Theatreview Weekly: 11/10/2012

Bluebeard’s Castle
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including: Bluebeard’s Castle, Lazy Suzy Boy, Tuakana, Footnote Forte Series 2012, and Camino Real.

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A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including:Bluebeard’s Castle, Lazy Suzy Boy, Tuakana,  Footnote Forte Series 2012, and  Camino Real.
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:Bluebeard’s Castle, Lazy Suzy Boy, Tuakana,  Footnote Forte Series 2012, and  Camino Real.
See more recent reviews at theatreview.org, the NZ Performing Arts Review & Directory.

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Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland - FRESH CUTS (2012): Platform for emerging choreographers
- reviewed by Dr Linda Ashley

Go and see Fresh Cuts tonight so that you can say you saw so-and-so when she (and they were all female), first set out.

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Helensville War Memorial Hall, Auckland - LAZY SUZY BOY: Lovely dancing, playful subversion and poignancy
- reviewed by Jenny Stevenson

In an outstanding community dance initiative, Spinning Sun is at the tail end of a tour of North Auckland townships where the company has worked with young dancers in each centre giving them the opportunity to be the curtain-raiser for the main performance. In Helensville, the delight on the young dancers’ faces is a joy to see, as they confidently perform their dance and then become highly appreciative front-row audience for the rest of the show.

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Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland - TUAKANA: New generation of choreographers make their mark
- reviewed by Raewyn Whyte

Tempo Dance Festival 2012 opens with Tuakana and Footnote Forte season - New Generation and established choreographers presenting their wares.

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Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland - FOOTNOTE FORTE SERIES 2012: Two cultural traditions united in dance
- reviewed by Raewyn Whyte

Tempo Dance Festival 2012 opens with Tuakana and Footnote Forte season - New Generation and established choreographers presenting their wares.

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Studio 77, VUW, Wellington - CAMINO REAL: Challenging and provocative work
- reviewed by Helen Sims

Camino Real, Spanish for “Royal Road” is the name of a sleazy, sleepy and sinister town with one way in and one way out. It also represents Tennessee Williams’ vision of modern life.

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Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - BIG MOUTHS: Strong characters could go further
- reviewed by Stephen Austin

I’ll keep this brief, since that seems to be the order of business for this company.

Two solo works, by Toi Whakaari graduates Phoebe Hurst and Emma Fenton.

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Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - BIG MOUTHS: Big Ups
- reviewed by Matt Baker

Developing third year solo pieces is becoming an increasingly viable option for recent drama school graduates. Such is the case with Toi Whakaari grads Phoebe Hurst and Emma Fenton’s double bill show Big Mouths ...

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Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland - TUAKANA: Privileged encounters
- reviewed by Tru Paraha

Tuakana: Maori Contemporary Showcase continues to expand in its scope, curation and artistry since its inception within Tempo Festival 2011. Through the visionary efforts of Marama Lloydd and the Tempo production team, an important event has been created. To encounter these artists within a shared evening of has been a privilege.

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Jack Mann Complex, 53 Solway Ave, Ilam (University of Canterbury's College of Education Campus), Christchurch - BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE: Immersive, engaging, challenging
- reviewed by Erin Harrington

A young woman has come to Bluebeard’s castle to marry him, despite rumours about the fates of his previous wives. He needs to go away on business and tells her she has the run of the castle – but not to unlock to one particular room. The wife is desperately curious; in the story, she unlocks the door to the bloody chamber and finds the bodies of the previous wives.

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Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland - FOOTNOTE FORTE SERIES 2012: Idiosyncratic and electric, with wide appeal
- reviewed by Dr Linda Ashley

Lyne Pringle, with over thirty years of experience in dance and theatre, touches at our heartstrings in her exploration of New Zealand as a Beautiful Prison. This was the favourite piece of the first time dance theatre goer next to me, and I can understand why. Using counterpoints of a fluffy clockwork kiwi and DIY with the sometimes self-absorbed somatic and lyrically captivating trio work, amongst other things, Pringle draws out layers of poignant meanings with the female dancers of the company. At one moment there are feelings of being in the soft arms of nature, and the next alarm bells ring. How we can preserve what we cherish? The mix of bird sound (Matu Booth), Nature (Wayne Mason) and the childlike song Tui (Hirini Melbourne) provide a score that is suitably profound, delightful and chilling. Yes, let’s count the tuis in our garden and weep for the privilege.

