Theatreview Weekly: 15/12/11

The Waste Land
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including The Waste Land, Toys, Blithe Spirit, and The Beaten Track.

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 A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including The Waste Land, Toys, Blithe Spirit, and The Beaten Track.

See more recent reviews at theatreview.org, the NZ Performing Arts Review & Directory.

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 A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including The Waste Land, Toys, Blithe Spirit, and The Beaten Track.

See more recent reviews at theatreview.org, the NZ Performing Arts Review & Directory.

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Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, 487 Dominion Road, Auckland - THE WASTE LAND: Intelligence, splendour and elegance

- reviewed by Lexie Matheson

So ATC is holding the mirror up to nature in a Schilleresque way and this is a ‘first’ to be applauded – mutually rewarding community outreach at its very best. This was dignified, intelligent, worldly, articulate, with not a creaky joint in evidence anywhere.

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BATS, Wellington - TOYS: Toys gather for ribald, adult play

- reviewed by Laurie Atkinson

Make no mistake about it Toys is a panto-revue for adults, even though the eight characters are all toys belonging to Charlie who has been carried off into the night on Christmas Eve in mysterious circumstances. In a crazy sort of Agatha Christie finale, where all the toys are assembled at Barbie’s dream mansion, you may discover who the culprit is.

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Various neighborhood locations, Auckland - OCT - DEC SERIES: Understanding Brent's Bundles

- reviewed by Val Smith

One thing I love about October and December series is the engagement with inviting and publicity of the events. One email invitation includes an mp3 audio attachment of a short capture of voice; “ok just to aaaaaa, just to come back”. In order to catch what the audio file says I replay it back several times; laughing, as in doing so, I am creating, recreating, an idea of Brent glitching in repetitive loop styles, perhaps dealing with ways of compulsion, self questioning, inadequacy? Perhaps of glitching between spaces of time passing between repetitions. >>?<< A current email invitation lists the end times of episodes as opposed to the start times, introducing ambiguity to beginnings and endings, a common aspect of this work (we wonder are we done yet?) I look forward to seeing how his following of regulars, newcomers, and passers by, deal with this end times invitation.

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BATS, Wellington - TOYS: Great fun and quirky

- reviewed by Helen Sims

Toys is the Bats Theatre Christmas fundraiser, written by Dan Musgrove and Natalie Medlock. It follows a similar formula to last year’s Christ Almighty. Multiple actors learn each part and perform them on different nights in different combinations, with very little rehearsal together. The result is haphazard, but hilarious.

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Globe Theatre, Dunedin - BLITHE SPIRIT: Coward’s favourite well presented

- reviewed by Barbara Frame

Blithe Spirit has been a favourite since the 1940s, and Brian Beresford’s production of Noël Coward’s chilly comedy of supernatural contact gone wrong makes it easy to see why it’s so popular.

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Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch - A SHORTCUT TO HAPPINESS: Uplifting and optimistic humour

- reviewed by Tony Ryan

“WE’RE BACK!” was the theme for the opening night of Roger Hall’s new comedy, the opening night of the Court Theatre’s new (temporary?) home ‘The Shed’, and the opening night of the first Court Theatre season since . . . well, since the intrusion of the even more realistic dramas that have upstaged professional theatre in Christchurch this year.

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Globe Theatre, Dunedin - BLITHE SPIRIT: Disciplined ensemble excellence aloows lightness and merriment to thrive

- reviewed by Helen Watson White

"You'd be surprised how gullible people are," says Noel Coward's "blithe spirit", "We often laugh about it on the other side." It's good they can laugh, actually, because -- as his Madama Arcati remarks -- "We have no reliable guarantee that the afterlife will be any less exasperating than this one."

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Hagley Open Stage, Christchurch - BUSTIN'OUT - HAGLEY DANCE COMPANY: A passion for dance seen in 14 short works

- reviewed by Julia Milsom

The works are presented across a diverse range of forms, choreographed by both students, tutors and local professional choreographers. This is a reflection of the full and rich syllabus these students have been exposed to during the year, including improvisation, spoken word, ballet, Karate, acrobatics, theatre and film. A number of the choreographers are graduates of the Hagley program.

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BATS, Wellington - SILENT NIGHT: Reminder about elderly, lonely

- reviewed by Laurie Atkinson

The great Tom Lehrer wrote that “Christmas time is here, by golly, / disapproval would be folly”. In the comedy-drama Silent Night Irene McMunn, an elderly widow living on her own certainly doesn’t disapprove and her unit, while not decked with “hunks of holly,” does have a tree and decorations amongst her family photos and mementoes of Charles and Diana’s wedding.

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Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland - A CRIMINAL CHRISTMAS: Crazy Christmas night of actor-driven fun theatre

- reviewed by Paul Simei-Barton

Outfit Theatre's Christmas romp opens with a premise that is guaranteed to generate mayhem: a troupe of six seriously psychotic criminals on a community service programme are obliged to stage a Nativity play in a seedy resthome while a couple of con artists are plotting to murder the bewildered owner of the institution.

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Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - A KRAZY KRISTMAS: Nicely charcoaled humour for the silly season

- reviewed by Candice Lewis

Sainsbury has created six highly entertaining mini plays that invite us to be the proverbial fly on the wall. Each vignette segues into another, getting progressively darker.

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BATS, Wellington - TOYS: Rambunctious, idiosyncratic, impressive, hypnotic, poignant, bizarre, memorable and icky-sticky

- reviewed by John Smythe

Despite the jolly fat man who graced the Bats foyer on opening night, Chico Marx’s Fiorello (in A Night at the Opera) was right: “There ain’t no Sanity Clause.” These Toys are crazy!

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Musgrove Studio, Maidment Theatre, Auckland - THE BEATEN TRACK: Delightfully quirky

- reviewed by Raewyn Whyte

A delightful quirky miscellany of approaches to contemporary dance comprise The Beaten Track, a collection of seven mostly solo works which branch out into new structures and movement vocabularies and offer seven very different moods and settings for the audience.

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See more recent reviews at theatreview.org.nz, the NZ Performing Arts Review & Directory

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Written by

Theatreview

15 Dec 2011

Interests Theatreview is the New Zealand Performing Arts Review & Directory.

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