Theatreview Weekly: 19/07/2012

Spector – With the Beatgirls and Special Guest Jason Chasland
A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including Chimera, Silent Night, It's All About the Fusion and En Route - In To.


A selection of reviews from Theatreview from the last week including Chimera, Silent Night, It's All About the Fusion and  En Route - In To.

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

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Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street, Wellington - CHIMERA: Haunting, dark, beauty
- reviewed by Virginia Kennard

This work weaves chant and violin, swift exit and slow physicality, emerging light and dying dark, in what could be a death ritual enacted in reverse. The stage is deep, very deep, and so we watch, breathless, from far away, a detached and yet intimate voyeur in this mystical rite.


Turner Centre, Kerikeri - SILENT NIGHT: A beautiful piece of theatre
- reviewed by Mike Nettmann

Silent Night was performed in the theatre bar of the Turner Centre – the perfect location for this intimate play with an impressive set depicting the lounge of Irene McMunn’s unit in Sunnynook, resplendent with an eclectic array of memorabilia from ornamental doilies to Royal trinkets.


- reviewed by Michael Boyes

Phil Spector, the man who straddled the music industry and lived to tell the tale, has proven to be a veritable gold mine in the excessively capable hands of New Zealand’s favourite girl group, the Beatgirls.


Downstage Theatre, Wellington - FIXTV: Chat show interesting but rather unconvincing
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

Having had little in the way of entertainment on stage recently Downstage Theatre has now curiously branched out into something new with a magazine-style web TV chat show called FixTV that they are hosting in collaboration with Cuba Creative and Random Films.


Circa One, Wellington - SPECTOR – WITH THE BEATGIRLS AND SPECIAL GUEST JASON CHASLAND: Icon’s engaging trip through great musical era
- reviewed by Ewen Coleman

As infamous as he was famous, Phil Spector has been one of the most influential people in the music industry post Rock and Roll. Developing the Spector ‘Wall of Sound’ production technique out of the Brill Building studios in New York, and with the creation of his girl groups such as The Ronnettes and The Crystals, he produced over 25 top 40 hits between 1960 and 1965.


Q, Rangatira, Auckland - THE GURU OF CHAI: Perfect Theatrical Blend
- reviewed by James Wenley

The Guru of Chai brews his tea to perfection, carefully measuring the exact combination of herbs and spices. It is an art that simmers through this play. He’s unappreciated at his stall, plagued by Starbucks. We don’t get to sample his tea, but I’ll wager this: He’s an even better storyteller.


Q Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FUSION: Fusion forms finding their feet
- reviewed by Raewyn Whyte

Phoenix has been exploring the concept of fusion forms for some time, and their current signature work Union has been widely presented over the past two years. It shows what can be achieved when there is a thorough understanding of the base form and the add-ons. A section from that work provided the finale to this show, with fan veils manipulated to create images of sunrise and sunset, volcanic explosions, and the golden fire which re-creates the phoenix as it rises from the ashes.


Musgrove Studio, Maidment Theatre, Auckland - EN ROUTE - IN TO: Thematic links act as stepping stones
- reviewed by Jenny Stevenson

Some of the works come fully-formed but several appear to be first-drafts of ideas that will bear future development. As in the first series, Sean Curham’s lighting design is a major factor in creating a cohesive continuity to the works.


Circa One, Wellington - SPECTOR – WITH THE BEATGIRLS AND SPECIAL GUEST JASON CHASLAND: Superb Spector-inspired spectacle
- reviewed by Virginia Kennard

Split into two Acts, Spector is a biographical trip through the life and music of Phil Spector: record producer, songwriter, Rock and Roll’s legendary madman. For opening night, guests were invited to dress up in all things 1960s-70s, in celebration of the songs to be performed – a range of vocal treats produced, written or inspired by Spector – though none of the audience’s costumes could live up to the fabulous rainbow dresses that adorn the BeatGirls at the beginning of Act II.


Old Boy’s Theatre, Christ’s College, Christchurch - THE SOLO PROJECT MMXII: Solo Project 2012 Shows Poise, Creativity and Variety.”
- reviewed by Toby Behan

202's Solo Project presents a quality evening of contemporary dance for Christchurch audiences whilst allowing both emerging and established artists to create and perform.


BATS, Wellington - YOUNG & HUNGRY 2012: Impressive content and style
- reviewed by Samuel Phillips

The Young and Hungry Festival of New Theatre has arrived, and is home to some impressive work both on and off the stage.


Fortune Theatre Studio, Dunedin - A PAINTBOX OF CLOWNS: Fresh and charming
- reviewed by Terry MacTavish

Fleur is three-and-a-half and wears pink boots. She sits behind me on her mother’s lap. Around us is the happy hum of children winding up and adults winding down. The intimacy of the Hutchinson Studio is perfect for children’s shows, and a white box, with spotlight circles of red, blue and green, is all that is needed when the lycra and fun-fur costumes are so colourful and cute.


ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland - THE ARRIVAL: The Arrival exceeds expectations
- reviewed by Bridget Jones

Sometimes, words just can't do something justice. No matter how you form them or phrase them, they miss the mark; they are inadequate. And so it seems, The Arrival is one of those somethings.


ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland - THE ARRIVAL: Organically articulate, skilful, lyrical, universal and inspirational
- reviewed by Kate Ward-Smythe

Red Leap Theatre’s creative co-directors, Julie Nolan and Kate Parker, take their audience to a world of imaginative tactile storytelling, using finely-tuned theatre craft, skilful puppetry, inspirational ensemble physicality and a fictional language.

The way they bring Shaun Tan’s vivid graphic novel to life 'speaks' volumes about universal themes such as love, loss, loyalty, risk, striving for a better life, journeys to unknown territories, displacement in a foreign land, identity and belonging.


Globe Theatre, Dunedin - WINKIE: Dark social issue shown
- reviewed by Barbara Frame

Winkie's real name is Gavin, and although he's 40, he needs the kind of attention that a toddler does. In their modest flat, his mother has given him a lifetime of patience, self-denial and love.


Globe Theatre, Dunedin - WINKIE: Dealing with dependence
- reviewed by Kimberley Buchan

Written, directed and designed by Nigel Ensor, Winkie is a slow-paced play which explores attitudes toward disability. The stresses of caring for someone completely dependent are shown through episodes that, like real family life, are centred on mealtimes.


Downstage Theatre, Wellington - FIXTV: Urgent creative re-thinking required
- reviewed by John Smythe

The advent of FixTV draws focus to the shameful degradation of public service television in New Zealand and of fully professional theatre in Wellington. Specifically it offers an opportunity to comment on the absurd situation Downstage finds itself in, as it attempts to recover from the much-publicised problems it faced last year


BATS, Wellington - YOUNG & HUNGRY 2012: In current language
- reviewed by Lynn Freeman

The Young and Hungry season always offers some insights into the pre-occupations of teenagers. From the current language – tots – to issues like cyber bullying, body image, social networking, and the gulf between the cool kids and the outsiders. This year’s crop of three plays written for young actors and back of house practitioners is up there with the best years of this now long running season.


Q, Rangatira, Auckland - THE GURU OF CHAI: Small triumphs, unlikely alliances and unfortunate choices
- reviewed by Nik Smythe

Inspired by an eccentric puppeteer and mask-dancer Rajan and co-writer/director Justin Lewis had met in Bali’s thriving arts scene Bali, Rajan’s Kusitar is a fully formed character; gregarious and flawed, cowardly yet compassionate.


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

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19 Jul 2012

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