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Standard Insurance Building, 201 Princes Street, Dunedin - PLAY: Trapped, obsessive, perpetual torment
- reviewed by Barbara Frame

A spotlight shines on each head in turn, and the heads, when lit, speak in rapid, unexpressive staccato. They do not acknowledge or speak to each other, or the audience, and respond only to the inquisitorial light. It becomes clear that a story is being told – a conventional love triangle with the common elements of deception, reconciliation, failure and regret.

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Kings & Queens, Performing Arts Centre, Dunedin - NGA HAU E WHA: Utterly compelling
- reviewed by Hannah Molloy

Some dancers have such ability to express the joy they have in their own skin through the control they have over the smallest muscle and causing it to shift in a poignant and fleeting way. These dancers epitomise that joy.

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Standard Insurance Building, 201 Princes Street, Dunedin - PLAY: Starkly memorable
- reviewed by Kimberley Buchan

The oppressively grey drizzly day is the perfect weather for this play so the atmosphere mounts before you have even entered the building. The location of this performance is simply superb. Scaffolding holds up stone walls and missing staircases. The ornate ceiling decays above the piles of quarried rocks on which the three metal urns sit.

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Fortune Theatre, Dunedin - WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED: Pure delight
- reviewed by Terry MacTavish

Fagogo. The art of story-telling. The oral tradition of Samoa, the ground-breaking 1994 novel Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figiel, and now its brilliant stage-adaptation by Dave Armstrong.

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Fortune Theatre, Dunedin - WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED: Irreverent, exuberant, revealing
- reviewed by Barbara Frame

Where We Once Belonged has been adapted for the stage by well-known playwright Dave Armstrong from Sia Figiel's 1996 novel of the same name, and is brought to the Festival of the Arts by Armstrong Creative.

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Geo Dome, Christchurch - REVOLVER: SEXY CIRCUS CABARET CLUB: Atmosphere soaked steampunk circus

- reviewed by Toby Behan

...the theatricality of the show is outstanding. There has been much attention paid to detail in the construction of Revolver and it pays dividends. Men with clownish make-up and bowler hats statuesquely greet you at the door and move through the audience pre-show. The titular feature of the show is a small revolving platform that is used sparingly, but completely effectively throughout the show. At crucial moments (especially the beginning of the show) the action will parade forward down the raised runway, and then freeze and revolve before our eyes. With a stage setting that is fully 360 degrees (in terms of audience placement), this is a feature that is well conceived and employed.

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Gryphon, Wellington - LE BURLESQUE ET MOULIN: Dancers the stars of Speakeasy show

- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

A bohemian artiste in the Montmartre district of Paris falls for a small-town singer trying to make it big in the Paris nightclub scene, in particular at Club Le Burlesque Au Moulin.

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Globe Theatre, Dunedin - THE MIDDLEMARCH SINGLES BALL: Performances in review
- reviewed by Barbara Frame

Is the famous Middlemarch ball a victim of its own success? Over the years, it's found wives for the district's young men, until one year the committee finds itself in the position of expecting hordes of prospective brides but having no potential husbands to offer them.

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Nelson School of Music, Nelson - DO OR DI?: Increasing desperation
- reviewed by Gail Tresidder

What a disappointment for both cast and audience when an initial hitch triggers a chain reaction. Things start to unravel and then what could have been a good night turns bad.

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Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland - SHORT+SWEET THEATRE, AUCKLAND 2012: Gala Final
- reviewed by Reynald Castaneda

Three weeks of hard work has culminated in this and the quality of the plays presented at this year’s Short + Sweet’s Gala Final is a testament to its ability to attract this country’s top and up-and-coming theatrical talent. Organizing such a mammoth production is not an easy task, so congratulations to everybody involved for another successful season.

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Musgrove Studio, University of Auckland, Auckland - TERROR ISLAND - A DANCE THRILLER: Terribly amusing
- reviewed by Matt Baker

Devised from an eclectic range of hit pop songs from across the decades, I was pleasantly surprised with how well a narrative the collaborative team of Fingerprints & Teeth Productions and Dynamotion were able to create for the dance/theatre show Terror Island.

