Theatreview Weekly: 17/05/2012

Revolver: Sexy Circus Cabaret Club
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including Bombs Away! A Musical, Plantation, Nick Rado's Comedy Bunker, and The Last Saloon.

Share

A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including Bombs Away! A Musical, Plantation, Nick Rado's Comedy Bunker, and  The Last Saloon.

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

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

Q Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland - BOMBS AWAY! A MUSICAL: Who you [not] gonna call?
- reviewed by Sharu Delilkan

There is no secret that ‘there will be bombs’ in the brand new comedy-musical Bombs Away!. The hilarious script written by Nic Sampson, Ryan Richards and Barnaby Fredric, complemented by a full-length musical score from Joseph Moore, can only be described as absurd, uplifting, full of life and the height of silliness.
------------------------------------------------------------------

Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland - PLANTATION: An entertaining and engaging slice of Pacific flavoured life
- reviewed by Paul Simei-Barton

Plantation, which is showcased as part of the Pacific Arts Summit, offers a lively example of the exuberant South Auckland arts culture that is flourishing in the hot-house environment of the Mangere Arts Centre.

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

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland - RICHARD MEROS SALUTES THE SOUTHERN MAN: Meros himself deserves a salute
- reviewed by Reynald Castaneda

Cleverly interrogating our social dysfunctions with spot-on insight, Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man is a brilliantly choreographed satire.

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

BATS, Wellington - HAYLEY SPROULL IN MISS FLETCHER SINGS THE BLUES: Don't miss this Miss!

- reviewed by John Smythe

There was rapture last night at Bats, as the lights went out on actor / composer / musician Hayley Sproull's superb formidable creation, Miss Fletcher. Her hour of fretting and strutting upon the stage, and tinkling and pounding upon the piano, is as brilliantly performed as it is conceived.

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

Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Wellington - NICK RADO'S COMEDY BUNKER: Hilarious games and standard standup
- reviewed by Shannon Friday

Nick Rado starts his show about three different times. First he quizzes members of the audience about who they are and what they do for a living, pretty standard stuff, really.

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

Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington - SARAH HARPUR IN PANTS ARE FOR LOSERS AND OTHER THEORIES: A mix of material
- reviewed by Shannon Friday

Sarah Harpur does something I hadn’t quite seen in this festival yet. Yes, she’s a single comedienne up on stage, but there’s a strange vibration running through her show. She’s playing here with her persona onstage, and while the idea is intriguing, her show as a whole doesn’t quite come together around it.

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

BATS, Wellington - THE LAST SALOON: Western stereotype heaven

- reviewed by Maraea Rakuraku

We are looking at a typical Western township cast. The big-hearted whore, sheriff, cowboys, saloon bar-keep, love interest and a bad-ass who may or may not love the big-hearted whore or the love interest. Ok, where is the sheriff? Who’s the bad-ass? Who's the love interest? Ok, here’s an Indian. Still, no Sheriff. Surely, the Indian isn’t the bad-ass?

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

Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington - NICK GIBB IN FUNNY LIKE A CLOWN: Wit and intelligence

- reviewed by Simon Howard

Nick Gibb enters his new show with the bar well and truly raised. As the 2011 Billy T Award winner, audiences are beginning to appreciate this talented up-and-coming local comedian, and once he gets into his stride his witty and well-crafted stories warm this opening night Wellington crowd.

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

Q Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland - JARRED FELL PRESENTS FREAK SHOW: Comedy and magic not taken "to new heights"
- reviewed by Stephen Austin

When I was about twelve years old, I had aspirations of being a stage magician and performing the sort of spectacle I saw on TV. I also had a pretty low-brow sense of humour, mostly enjoying scatological jokes and the violence of cartoon humour. This is about the level that Jarred Fell works at in his latest show.

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

Q Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland - BOMBS AWAY! A MUSICAL: Goodies-grade silly

- reviewed by Nik Smythe

I’m always drawn to comedy festival shows that strive to offer something more than simple standup. Sure, I love a good raconteur like anyone, but in the middle of a three-week binge on them it’s a refreshing point of difference to see something more theatrical.

