Theatreview Weekly: 09/08/2012

West End Girls
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: Hairspray, Someone Like You, West End Girls, and Trial By Jury and the Grand Duke.

Share

A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: Hairspray, Someone Like You, West End Girls, and Trial By Jury and the Grand Duke.

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

A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: Hairspray, Someone Like You, West End Girls, and Trial By Jury and the Grand Duke.

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

Opera House, Wellington - HAIRSPRAY: Bight, bold musical well worth enjoying
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Following on in the tradition of such musicals as Grease, Fame and High School Musical, Wellington Musical Theatre’s current production of Hairspray is big, bright, bold and very loud.

From John Waters’ 1988 movie of the same name to a Broadway musical in 2002 and then another movie of the musical in 2007, the story of tubby teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream to dance on a local TV show in Baltimore in 1962 has garnered numerous awards with many hit productions along the way.

------------------------------------------------------------------

BATS, Wellington - SOMEONE LIKE YOU: Light touch on timely love story
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

A programme note from Chaz Harris, the writer of Someone Like You, says of the play “it’s about love and about being gay”.

But this is no rite of passage or “coming out” play; that the central character Will (Joshua Hopton Stewart) is gay is a given – no questions are asked from either his flatmate Frankie (Imogen Thirlwall) or work mate Renee (Alana Zivanovic). And in Will’s situation the trials and tribulations of him trying to form a relationship with someone is seen as the same as if he were straight.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Mayfair Theatre, Dunedin - TRIAL BY JURY AND THE GRAND DUKE: Marathon effort the stuff of dreams, or perhaps nightmares
- reviewed by Louise Petherbridge

In London, death-defying athletes are flinging themselves from diving boards, hurtling over hurdles or running till their lungs are at bursting point. In Dunedin, at 6pm, the curtain at the Mayfair Theatre rises to a full house exactly on time. This is the final lap of a gigantic artistic marathon.

The athletes are in excellent form and we are treated to an evening of breath-taking ebullience and the wonderful contradiction that Gilbert and Sullivan operas invariably achieve: a perfectly controlled anarchy. The race ends at 10.30pm.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Circa One, Wellington - WEST END GIRLS: Ingeniously dramatised and staged
- reviewed by John Smythe

It is remarkable that this play, which sits happily amid the ‘best of British’ fare we’ve come to expect within Circa seasons, is enjoying its world premiere in Wellington, having been adapted from UK writer/artist Barbara Tate’s memoir by local playwright Ken Duncum.

Twenty-two years after she had worked, aged 21, as a Soho prostitute’s maid Tate completed a 160,000-word account of her experiences and observations, but shelved it when a family member objected, presumably fearing it would bring shame on them.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Circa One, Wellington - WEST END GIRLS: Tale of prostitute’s helper lively bit of entertainment
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Few people in NZ would have heard of Barbara Tate, the central figure of Circa Theatre’s latest play West End Girls. If they had it would probably have been as one of Britain’s leading women artists. But unbeknown to many, her early life in the late 1940’s began in Soho, London, not as an art student but as a prostitute’s maid.

------------------------------------------------------------------

BATS, Wellington - QUIVER: New take on lust and obsession
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

The love triangle has been used countless times in plays and films over the years but probably not as intriguingly as Gina Vanessi does in her play Quiver opening this week at Bats.

From the opening moments when Celeste (Gina Vanessi), unseen behind a white screen, phones Petra (Jaya Robertson) during her yoga class declaring she is watching her but that she is not a stalker we know there is something strange going on.

------------------------------------------------------------------

St James Theatre, Wellington - THE TOWER SEASON OF CINDERELLA: Enchantment, inspiration, artistic brilliance on show
- reviewed by Jennifer Shennan

Suppose someone took a perfect rose and turned it into a splendid ballet. Someone did.

The visual imagery throughout this production is exquisitely inspired by art nouveau, Horta let’s say, in a rose garden, through to a sparkling starry night of Swarowski jewels. Tracy Grant Lord has produced wondrous designs for sets that move to music – and linger in the mind long after curtain down.

