Portland physical theatre company A Little Bit Off make their New Zealand debut at Te Auaha with Beau & Aero: Crash Landing. They were the San Diego Fringe Outstanding Physical Theatre award winners in 2017 and I can see why. Pilot Beau (David Cantor) is brash, overconfident and prone to getting a little too involved in what he’s doing. Co-Pilot Aero (Amica Hunter) is a slightly dippy trouble maker yet very attuned to the audience. They’ve crash-landed and are trying everything to get back into the air with this street style performance. Yes, there is a bit of audience participation and they make a great choice in their first stage invite. There are some hilarious set pieces and some breathtaking physical partnering. The penultimate scene is so outrageous I didn’t want to believe it was happening. Good fun stuff.

Prop warning: balloons.

  • Beau and Aero on at Te Auaha as part of the NZ Fringe Festival to 10 March 2018


Another performer on debut in Wellington is Telia Nevile with Poet vs Pageant. This is a long form poem about a poet who has decided to enter a beauty pageant. Neatly divided into chapters that follow the various sections of the pageant (plus a couple for framing) our hero/anti-hero Miss PL (Poet Laureate) struggles against herself as much as the system she’s willingly put herself in to. The poem includes some great metaphors around beauty, intelligence, competition and relationships. Nevile is a gentle performer, who uses pauses, facial expressions and the occasional step into to a spotlight to emphasise parts of the poem. This show has won awards in Melbourne and Montreal. I wasn’t sure what to expect and enjoyed it very much.

  • Poet vs Pageant on at BATS Theatre as part of the NZ Fringe Festival to 9 March 2018