Review: Eight Songs for a Mad King

King George III, despite having been a learned and enthusiastic sponsor of scientific and industrial progress, a faithful husband and father, and in many ways very liberal for his time (except pro-slavery, just saying), is basically famous for having gone mad. That madness has been scrutinized, diagnosed, and mocked roundly in modern literature, film, TV, […]

Review: The Human Voice (La voix humaine)

TW: Suicide Jean Cocteau wrote La Voix Humaine in 1928 as a one-act play.  Francis Poulenc set it to music 30 years later, despite having already known Cocteau well for years, and gave the reason for the delay as having needed more life experience to do it justice.  During those years he struggled with depression […]

Four Nights In the Green Barrow Pub – Review

Four Nights In the Green Barrow Pub is the third of Cassandra Tse’s shows I’ve seen, and each one was wildly different from the others.  M’Lady had me in stitches, The Aliens, in tears.  Four Nights, though, took me down memory lane. Having a hundred noisy musical Irish cousins of my own, I was probably […]

Blackbird Ensemble Performs Björk: All Is Full Of Love – Review

Blackbird Ensemble are “NZ’s most exciting chamber orchestra”, and Thursday’s homage to Björk supported that claim more than competently.  A collection of strings, horns, percussionists, and Claire Cowan’s multi-instrumentalism brought director Cowan’s arrangements to vibrant and emotional life.  The musicians were more than just that; in their glowing boiler suits they became part of a sensory […]

Review: The Turn of the Screw

During the interval of last night’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, I popped outside for a bit of cold air and second-hand smoke.  As I stood reading the playbills, a group of four people bustled out, one of whom was loudly and petulantly proclaiming “But I want PUCCINI!!!”  They did not […]

Review: Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God

  Liz and Frank have spent the past few years achieving the sort of anaemic existence that passed for middle-class success for my parents’ generation.  Careers, a house, a child.  Carefully curated shelves of books and knick-knacks in the living room.  This living room is the stage for a reunion dinner party; two old friends […]

Review: Rigoletto

Verdi’s Rigoletto is a classic, and deservedly so.  The story was based on a Victor Hugo play, adapted somewhat to avoid censorship.  Hugo, by all accounts, was not at all happy that his play was being plagiarised (and by an Italian!) until he attended and was amazed by a performance.  Musically it was rather revolutionary, […]

Review: The Weekend

Lara has only the weekend to track down her partner as she traverses the world of public housing, drug dealing, and addiction. The Weekend is based on a situation that first time playwright that Henrietta Baird (from Kuku Yalanji/Yidinji country in Queensland’s Far North) experienced. From this she’s written an extremely funny, emotionally horrifying one-woman […]

Fringe show reviews: Glittery Clittery, Dry & Damaged and Missing Lids

Today’s guest reviews of three fringe shows come courtesy of Tony Barnes. Thanks Tony! The Fringe Wives Club – Glittery Clittery A year ago, while touring several of her shows at the 2018 NZ Fringe Festival, Tessa Waters mentioned that she had another show in development that she would bring to the 2019 Fringe. Fringe […]

Review: STOA

A stoa, in Greek architecture, is a portico used as a promenade or meeting place. For the NZ School of Dance, it’s a place to bring people together for exploring new ideas and challenges. Well, technically two places. We returned to our seats after intermission only to be lured into a new space. (pro tip: […]