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

Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - TOM FURNISS AND THE FREE ICE CREAM SHOW: Charming, interesting, quirky
- reviewed by Candice Lewis

Because he is charming and interesting, I find myself wanting to laugh more. He has talent, but much of his act centres on reading excerpts from his ‘literary work’: a collection of miniscule stories, so tiny that they do not usually exceed a sentence and always end rather unexpectedly.

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

San Francisco Bathhouse, 171 Cuba St, Wellington - JEREMY ELWOOD’S TIME BOMB: Refreshing thoughtfulness presented with wit, clarity and panache
- reviewed by Shannon Friday

For this review of Jeremy Elwood’s Time Bomb, I wish I could just write, “He's snarky, opinionated, and hilarious. Unless you're deeply religious – in which case, you’ll hate all the swearing – go see him.” But that would be doing Elwood a disservice. He deserves more than that.

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

The Classic Studio, Auckland - TEVITA MANUKIA IN KNOCK KNOCK: Distinctively unhurried natural appeal

- reviewed by Nik Smythe

2012 Billy T nominee Tevita Manukia’s brief but warm introduction precedes a polite applause from the cozy 20-something wet Monday night audience as a tall, amiable but visibly nervous Tongan gent in a black tupenu skirt and jandals takes the stage, all smiles and sweat beads.

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

Circa Two, Wellington - CHEKHOV IN HELL: Chekhov adrift in the modern world
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

The premise that Dan Rebellato uses for his play Chekhov in Hell, currently playing at Circa Two, is that of someone from an earlier era coming back to today and being confronted by modern society. As the name of his play implies, the person he has chosen is Anton Chekhov, the great Russian playwright who along with Ibsen, was, over 100 years ago, one of the most astute writers to observe society and the foibles of those living around him. So what did he find?

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

Civic Theatre, Auckland - CONSTANTINOPLE: An Experience Not to be Missed (And If You Did, It’s Too Late, Shame on You)
- reviewed by Rosabel Tan

Crowded at the bottom of the stairs to the Wintergarden are a chorus of ladies (and a few men) in togas. As we descend, one of them kisses us on the cheek, another offers us grapes, and yet another points us towards our table, nestled in the centre of the cabaret-style seating.

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

Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington - FANFICTION COMEDY: An ingenious concept successfully executed
- reviewed by Lori Leigh

On the reading list for this evening, Pokemon meets Shakespeare, Mike McRoberts continuously high-fives himself as he rescues the TV3 News from disaster, and Teen Moms (in honour of Mother’s Day) call their children names such as Pashmina and “stubborn abortion”. Unsurprisingly, Harry Potter features in two FanFiction segments.

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

Circa Two, Wellington - CHEKHOV IN HELL: Hell for him is delight for us

- reviewed by John Smythe

The role of an artist, Anton Chekhov believed, was to ask questions, not to answer them. Thus Dan Rebellato's Chekhov in Hell ends with the man himself asking, "Shto eto znachit?" – "What does it mean?" ... This NZ premiere is directed by Eleanor Bishop, who was once a student of Professor Rebellato at the University of London's Royal Holloway College.

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

Circa Two, Wellington - CHEKHOV IN HELL: A delightful satirical narrative
- reviewed by David Farrar

Chekov in Hell opens in Circa Two with Anton Chekov in a hospital bed, clearly dying in 1904. A short time later, it is 2012 and a (great) niece of Chekov is informed that her uncle has woken up from a 100 year coma.

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

Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Wellington - TARAN MOHANBHAI IN JOKE IN A BOX: He knows what it takes and he brings it

- reviewed by Maraea Rakuraku

There is something very honest about Tarun Mohanbhai. Admitting to an audience that the show you’ve just watched, that he has just played, has a few speed-bumps – saying so despite the encouraging laughs and woops from the audience throughout the set – takes some guts, especially when you are a comedian of his calibre. Respect.

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

BATS, Wellington - BOMBS AWAY! A MUSICAL: Highly inventive and original
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

First up is Bombs Away! A Musical, a highly inventive and original Kiwi musical written by Nic Sampson, Ryan Richards, Barnaby Frederic and Joseph Moore who also wrote the music.

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

Downstage Theatre, Wellington - REVOLVER: SEXY CIRCUS CABARET CLUB: Mixed quality amid a heady atmosphere of mystery and intense excitement
- reviewed by Virginia Kennard

NZ Cabaret shows seem to present performers more than once in their programmes, which can either hint at a lack of content or make a performance a cohesive package rather than a lineup. The latter is the only just the case for Revolver, though it does highlight the performers with one excellent act and one not so...

