Theatreview Weekly: 02/08/2012

Men in Tutus
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including Quiver, At the Wake, The Magic Chicken, and Men in Tutus.

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A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including  Quiver,  At the Wake, The Magic Chicken, and Men in Tutus.

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  Quiver,  At the Wake, The Magic Chicken, and Men in Tutus.

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

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BATS, Wellington - QUIVER: Questions of fault intriguingly explored

- reviewed by John Smythe

It’s a good name for this play: Quiver. It’s all about that obsessive state of love or lust that makes you all aquiver. It’s also the name of a perfume. Then there are the earthquake tremors. And the metaphorical quiver of arrows – of desire and revenge; of cupidity and stupidity …

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Centrepoint, Palmerston North - AT THE WAKE: Insightful, compelling and humorous piece about life, love and loss
- reviewed by Richard Mays

“That bastard dog shit on the front lawn again!” And with these opening words we are introduced to the formidable ‘dame’ Joan, a 70-years (plus) peroxided (former) bombshell, and chief (so she reckons) mourner at the funeral of her daughter, Olivia.

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Theatre Royal, Nelson - THE MAGIC CHICKEN: Delicious clowning, miming and puppeteering
- reviewed by Gail Tresidder

My eight year old review adviser, Ethan, joined Barnie in falling in love with this cute, enchanting yellow and pink chicken. Anthropomorphism rules because for us both, and though not even a real flesh and blood bird, she is the star of the show. Her nimble and creative puppet-master, Johny Brugh, masked as a ninja in top to toe black, imbues Ethel with the sweetest personality ...

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Hagley Open Stage, Christchurch - FALL AND RECOVERY: Sheryl Robinson's legacy thoroughly celebrated
- reviewed by Paul Young

In this heartfelt and enthusiastic Memorial showcase produced by Sheryl’s friends, colleagues and ex-students, remounted works choreographed by Sheryl sit alongside short films and works dedicated to her memory. The execution is uneven, this isn’t a fully funded production and the performers are of varying ability. But their commitment to making this show an honest celebration Sheryl’s legacy makes for an appropriate homage.

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Theatre Royal, Nelson - MEN IN TUTUS: Every trick in the book...
- reviewed by Gail Tresidder

The troupe touch and miss hands, paw the ground like a horse, kick backwards at fellow dancers, groan out loud with “strained backs”, let out wails when lifting, collide with the proscenium wall, lose their way in and out of stage entrances and exits, and employ every ounce of foolery to bring tears of laughter to the by-now entranced audience...

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Te Whaea, Wellington - WAKA: Rhythmically driven movement and rich imagery

- reviewed by Virginia Kennard

There's some superb imagery - a sheet as ship’s sail with dancers as mast and sailors, the same sheet as drag net with huddled dancers in the torchlight as a wonderful catch. Video projection of trees and waves onto the dancers’ bodies magically turn them into landscape. The company bares their backs for a literal demonstration of contemporary political themes: projection of text and images with aural quotes and interviews regarding politics, terrorism and the Christchurch earthquake. The typed text is more appropriate and poignant: “I am from”, “I am a carrier”, “I am a vessel”.

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Q, Rangatira, Auckland - KRISHNAN’S DAIRY: Indian ‘Ink’redible

- reviewed by Sharu Delilkan

When my husband Tim and I moved here almost 10 years ago Krishnan’s Dairy was the first live theatre show we saw. It not only left an indelible memory of theatre at its best but it was one of the key motivations why we decided to stay in New Zealand. Having come from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong we did not know whether there would be enough around to satisfy us as culture vultures.

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Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - INVITING CAROLINE: For anyone who has ever hosted a Party

- reviewed by James Wenley

It’s a fine art to hosting a great party. In Inviting Caroline we learn from twenty-something Scott all the traps for new players; when to confirm the date, the ratio of food eaten to food left on the floor, and the importance of screening your invite list.

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Circa Two, Wellington - NUCLEAR FAMILY: Vital portrayal of immigrants’ trials

- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Towards the end of Desiree Gezentsvey’s autobiographical play Nuclear Family, currently playing at Circa Two, one of the characters says “the joys of immigration – always questioning if you have done the right thing”. And of course in such situations family and their support are crucial to surviving the rigors of a new life in a new land.

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Q, Rangatira, Auckland - KRISHNAN’S DAIRY: The power of love in the corner shop and the old world

- reviewed by Nik Smythe

Fifteen years on since the 1997 premiere of Krishnan’s Dairy, the story and its message are as fresh as the day’s NZ Herald shop-front headline (‘Coroner Points Finger at Kahui’), which graces the middle of the stage for most of the play.

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Downstage Theatre, Wellington - MAGNOLIA STREET: Original, innovative, homegrown creativity

- reviewed by John Smythe

Dave Armstrong’s intriguing tale of intergenerational conflict, discovery and loss plays out on a street with a lot of history. But young Jake (Robin Kerr) sees it as a skateboard zone at best and a dirty slum at worst, ripe for tagging. As for the trees, he’s heard all that stuff at school about how important they are but he thinks they’re boring.

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

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Theatreview

2 Aug 2012

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