I like bodies. All kinds. I like muscle, I think it’s beautiful. The way it twists and curves around our bones. I especially love the way dancers have a superhuman ability to be both light and strong in their grace. Can you guess that I like dance shows? And there’s one at BATS right now! MEAT is choreographed by Tui Hoffmann and produced by the Dance Plant Collective, and explores the factory-farming industry and also what it means to have flesh.
Ending the patriarchy often seems like a looming and impossible task. However, where politics and policies fail us, art will always ring true. There seems to be unapologetic feminism in the air that is ripping Shakespeare from his storytelling pedestal. We have seen it from modem adaptations of his greats like Summer Shakespeare’s Hamlet, to the blatant dismissal of Stockholm syndrome love with Gillian English’s 10 Things I Hate About Taming of the Shrew. This Long Winter joins these other fabulous productions by reinstating a HERstory into Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. We follow Hermione (Erina Daniels) as she searches for her lost daughter, Perdita (Huia Haupapa), after a successful set up by her loyal friend Paulina (Jean Sergent). As she travels, she observes many other atrocities by men from other plays. Such plays include Romeo and Juliet, All’s Well That Ends Well, Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, and briefly A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
It was with both a mix of anticipation and just a little trepidation that I took to review Wellington Repertory's The Royal Hunt Of The Sun's opening night.
Some knowledge of the tragic outcomes arising out of the clash of Inca and Spanish cultures underpinned by the greed for gold nearly 500 years ago on which the play is based feeds the anticipation of some very strong drama.
Ghosts, floating, an autobiographical exhibition by Wellington artist and writer Briana Jamieson, features a range of media including oil paintings, poetry, and sculpture. The works act as “abstract shrines to people and experiences”, taking viewers on a journey through lost summers, and moving them to feel their way through their own memories.
Hazel (Carmel McGlone) and Robin (Peter Hambleton) live in a quaint house by the sea in a post-nuclear meltdown area, when an old friend Rose (Catherine Downes) comes to visit. Histories are explored and uncovered while futures are proposed. This is probably one of the more left-wing plays Circa has put on. In The Children, the older generation have an active rather than passive and scapegoating role in the world’s future, particularly in an environmental sense. For this, I applaud and implore more of the middle-aged to elderly Wellington population to see it.
by Laura Ferguson
Turns out Wellington loves itself a pub quiz. Cavern Club is full of us trivia-ninjas and judging from the hubbub of noise punctuated by the odd whoop or cackle, Friday-night fever has well and truly set in and partnered up with its good friend alcohol. Once our host, Alex Love, takes the stage, we are very much to learn How To Win A Pub Quiz. “Well, hello, Wellington, how’re doing tonight?” Love begins, and our responses range from measured to maniacal. “Ooh, you’re going to be a lively one, aren’t you?” he retorts, grinning excitedly before setting up his bell and dinging it.
I was determined to end Fringe 2019 on a high. And I got it. I walk upstairs of Tuatara’s The Third Eye and into the space that seemed to have a gorgeous indie facelift of gold, purples, blues, and greens, via Tony Black’s gorgeous lighting of the buttresses. Orpheus’ magic was in the air. And that lifted my soon-to-be-contagious spirits.
Mr Fungus Returns is a mischievous and entertaining children’s show, with room to become a family favourite. Mr Fungus (Fergus Aitken) leads us through an hour of mime, prop-work, and clowning which has a basic two-part structure. Act one is an elaborate physical journey as Mr Fungus makes his way to the theatre. Obstacles include a snowstorm and a cleverly executed bus journey in which Aitken switches between seven or eight familiar, bus-dwelling characters.
Bear North is a collection of comedic folk music songs accompanied by a dancing wolf. It’s as whimsical, surreal and absurd as that description suggests. It’s also a fun show, filled with beautiful music and a lot of heart.
Tuvalu is a small pacific island of approximately 11,000 people. It is likely to be one of the first parts of the world critically affected by sea level rise. Before Tuvalu is flooded, deep rooted crops will be destroyed by salt water pollution, and the frequency of violent storms will increase. When this happens, the people of Tuvalu will have to make a choice - migrate to a new country and adapt to a new culture, or drown with the island. Au Ko Tuvalu is an incredibly moving exploration of this choice.
by Laura Ferguson
We are waiting outside The Scruffy Bunny Theatre. A group of us clustered in twos and threes awaiting our entry. ‘This show is immersive’ we are told, ‘so order your drinks now’. Once the doors open and we head in, eerie green light pours over the stage area. The pew-like seating is arranged in a circle and we are given a set of instructions. I am intrigued, curiously glancing in every direction, waiting for a spectral form to coalesce somewhere nearby. Tonight, I’m a ghost hunter searching for the Sexy Ghost Boy.
The Boy, George is a queer, satirical, one-man-show about a fourteen year old Prince George. The Queen has died, and the world is questioning the need for the monarchy. George is understandably not happy, and we are treated to a deliciously camp hour long tantrum, as Georges tries to use social media, his physic, and his tenuous political connections to meddle in politics.
I wish I had seen this show when I was 11. I got my first period in a McDonald’s bathroom the night before my first day at my new school. I dreaded the next day. My pad felt like a big nappy and I thought everyone could tell I was wearing one. Amy Atkins and Ephemeral Theatre presents period., a charming one woman show that magically captures the struggles of dealing with your first period. It’s funny, interactive and educational. period.’s mission is to empower young girls and stop period shaming. And I loved it!
That is a lot of haiku
He reads every one
by Laura Ferguson
It is a Tuesday and people at BATS are really feeling their indulgence in tonight’s libations. Spirits are high, energy is zinging, this audience is R-E-A-D-Y and I am so here for it. When I saw the 2019 Fringe programme, I knew I had to go to Glittery Clittery, I mean it has all my favourite things: sequins, hella bops, bright colours and the clitoris. Waiting for the show to begin, people are dancing in their seats, laughing, some in front of me are taking selfies with the pink and blue neon lighting that makes you look better than any filter could. We are, in a word, lit.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.