Side by Side by Sondheim is a three-person revue celebrating one of the best-known names in musical theatre: Stephen Sondheim. This musical showcase is a safe bet for fans of the American composer/lyricist who brought us classics such as Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, and Company. The two-act show romps through some of his greatest hits (with some lesser known gems thrown in too). With thematic commentary and quirky asides, the intermittent narration, guiding us through Sondheim’s career highlights, makes up for the lack of storyline. The musical itself is an old friend to this theatre as this production commemorates the 40th anniversary of the original Side by Side at Circa in 1979. This show is well executed with some real stand out moments but it feels like a struggle for the performers, making hard to relax into and enjoy.
Confession: I have seen The Lion King many, many, MANY times, but I have never actually completely read Hamlet. I have seen so many parts of it that I have come to understand the plotline and themes without ever watching the whole show. Living and dead academics squirm worldwide at my confession, but now I can announce I have seen a full Hamlet. And this time, Hamlet is a woman.
Order Up is a devised cabaret show inspired by the stories of hospitality workers in Wellington.It is also performed by a cast of mostly past or current hospitality workers. Order Up is a fun late night show which will make you laugh and cringe. But more than that, Order Up is both a critique and celebration of the hospitality industry that will make you think twice before you complain about shoddy service.
by Laura Ferguson
Fun Fact: the cinematic masterpiece that is She’s the Man starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum is a modernised version of Twelfth Night. Did I watch She’s the Man eleventy more time as “research” for this play? Yes, I did. Did I like this play better? My gawd, yes henny! Why? Because Anastasia Matteini-Roberts’ version has EVEN MORE DRAG! My personal opinion is that everything in life would be better with a little more drag tucked into it, so I was gagged to find out that one of the plays in Victoria University’s Six Degrees Festival had made my queer little dream come true.
Dolphins are fun, friendly, and full of energy, and Thinking Dolphins at BATS was also all of these things. As I walk up to the Heyday Dome, the doors are closed and I panic that the show has already begun! Thankfully, this was only to keep the mysterious stage smoke within the theatre. As soon as I stepped into the space, the actors greeted me and spoke enthusiastically to the audience. Their energy juxtaposed the ominous smoke and the moody blue and green lighting palette.
Cyndi Lauper’s Time after Time, quickly followed by Madonna’s Material Girl, welcomes me into BATS Random Stage to see a show about women, sex, and beauty standards. Low Level Panic by Claire McIntyre, directed by Six Degrees Festival’s Harriette Barker, ticks those three boxes, as we watch flatmates Mary (Charlotte Glucina), Jo (Amy Dean), and Celia (Zoë Christall) as their bathroom turns into a place to confide in each other and to the audience.
Retold dreams are typically incoherent rambles only interesting for the teller. I usually don’t want to hear about your dream unless I was in it. Director and writer Shona Jaunas, however, delivers a lucid odyssey into the subconscious of her protagonist in The Dream. The experimental theatre piece layers film, psychedelic soundscapes and dramatic lights to illustrate just how our dreams can be more than the sum of its random images.
Why Are We Still Here? follows four young women dealing with grief. During a storm they break into an abandoned theatre for shelter. They are visited by two ghosts overnight, who help them explore their pain, while working through their own. A solid debut from Tempest theatre, Why Are We Still Here? is a successful exploration into the ways we grieve.
The Attitudes: Refusing Performance at BATS Theatre is an examination of whiteness, an art piece that opens a long overdue conversation and asks for pākehā to look within and start the change we want to see in the world.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.