Theatreview Weekly: 01/11/2012

Meat
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: Meat, Frequently Asked Questions: To Be Or Not To Be, and Culture Clash.

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A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: Meat, The Somnambulist, Frequently Asked Questions: To Be Or Not To Be, and Culture Clash.

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: Meat, The Somnambulist, Frequently Asked Questions: To Be Or Not To Be, and Culture Clash.

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

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Opera House, Wellington - POTTED POTTER: THE UNAUTHORIZED HARRY EXPERIENCE: a winning formula of parody and satire
- reviewed by Simon Howard

The Harry Potter series is gloriously sent up in this fast-paced production of Potted Potter, a family comedy show which has enjoyed huge success worldwide, including several stints on the West End and off-Broadway.

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Telstra Clear Events Centre, Manakau, Auckland - FIREWORKS, AN EVENING OF MUSIC AND DANCE: Dancers on fire with joy of dance
- reviewed by Dr Linda Ashley

Moss Patterson’s Poutama features 100 dancers and his skill in bringing each of them into the moment of performance is to be wondered at. They were on fire – please excuse the pun, and I hope that somehow they get to hear about this review. As the orchestra transports us to a place of enlightenment and joy, so each of these dancers, aged not-very-much to early twenties, lit up the stage. Patterson’s choreography enables each of the dancers to express the themes of the Maori design, and the dancers embody how we can support each other in struggles to grow and develop. A theme, it seems, which was also experienced by the dancers in their rehearsal process, and brought to life for the audience how dance, and dance education especially, plays out as informing and enhancing people’s lives, young and old. These young dancers, the orchestra, its conductor Graham Abbott (who no doubt played a huge part in all of this), the APO team, Sally Markham, Patterson and the school teachers an d university lecturers who were also amidst it all deserve to perform this work again and again.

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Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland - MEAT: A romp through cliches and character types of modern horror
- reviewed by Stephen Austin

I’m a big fan of the campier spectrum of the horror genre and the appeal of having some fun with the tropes. It is so easy to get carried away with piling on the gore and the shocks without really paying much heed to packing a wallop with your story and characters.

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Q, The Vault, Auckland - THE SOMNAMBULIST: Palpable tension and super twist ending
- reviewed by Stephen Austin

Boy, Thomas Sainsbury sure is pumping out the content at a rate of knots! And it’s regularly of such great quality, with well-rounded characters, sturdy scenarios and a clever sense of the absurd in the everyday. He tackles just about any subject, bounding across genres with seemingly effortless leaps.

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TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland - CULTURE CLASH: Cultural tapestry woven in song and movement
- reviewed by Paul Simei-Barton

The multicultural face of Auckland is vividly displayed in Tapac's community theatre project that has a hugely enthusiastic cast working under the guidance of seasoned theatre professionals.

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TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland - CULTURE CLASH: Contagious fun
- reviewed by Reynald Castaneda

Culture Clash is a kaleidoscopic insight into immigrant experiences in New Zealand. Bold theatrical ideas and sheer energy from its fervent cast members compensate for the play’s overall trite message.

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Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - MANAWA: Do the Time
- reviewed by James Wenley

Everyone has an opinion on the justice system. How do we balance the rights of the victim with the rights of the criminal? What are just sentences for crimes committed? How does the system deal with chronic offenders?

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Theatre Royal, Nelson - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: TO BE OR NOT TO BE: When shall these four meet again?
- reviewed by Ruth Allison

What’s the matter with Hamlet? Well, according to Macbeth he is ‘a big Danish poof’. This is the premise of the hilarious and often brilliant one man show Frequently Asked Questions.

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Theatre Royal, Nelson - CARNIVAL HOUND: Loss, struggle and conflict lightened by wit and humour
- reviewed by Janet Whittington

Symbolism and motivation aside, it is the movement of the dancers I have come here to see. Dabrowska has a refreshingly individual dance style. The development of the piece is different to other dances I have seen. I feel myself connecting with the three performers as the tension between them encourages first tentative then direct eye contact, with long pauses between connections between the three. Their movements with the chairs and amongst one other are heightened in drama by the punctuation of stillness after each set of moves, with an effect similar to that which you experience when a magician constantly seeks applause throughout the knifing of his poor assistant – not what I normally expect in dance.

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ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland - LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO: King Louis would be proud (and loud)
- reviewed by Jack Gray

This is followed by a quartet, set somewhere in an Italian style opera arena with a more classic longer skirt, hues of pink, lavender, chantilly lace frosting. The main queen is so smugly diva-ish and maintains this hilarious demeanor throughout. There is tension between her and one of the other maidens - and as silly and obvious as it is - it is still a crack up. The comedy would fall flatter than a Pavlova in an opened oven - if the dancing itself wasn't so impeccable

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TSB Bank Mainstage, Nelson - THE TOPP TWINS: Favourite characters, spontaneous repartee and fine singing form Kiwi treasures
- reviewed by Gail Tresidder

From their radical busker beginnings through thirty-three years of touring New Zealand and the world, 54 years old Lynda and Jools Topp, Camp Mother and Camp Leader to the nation, are now iconic Kiwi treasures, perhaps even higher than the buzzy bee in popular esteem.

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Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - MANAWA: Hilarious satire pierces dark side and reveals top talent
- reviewed by Paul Simei-Barton

Playwright Jamie McCaskill, who impressed a couple of years ago as co-writer of He Reo Aroha, returns with a new play that convincingly establishes him as a major talent – both as a writer and performer.

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BATS, Wellington - FLATLAND: A flat look at today’s society
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Part of the philosophy of the annual STAB season at BATS, funded by Creative New Zealand, is to encourage the development of groundbreaking and original theatre, and while the first play in this year’s season, Flatland, is not wholly successful as a production it is certainly original.

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Lighthouse Cinema: DOCTOR FAUSTUS, Petone, Hutt Valley - SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE ON SCREEN 2012: Production values score over tame leads
- reviewed by Laurie Atkinson

Marlowe’s Dr Faustus is a glorious muddle of a play. Like Waiting for Godot there is no plot and no conflict, but unlike Beckett’s bleak masterpiece it is laden with some very unfunny low comedy scenes that one assumes Marlowe never wrote.

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

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Theatreview

1 Nov 2012

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