Theatreview Weekly: 14/02/2013

Swan Song
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: Swan Song, The Road That Wasn't There and Kings of the Gym.

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A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: Swan Song, The Road That Wasn't There, Kings Of The Gym, and Gobsmacked: Showbiz and Dating.

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: Swan Song, The Road That Wasn't There, Kings Of The Gym, and Gobsmacked: Showbiz and Dating.

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

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Parnell Baths, Judges Bay Road, Auckland - SWAN SONG: Wet, Hot, Enchanting and Hilarious
- reviewed by Dr Linda Ashley

This refreshingly none-too-serious telling of the classic ballet story Swan Lake makes clever use of simple movement in its flowing (no pun intended) group formations, exits, entrances and transitions. The children’s pool of Parnell Baths is used to maximum effect in weaving a spell of pantomime, parody and moments of epic proportions. This is melodrama on steroids!

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BATS - Out Of Site - Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington - THE ROAD THAT WASN'T THERE: Should attract an audience from 8 to 80 anywhere in the world
- reviewed by John Smythe

Presented as “a story about a girl who followed a map off the edge of the world”, The Road That Wasn’t There also resonates as one about adult children having to deal with parents apparently losing their minds. Or is it that Gabriel’s mother, Maggie, just wants to recover the magical imagination she was so reluctant to lose as she entered the adult world?

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Maidment, Auckland - KINGS OF THE GYM: Shock-Jock sparring in the school gym
- reviewed by Janet McAllister

If you wish Paul Henry were hosting Seven Sharp, and you like watching 7 Days and Two and a Half Men, then this might be the play to make you change your mind about theatre being all mincing "clown-f***ers" (to use a Kings of the Gym-ism).

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Musgrove Studio, University of Auckland, Auckland - GOBSMACKED: SHOWBIZ AND DATING: Musical production looks at gay man/ single woman bond
- reviewed by Paul Simei-Barton

As part of Auckland's expanded Pride Festival, an enterprising Australian-Kiwi partnership offers a sweetly flavoured piece of musical theatre focusing on the emotional symbiosis that often develops between gay men and single straight women.

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BATS - Out Of Site - Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington - LITTLE TOWN LIARS: Fun-filled musical never misses a beat
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

With all the fanfare of a Hollywood premiere, BATS Theatre has opened their new premises in Dixon Street with a light-hearted, fun-filled, homegrown, high-energy musical, Little Town Liars by Joshua Hopton-Stewart.

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Matiu_Somes Island-meet at Queens Wharf, Wellington - A TEMPEST OFF MATIU-SOMES ISLAND: Intricacy lost in harbour crossing
- reviewed by Laurie Atkinson

A Tempest starts on board the ferry taking the audience to Matiu-Somes when the crew suddenly start to panic. Well, I think that what was happening as the sailors’ shouting was completely drowned out by the noise of the ferry’s engines.

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Opera House, Oamaru - THE NIGHT VISITORS: A rich and satisfying theatrical experience
- reviewed by Sharon Matthews

Director Patrick Davies is to be congratulated for his skilful navigation of this complex layering. The pace never falters; snappy dialogue and strong characterisation make for a rich and satisfying theatrical experience.

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Musgrove Studio, University of Auckland, Auckland - GOBSMACKED: SHOWBIZ AND DATING: Class all the way plus cake
- reviewed by Lexie Matheson

Which is not to say that Gobsmacked: Showbiz and Dating is all shallow virtuosity because it’s not. Aitken, in particular, scales the heights and plumbs the emotional depths in rather spectacular fashion, and to such an extent that, in one of those unique stunned silences we all love so much, Burgess whispered ‘you didn’t think we’d go there, did you?’ – and we hadn’t.

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Maidment, Auckland - KINGS OF THE GYM: A must for teachers, pupils and lovers of satirical comedy
- reviewed by Adey Ramsel

Playwright Dave Armstrong is firmly ensconced in the Kiwi psyche as a guarantee of a lively night out at the theatre. With a string of hits behind him, Armstrong has struck the formula and rattles it out to perfection, though never once churning out predictable settings or themes.

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Maidment, Auckland - KINGS OF THE GYM: Theatre in Education
- reviewed by James Wenley

New Zealand’s Education sector contains potentially ripe pickings for a dramatist. It is a perennial battleground of ideologies, agendas, values, and teaching methods and assessments. In recent times the sector itself has resembled a Dave Armstrong style farce: non-standard National Standards, No-go pay and Hekia “Karma” Parata.

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BATS - Out Of Site - Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington - LITTLE TOWN LIARS: High standards feature in comic romp
- reviewed by Michael Gilchrist

There are moments in this romp where spoken dialogue moves effortlessly into strong, colloquial song – and there is lots of fun with rhymes and rhythm, together with deftness in the dialogue, economy in the exposition and rousing choruses. The large cast bring plenty of brio and energy to the opening number and never flag thereafter – and there is a commendable tightness in the overall story.

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Matiu_Somes Island-meet at Queens Wharf, Wellington - A TEMPEST OFF MATIU-SOMES ISLAND: Irreverent adaption cuts to an essence
- reviewed by John Smythe

On as balmy a summer night as Wellington has ever produced, the cast aboard the East-West Ferry have trouble convincing us we have been hit by a terrible tempest and are in mortal danger. But we get the idea and play along.

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The Long Hall, Roseneath, Wellington - CORIOLANUS: Lots of angry people
- reviewed by Michael Wray

Coriolanus is a Shakespeare not performed very often. Why? If this production by David Lawrence’s Bacchanals is any indication, it’s a hard-hitting tragedy that makes compelling viewing. Hell hath no fury like a Roman scorned!

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Downstage Theatre, Wellington - PERFECTLY WASTED: Perfect Energy
- reviewed by Lynn Freeman

Long Cloud Youth Theatre gives young actors an outlet for their imaginations and energy. The energy alone is astonishing, as they hurl themselves around the stage.

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Fortune Theatre, Dunedin - MICHAEL JAMES MANAIA: Play’s power unchanged
- reviewed by Barbara Frame

The action, and there is much of it, takes place on a set that looks like a place of incarceration – whether actual or metaphorical is for the audience to decide. Consumed by anger, grief and much else, the play's sole character tells the story of his life.

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Quarry Arts Centre, 21 Selwyn Ave, Whangarei - THE ODYSSEY: Vibrant with energy and imagination
- reviewed by David Stevens

It is an adventure story, a love story, a husband/wife story and a father/son story. It is also a story about our relationship with the supernatural: human beings as playthings of the Gods, subject to whim or fate or luck or chance.

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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

14 Feb 2013

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

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