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Unitec Dance Studios, Entry One, Carrington Rd, Auckland - UNITEC PRESENTS CHOREOFEST 2012 - YEAR 3 DANCE: Grace within bounds

- reviewed by Jesse Quaid

In a departure from the usual format of a short works show each choreographer’s work is woven into one continuous overarching performance. This method undoubtedly presents challenges for the choreographers; it also changes the way in which each work is viewed as, despite their individuality, it is the similarities that draw one's attention as they flow from one to the next. This creates the temptation to fabricate a narrative pathway between each piece and without a pause it is hard to retain a sense of each as it’s own entity. It is, however, certainly a pleasure to watch a Unitec show without the familiar blue scene-change light and its accompanying awkward pause.

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Dorothy Winstone Theatre, Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, Auckland - SHAKESPEARE SCENES 2012: Astonishing work

- reviewed by Lexie Matheson

Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.

This quote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest sums up an extraordinary evening.

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Globe Theatre, Dunedin - THE MIDDLEMARCH SINGLES BALL: Needs tighter editing and quicker pace but it made Kevin cry
- reviewed by Terry MacTavish

Middlemarch. Quite apart from the George Eliot connection it just breathes rustic romance to me. Amazingly dramatic landscape borrowed for Middle-Earth, the Rock and Pillar Range, a cafe called Kissing Gate, and the start of the Otago Central Rail Trail beloved of cyclists the world over. And then the famous Ball to find wives for lonely farmers, the lovely image of clod-hopping lads with stiletto-heeled city gals!

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Circa Two, Wellington - FAIRY GODFATHER: Spontaneity and irritation

- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Many fairy tales have as one of the central characters a Fairy Godmother. However for their school holiday production Fairy Godfather, The Improvisors have gone for a story about a Fairy Godfather trying to take over the role of Fairy Godmother.

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Gryphon, Wellington - CINDERELLA: NEW ZEALAND’S BEST TOP MODEL: Less than satisfying

- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Although there are some cleverly adapted songs and the show does partially redeem itself at the end by getting the audience up to dance, there are long wordy expositions with little action not helped by a lack of pace and energy from the performers.

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NASDA Theatre, E Block, CPIT, Christchurch - SATVIKA - FORMS OF THE FORMLESS: Joyous craftsmanship

- reviewed by Toby Behan

The dancers are well-disciplined, and not simply with the physical coordination and athleticism we have come to expect from (for example) ballet and contemporary dance. Watch closely and marvel at the precision of every finger placement and the incredible importance these have in the sculptural form of movement. The eyes and head come to the fore far more than in most other dance styles, and the complicated rhythms (with a lot of foot-stamping and the accompanying jingles from the bells on ankles) are so precisely done. Any dancers who have not seen this form of dance before will be amazed at the discipline involved – if you have not seen the Mudra Dance Company before – make it a point to go.

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Musgrove Studio, University of Auckland, Auckland - TERROR ISLAND - A DANCE THRILLER: Quirky and lots of fun
- reviewed by Roxanne de Bruyn

Terror Island is fun and entertaining. You can just sit back, relax and enjoy it with the performers. It’s a small, intimate and quirky performance, and you feel like you’re part of the dancers’ lives just by being there.

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BATS, Wellington - PRIVATISING PARTS: Good, but only in parts

- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

The satirical writings of Richard Meros have developed a cult following, with two of his previous publications making it on to the stage. This new stage adaptation of Privatising Parts could be considered a sequel to On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her Young Lover.

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Kings & Queens, Performing Arts Centre, Dunedin - RITA AND DOUGLAS: Freshness, vitality, clarity and quality
- reviewed by Patrick Davies

A simple meeting for coffee between two artists turns into a relationship that will provoke and help define the other for the rest of their lives. The story of Rita Angus and Douglas Lilburn’s relationship is the stuff of legend and brilliantly realised in this Dave Armstrong / Conrad Newport collaboration.

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Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington - GO SOLO 2012: Group E

- reviewed by John Smythe

And we get to find out why Howick is like herpes.

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Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre - Upper Hutt, Wellington - DO OR DI?: Fun, humour and music

- reviewed by Maryanne Cathro

I gave up a free ticket to WOW to head out to Upper Hutt and review Do or Di?! If you are wondering why, it’s because the chance to see Linn Lorkin, Anna Rugis and Herschel Hersher live won out, no contest. These performers are the crème de la crème of New Zealand talent, and thanks to Arts on Tour New Zealand, it is regional New Zealand who get to see this delightful, boutique show.

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Royal NZ Navy Hall, Dunedin - TIC TIC: Disparate components flow smoothly
- reviewed by Kimberley Buchan

The Otago Festival of the Arts starts with a bang. Two monkeys greet us at the door of the HMNZS Toroa Hall. We are seated beneath a tented ceiling and faced with a straightforward stage. Black curtains, some chairs, a piano. The set, much like the performance is straight to the point.