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

BATS, Wellington - GUY CAPPER IN QUANTUM SHEEP AND THE ANIMAL ORCHESTRA: Space junk

- reviewed by John Smythe

That so much trust and good faith can be so poorly rewarded …

The title and publicity pitches are promising. The introductory screen image of a sitar-playing Alien ... suggests a quality show to come, as it orientates us to the Big Bang 13.5 billion years ago, Quarks, String Theory – Aha! This is why we have found a loop of string on out seats on arrival! – and the Fourth Dimension.

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

Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland - THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE … MORE TAPE: Divine and dastardly games and gags

- reviewed by Nik Smythe

The seemingly makeshift assortment of cardboard boxes, a chair, a stool, shelf unit and bits and pieces (a microphone even!?), creates an anticipatory air of something playful and imagination-based. As this is my first time witnessing the now legendary face-taped Boy, I’m intrigued and excited, looking forward to learning what all the fuss is about and generally expecting the unexpected.

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

Meow, Edward St CBD, Wellington - NAT BRITTEN AND DANNI TAYLOR - GRABBING LIFE BY THE LITTLE MOUSTACHE: Very funny in their strides
- reviewed by Shannon Friday

Little Moustache has definite appeal to those just out of uni or experiencing their “quarter life crisis.” The appeal is limited, however, by a rather rough, unfinished quality to the show’s overall structure.

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

Theatre Royal, Nelson - DICKENS' WOMEN: An indefatigable treasure of the stage
- reviewed by Gail Tresidder

Ms Margolyes, consummate actor, breathes gusts of freshness in to Charles Dickens the man, his relationships and the host of created characters who shared his world.

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

Happy (Cnr Tory & Vivian), Wellington - INTERVIEWS WITH THE UNIVERSE: Nothing of value

- reviewed by John Smythe

Even though the show started 25 minutes late, the opening night audience exuded goodwill, making bantering offers and heckles that most stand-up comedians would have welcomed. But Capper wasted the opportunities.

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

BATS, Wellington - IRENE PINK AND JUSTINE SMITH IN THE PITCH: Some wit and originality
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

The second show at BATS is Irene Pink and Justine Smith’s double act The Pitch. What they are pitching are ideas to an invisible TV producer for their own TV show.

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

BATS, Wellington - YETI IS DEAD/I AM TOM: Exciting and eccentric
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

The second show of the evening at BATS is innovative, original and incredibly funny.

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

BATS, Wellington - GREG ELLIS IS VANCE FONTAINE IN COMMAND PERFORMANCE: A commanding performance
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Early evening [at Bats] is Greg Ellis in his brilliant new one man show Vance Fontaine – Command Performance.

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

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland - DOG STAR!!!: Unique approaches to performing
- reviewed by Stephen Austin

Brian (Graham Candy) and Jesse (Jeremy Randerson) are flatmates and classmates, studying for a degree in guidance counselling, who keep each other sane by debating universal truths in the comfort of their kitchen. They’re studying hard towards graduation and pushing each other to make sure they’re ready for the big day.

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

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland - DES BISHOP IN DES BISHOP LIKES TO BANG: Dirty jokes perfectly formed
- reviewed by Reynald Castaneda

There’s something endearing about Des Bishop and it’s making it really hard to not like him.

Sure, his one-hour show Des Bishop Likes to Bang needs a bit more cohesion and focus, but for some reason, its randomness works for it. The show feels like a casual Friday night at his flat with a couple of takeaways.

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

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

17 May 2012

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

The Wizard of Oz at Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
Story / Performing Arts
The latest Theatreview Weekly includes reviews from The Wizard of Oz, Lumina and more.
Niu Sila at Fortune Theatre, Dunedin
Story / Performing Arts
The latest Theatreview Weekly includes reviews from Niu Sila, NZ International Comedy Festival 2016, and more.
Rhysently Granted at Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland
Story / Performing Arts
The latest Theatreview Weekly includes reviews from NZ International Comedy Festival 2016 and more.
NOW 2016 at Q Theatre Loft, Auckland
Story / Performing Arts
The latest Theatreview Weekly includes reviews on NOW 2016, Guji Guji and more.