Theatreview Weekly: 22/11/2012

The mouse trapped - Pic By James Morgan
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: The Mousetrap, Chop/Stick, The Wishing Tree, and The Tigers Of Wrath.

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A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: The Mousetrap, Chop/Stick, The Wishing Tree, and The Tigers Of Wrath.

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 Mousetrap, Chop/Stick, The Wishing Tree, and The Tigers Of Wrath.

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

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Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington - NEW ZEALAND SCHOOL OF DANCE 45TH ANNIVERSARY GRADUATION SEASON: Polish, panache and joie de vivre

- reviewed by Greer Robertson

Birdbrain was originally premiered in Australia with choreography by Garry Stewart. Based loosely and playfully on Swan Lake, it interweaves multiple forms of dance including gymnastics, yoga, contemporary and breakdance with clipped, concise high octane classical ballet. A relaxed costume of Tshirts, dance pants and bare feet enables the dancers to excel and totally get into it and it is evident that the dancers thoroughly enjoy it as much as I do watching them.

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Old St Paul's, Wellington - CHARLES DICKENS PERFORMS A CHRISTMAS CAROL: More matter, less art?

- reviewed by John Smythe

The wide range of venues may well mean the tone of each performance varies but I assume the default mode is, as presented at Old St Pauls last night, one of Victorian theatricality. We are asked to marvel, as the author’s own audiences did, at the performer’s ability to act the part of each and every character with “a different voice, a different style, a different face” (Cambridge Independent Press, 1859).

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St James Theatre, Wellington - THE MOUSETRAP: Not trapped

- reviewed by Lynn Freeman

The frustrations I had with the production were compounded by the knowledge that this overseas production’s run may well fill the St James with people prepared to pay a premium to see it. But having just spent some time revisiting this year’s homegrown theatre productions for the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards nominations, it’s heartbreaking that so much great work often attracted such small audiences.

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Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - CHOP/STICK: Fresh and timely

- reviewed by Reynald Castaneda

Jo Holsted and Michelle Ang’s winning script on multiple identities in a multicultural metropolis – headlined here by Ang – is a celebration of being ‘the other’ in a city where being ‘normal’ is subjective.

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BATS - return season, Wellington - THE WISHING TREE: Energetic and fun, if a bit uneven

- reviewed by Lori Leigh

Part of the fun is the various points-of-view on wishing itself. On opening night, the wishes ranged from heartfelt to absurd. Scenes were created around wishes such as I wish . . . “dinosaurs were friendly and alive”, “the press reported the facts”, and “my cat would stop catching wetas, mice, etc.”

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Circa Two, Wellington - THE TIGERS OF WRATH: Crucial questions provoked

- reviewed by Paul Maunder

As a professional writer for the mainstream theatre, Parker has been prolific, and for some years many of his scripts went unproduced, or were left at the workshop stage. But he kept on working and I never ceased to admire his tenacity. And now his work is beginning to be produced more frequently. Alleluia.

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Civic Theatre, Invercargill - GISELLE: Audience captivated by the romance of Giselle

- reviewed by Kasey Dewar

Giselle is a ballet of contrasts. From the significant difference in the mood between Act 1 and 2, the light and happy village and the dark, creepy fores, t to the difference in personalities between the characters of Albrecht and Hilarion. The story flows easily throughout the scenes and as usual with the RNZB is easy to follow. The bouts of clapping between scenes and the multiple murmurings of “wow!” after the final curtain drops prove the audience is captivated by the romance of Giselle.

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Circa One, Wellington - ROGER HALL’S CINDERELLA THE PANTOMIME: Cinderella with modern twist lots of fun for all the family

- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

However Hall has added much that is modern, such as the Fairy Godmother’s wand which is an iPhone, with many local Wellington references such as the Cuba Mall Bucket Fountain, the buses down Willis Street, the opening of the Hobbit movie and of course the Mayor and her bicycle.

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St James Theatre, Wellington - THE MOUSETRAP: Enduring ‘trap’ is delightful

- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Although the famous ending – not to be revealed outside the theatre – has a certain fascination about it and the revelations as they unfold are mildly amusing, as thrillers go the play is not overly gripping, especially with so much of the genre on television these days.

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TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland - LOVE AND MONEY: Amazing acts of derring do

- reviewed by Paul Simei-Barton

The Dust Palace has brewed up a volatile concoction with circus acrobatics, contemporary dance and physical theatre shaken into a potent cocktail that is breathtakingly spectacular, sensuously lyrical and often funny.

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TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland - LOVE AND MONEY: Money CAN buy love

- reviewed by Sharu Delilkan

Be warned that the cast of Love and Money don’t only bear all physically, they bear their souls through this intimate emotional journey. This clever piece of theatre is slickly peppered with cirque-theatre that’s the hallmark of The Dust Palace.

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Circa One, Wellington - ROGER HALL’S CINDERELLA THE PANTOMIME: A rattling good family show

- reviewed by John Smythe

There is a fresh feel about this Cinderella: lively script, topical gags, gorgeous music, clever and bright costume-set-lighting designs, and strong characterisations from an exemplary cast who connect well with each other and their audience.

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Hen & Chickens Theatre, Islington, London - ORDINARY DARKNESS: Paddling in murky waters

- reviewed by Janina Matthewson

It is the story of two wilfully naïve young girls being unwittingly coerced into becoming the only employees of a makeshift brothel. It’s about young people fighting unthinkingly against some evil they’ve not really defined but that they’re sure exists within the corporate model and, by extension, the corporate man.

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St James Theatre, Wellington - THE MOUSETRAP: Cleverly-wrought whodunit handsomely delivered while mystery abides

- reviewed by John Smythe

The title comes from the name Hamlet chose for the play he and his travelling player mates staged to “catch the conscience of the King”. “'Tis a knavish piece of work,” he tells Claudius: “but what o' that? Your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not: let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.” I love that line!

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Middleton Grange School Performing Arts Centre, Christchurch - CHARLES DICKENS PERFORMS A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Brought to convincing life with warmth and skill

- reviewed by Lindsay Clark

It is a great pity that this splendidly crafted piece seems to have arrived unheralded and will be gone before word of mouth can do it justice. Those happy few who found their way to the venue enjoyed a generous and masterly incarnation of the great novelist, reproducing the readings which Dickens himself once took on tour to the world.

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CBS Canterbury Arena, Christchurch - GISELLE: Giselle is breathtaking - bravo the Ballet!

- reviewed by Toby Behan

The second act however, is where this production truly excels. As Albrecht and Hilarion mourn at Giselle’s graveside, they are tormented by the Willis – the spirits of young and vengeful women who exact horrific punishment on the men they capture. Although Hilarion meets his (undeserved?) fate in this way, Giselle herself, in an extraordinary and tender act of forgiveness, defends and pleads for the man who caused her ruin.

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Fortune Theatre, Dunedin - CALENDAR GIRLS: Warm-hearted comedy balances humour and pathos

- reviewed by Brenda Harwood

Laughter and tears flowed for audience members during Saturday's opening night of delightful pre-Christmas show Calendar Girls at the Fortune Theatre.

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Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland - TELL ME ON A SUNDAY: Left in a bind

- reviewed by Matt Baker

With the right vehicle a musician can stake their claim in the world of acting. From Madonna in 1996’s Evita to Melanie Brown in the 2004 revival of Rent, the musical stage and screen is becoming readily accepted as a platform on which such musical artists may step. I was excited at the prospect of not only seeing the one-woman Andrew Lloyd Webber show Tell Me On A Sunday for the first time, but for the fact that Carly Binding was that one woman.

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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

22 Nov 2012

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