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Sammy's Entertainment Venue, Dunedin - REVOLVER: SEXY CIRCUS CABARET CLUB: Darkly upbeat and energetic
- reviewed by Hannah Molloy

A lot of what I read about Revolver had prepared me for a deeply erotic, intense show. It wasn’t. It was a fun circus show with an undercurrent of darkness, largely perpetuated by the musi

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Sammy's Entertainment Venue, Dunedin - REVOLVER: SEXY CIRCUS CABARET CLUB: Darkly upbeat and energetic
- reviewed by Hannah Molloy

A lot of what I read about Revolver had prepared me for a deeply erotic, intense show. It wasn’t. It was a fun circus show with an undercurrent of darkness, largely perpetuated by the musi

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Meteor Theatre, Hamilton - SIX BAD ARTHOUSE PLAYS: A hoot!
- reviewed by Brenda Rae Kidd

Ummmmmmmmmm. Yes…. Well?

Brought to life for the Hamilton Fringe Festival by Apocalypse Lounge, Six Bad Arthouse Plays is funny, ironic and one rollicking big piss-take!

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Aurora Centre, cnr Greers Rd and Memorial Ave, Burnside, Christchurch - OUT OF THE BOX 2012: An explosion of effortless body control and high energy dancing
- reviewed by Emily Napolitano

The evening begins well before the show even starts. The audience knows they are in for a great time, and the crowd is buzzing. Endearingly, we meet each choreographer as they greet the audience between pieces, explaining their concept and giving us some tips on what to look for in each dance. What jumps out at me is the fresh immediacy of the inspiration behind each dance. The choreographers take very real everyday life scenarios and develop them before our eyes. The intimacy of each moment make the dances accessible and relevant, and we see bits of ourselves in each one.

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Meteor Theatre, Hamilton - HOME HEART LAND: A taonga
- reviewed by Brenda Rae Kidd

Home Heart Land is a collaborative effort. A truly democratic process is apparent – the artist’s work as a team. The result is charming, thought provoking, homely and comforting – yet confronting.

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Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington - GO SOLO 2012: GROUP C
- reviewed by John Smythe (Group C)

I scribbled “the loneliness of the long distance science nerd” while watching this. That about sums it up. Strong on pathos.

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Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington - GO SOLO 2012: Group D
- reviewed by John Smythe (Group D)

The semi-coherent ranter who bookend’s this solo is someone we have all seen in the street. Now we have some insight into where he might have come from. A haunting ‘there but for the grace of whatever go I’ piece. Special.

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Gryphon, Wellington - LE BURLESQUE ET MOULIN: Poignant numbers perfectly pitched
- reviewed by Virginia Kennard

Cabaret table seating is set up in the Gryphon as well as snuggled up standard seating, the cast need to make more use of these front row audience members. Hopefully once the cast relaxes into the sheer quantity of songs and routines, more audience engagement will occur and the dialogue gain cohesion.

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Meteor Theatre, Hamilton - I’M FINE THANKS: Product entertainingly placed
- reviewed by Gail Pittaway

Andrew Kaye, of Fullhouse Theatre Company, is better known for his collaborative work, whether in improvisation, training up younger performers, running theatre sports, or acting in and directing the many shows that the company he co-founded has produced.

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Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch - THE GINGERBREAD MAN: Lots of chases and 'look behind you' bits
- reviewed by Lindsay Clark

The Court's current offering scores well, partly because it does away with most of the language and uses strong physicality to present the action, and the action itself is neatly structured to avoid the padded feeling many a children's show relies on to tease out the time.

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Hagley Open Stage, Christchurch - THIS IS THE STAND I MADE. (HOME EDITION): Dances strongly exploring a sense of self
- reviewed by Elizabeth O’Connor

It’s just great to see a young artist exploring nuances and ideas about the self and culture and interaction, in this case with strength, flexibility, precision and skill.

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Concert Chamber - Town Hall, THE EDGE, Auckland - THE LISTIES DO COMPOOTERS: Laugh, squirm, gasp, duck, giggle and scream

- reviewed by Nik Smythe

As the show’s title suggests, they are list operators who work extensively with computer programs and electronic media, and as the hidden pun suggests, they are stunted juveniles with a penchant for scatological humour.

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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

11 Oct 2012

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

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