------------------------------------------------------------------

BATS, Wellington - SOMEONE LIKE YOU: Potential founders in shallows
- reviewed by Helen Sims

Reflecting on Someone Like You, I came to the realisation that the problem with it is identified by its main character in the opening monologue. Will is writing a book about relationships. The fact he’s never actually had one won’t get in his way. Someone Like You is a play about relationships – or at least the ridiculous, anxiety-riddled torture we go through on the way to ‘being’ in a relationship. However, the play never gets beyond the first date.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar School, Auckland - TRIPLE BILL SEASON: A promising debut
- reviewed by Jacqui Cesan

This is a company of enthusiastic and promising young dancers who clearly love what they are doing, and demonstrated this on the night. It is heartening that the directors and tutors of these young people are committed to providing them with opportunities beyond just classes and encouraging them to take on more technically challenging choreography.

------------------------------------------------------------------

St James Theatre, Wellington - THE TOWER SEASON OF CINDERELLA: Sumptuous, satisfying and pleasing to the eye
- reviewed by Lyne Pringle

Act II is gorgeously stylish with a well-tuned corps de ballet dancing intricate choreography that swirls in the space to evoke a royal ballroom. The performances of the ugly sisters lift off with fabulous solos from them and they are hilarious as they pursue first the prince and then the prince’s friends who jête and prance with terrific elevation.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Opera House, Wellington - HAIRSPRAY: A great toe tapping night out with heart and integrity
- reviewed by Jo Hodgson

Having seen the 2007 film version I have to admit to feeling a little apprehensive about seeing the stage show with its feel-good story full of cheese and youthful energetic froth, quite in contrast from the reality of the civil rights movement struggles of the time. Yes it’s a social commentary of perseverance in the face of adversity but the movie had left me feeling that this struggle was glossed over.

However, tonight’s performance leapt off the stage with sheer exuberance and talent making it impossible not to get caught up in the changing landscape for the youth of the early 60s as they rollick through the musical score ...

------------------------------------------------------------------

Unitec Theatre, Entry 1, Carrington Rd, Unitec Mt Albert, Auckland - RABBIT HOLE: Pasifika heart-beat enriches American family drama
- reviewed by Johnny Givins

Something new is happening at Unitech! A pilot scheme to increase the involvement of Pasifika students is bearing its first fruit. What a delight to watch the developing talents of five actors who have spent two years at PIPA and now have the opportunity to spend a year at Unitech Department of Performing and Screen Art to graduate with a degree in 2013.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Centrepoint, Palmerston North - AT THE WAKE: A fine new play
- reviewed by John Ross

Funerals and the brouhaha surrounding them typically bring people together who’ve not met for yonks – but what if they’ve had powerful reasons for staying far apart? Chuck into the mix the boozing that's characteristic of a wake, leading on to the freeing-up of the voicing of grievances, grudges and ugly truths, and here comes trouble.

------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Further information:

What began as a glorified blog by John Smythe has now become a major organ of communication, interaction and information that has created an online performing arts community by recording, critiquing, celebrating and debating NZ’s professional performing arts activity.

If you value Theatreview, and want to see it survive and grow to further serve the interests and needs of the performing arts community and their audiences, please join the Performing Arts Directory or offer a donation/koha

Written by

Theatreview

9 Aug 2012

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

Story / Performing Arts
The latest Theatreview Weekly includes reviews of The Choice, Puppet Fiction and Dog & Bone.
The Messy Magic Show – part of the Scirt World Buskers Festival 2016, at The Little Big Top – Busker Park, Christchurch.
Story / Performing Arts
The latest Theatreview Weekly includes reviews from Scirt World Buskers Festival 2016.
Story / Performing Arts
The latest Theatreview Weekly includes reviews from I, Peaseblossom, Nga Puke, and The Santa Claus Show.
A Christmas Karel Čapek at Bats Theatre, Wellington.
Story / Performing Arts
The latest Theatreview Weekly includes reviews from A Christmas Karel Čapek, Christ Almighty!, and The Elephant Thief.