’s most famous comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect primer for summer theatre in Aotearoa. Packed with thwarted lovers fleeing city boundaries, woodland faeries engaging in all sorts of love-potion shenanigans, and conveniently, a play-within-a-play by a group of enthusiastic, if untrained, amateurs; the close to three-hour-long production makes for a perfect balmy night out beneath…

Te Manawa

Te Manawa | Hawaiki Tu

Faced by the elements, it was a relief to escape the rain and settle in at Auckland Theatre Company’s new whare for Te Manawa, one of this Matariki season’s early theatre performances. On a stage exquisitely lit with cold blue light, we could see in the shadows the towering images of the Nga Atua, the gods. The audience was clearly…

Te Puhi

Te Puhi | Waititi Productions

Te Puhi, written by Cian Elyse Waiti, delves deep into family politics against the background of an iconic moment in our history: the crowning of the first Maori beauty queen in New Zealand. It’s Rotorua in the early 1960s and Hineruhi Johnson (Roimata Fox) has been prepping her baby sister, Te Puhi (Taupunakohe Tocker) for the Miss New Zealand pageant.…

Tiki Tanne Mahuta

Tiki Taane Mahuta

It’s been almost a decade in the making but watching the talents of composer and musician Tiki Taane and choreographer Tanemahuta Gray meld together is a sublime experience that’s worth the wait. The two hour long production weaves together aerial theatre, kapa haka, hip-hop, shadow theatre, ballet, martial arts, mau rakau, video projection and live music to share a multi-generational…

Horror - Auckland Arts Festival

Horror | Auckland Arts Festival

Horror films are a genre unto their own but how well do our favourite spine-chilling moments translate to live performance? It’s a challenge Swedish creator Jakop Ahlbom has taken up with gusto. Horror, an 80-minute stage show, tackles a number of the traditional sub-genres with a kaleidoscopic range of stunning visual and sound elements. Bright red raincoats, swinging axes, shattering…

Once there was a woman

Once There Was A Woman | Auckland Fringe

Beth Kayes is a compelling performer and her one-woman show, Once There Was A Woman, is a tribute narrative from a daughter to a mother. Originally developed for a four-strong cast, the Masters of Performance student from the University of Auckland was given the opportunity to make the work into a solo piece. With assistance from Dr Murray Edmond, Kayes…

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Lalelei | Sau E Siva

Move over Juliet and what’s his name. There’s a love story from Samoa that has just as much legendary status as any other classic and this one’s right from our own neighbourhood. Sau E Siva bring us Lalelei: a contemporary classic that combines all the elements of tragedy, love, loss with a healthy dose of humour in an hour long…

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Macbeth | Black Friars Theatre

Black Friars Theatre has been working for the past 10 years in South Auckland to ‘re-story’ conventional narratives. Their production of Macbeth was no exception. Under the direction of Billy Revell and Michelle Johansson, the company presented a rich, vibrant and uniquely Pasifika re-telling of the classic Shakespearean tragedy. Set in traverse, the stage was a long corridor that carried…

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Songs for the Fallen | Auckland Live Cabaret Season 2016

“This is not how my story goes,” says 19th century peasant-turned-courtesan Marie Dupleiss. The muse for Alexandre Dumas’ Lady of the Camellias and the subsequent inspiration for a swathe of legends and myths (including the opera La Traviata and Moulin Rouge) is a woman whose legacy has endured for centuries – but she’s not done yet. It’s January 15th 1847 and in 18 days’ time Dupleiss will…

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Shot Bro – Confessions of a Depressed Bullet | Kōanga Festival 2016

Let’s be clear: Shot Bro – Confessions of a Depressed Bullet is not drama therapy. Any therapeutic effect that may eventuate as a result of watching a brilliant writer and performer share his most personal stories is a result of not merely absorbing and reflecting upon the details of the story but basking in the world of how the story is told. Rob Mokaraka…

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