The atmosphere in Circa Theatre’s foyer this evening is an enchanting combination of intrigue and magic, as young and old alike crowd around one another preparing to embark to Neverland. Peter Pan is a story we know well, one of finding a place you belong and of teaching us about family. This year, the comic stylings of Pinky Agnew and Lorae Parry take helm as the writers of the pantomime, and I’m anticipating an evening full of political satire, hearty comedy, and strong female characters. At the heart of Peter Pan is theatrical and storytelling magic, which differentiates it from being ‘just another pantomime’. Lively, vibrant, hilarious, Peter Pan guarantees a night full of laughter for the family.
Courtney Rose Brown
Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette, is back at BATS Theatre for a return season after a successful stint in the comedy festival. Created by comedian Louise Beuvink and directed by Lucy Noonan.
Dressed in a pink and blue floral gown, I find myself making assumptions about where the show will go. Frustrated at myself, I feel on the defensive, as I’m not prepared for another show that makes fun of fem women, as I’m overwhelmingly aware that I’m wearing a more chill version of her costume.
When I know I'm going to see a show by The Wellington Footlights Society, I’m already expecting something fearless. Over the past few years the company has tackled some big and beautiful shows - and they’ve scored many a touchdown. So the concept of a four show festival of musical theatre didn’t surprise me entirely. It seemed like such a massive task, it almost felt inevitable.
I had the honour of attending Night A of the ‘Heart and Music’ festival. The night boasted two shows - the pop-rock revue The Rising Sun and New York chamber musical A New Brain. The two shows are a bit chalk and cheese. They’re utterly incomparable,but the flip-side is that they offer two very different flavours, for those of us who decide to embrace the nights full offerings.
What a way to finish the evening! The hit musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the second show of Wellington Footlights’ Heart + Music festival, Night B (intentional?). It is outrageously delightful and explosively funny, which perfectly suits the enthusiastic company and their performances.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee centres on several eccentric and distinct prepubescents, participating in a spelling bee that is fun but fiercely competitive, and the imperfect adults or parents who facilitate (or not) the contest and their success. This production could not be more brilliantly cast. Every character is a hit,
The Wellington Footlights’ first ever musical theatre festival “Heart and Music” has just kicked off. Night B opens with Flatline with Two Sugars, a premiere of an original musical written by company members Laura Gardner (book and lyrics) and Katie Morton (music).
Flatline with Two Sugars is dark magical realism, a bittersweet mix of tragedy, comedy, and bleak reality. A dreary cafe barista has an unwanted gift in which she visualises the time and means of someone’s death just by touching them. This musical sees Lucie’s desperately confined life turn upside down, and we get to experience the drama, excitement, heartache, and even black comedy pleasures that go along with it.
by Laura Ferguson
How exactly is it that I have lived in Wellington these years and not come along to Sing It Wrong yet? Sing It Wrong has the premise wrapped up in the title, performers appear on stage, singing songs to which they have written alternate lyrics. It is absolutely my kind of show. It has comedy to get me laughing, songs to entertain me and a bevy of local talent to sample. What’s not to love?
Pat-pat-pat. Pat-pat-pat. My friend finger-taps my forearm as the tension of Venus in Fur mounts. The tendrils of my hair waft, teasing the nape of my neck as my companion fans herself. The whispering air tickles my shoulder, but does nothing to quiet the rushing fire in my blood. I allow a long, slow breath to pass my bowed lips and notice blue flecks dot my décolletage from the nib of my pen. I have been languidly running the cool nub of metal over my skin. My want of touch, of feeling, of sensual pleasure has turned into need. I am not alone. This audience has become a parasitic organism, our lives, in this moment, entangled to Thomas and Vanda. We hunger, we consume, we daren’t blink. We worship at the altar of Venus.
by Laura Ferguson
It’s finally Friday. Walking into Fat Comedy amidst raucous drumming from Peru football supporters mixing erratically against the synth-heavy 80’s tones of Eva Beva, I sigh in relief to enter the quirky comedy space. Raising the heavy curtain, my jittery, overworked-self glances curiously into the darkened room. Fat Angel has combined forces with their quizmaster, Bas Jeffrey and comedian, Alexander Sparrow, to provide after-work comedy on Friday nights and Fat Angel’s jesting blessing is one I will happily receive.
From the hotter global temperatures to the drastic alterations to our ecosystems, climate change is definitely at the forefront of social and environmental issues in today’s society. Generation Zero stands to take action against climate change and make our leaders and those in positions of greater power do the same. Partnered with theatre makers, they curated Still Waving: Climate Change Theatre Action, a showcase-style event that brings together several theatrical snippets to show what’s happening, what’s going to happen, what more we could do, and what we’re doing well in terms of battling climate change. The theatre pieces at Still Waving were immersive, imaginative, and important, and while they ranged in quality, the audience was never really irked by that. We’re all here to enjoy what these people have created, to learn more about what’s happening to our environment, and to consider the next steps in sustaining and repairing it.
Courtney Rose Brown
I could write a review
In essay form
about the theatrical semantics
But their disclaimer at the start of the show
Covers it all
This is the split of body and mind
And you will fall in love with one of them
(it’s the one dressed in white)
Her eyes going grey
from the black of her thick lashes
she smiles at you
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.