Toronto Fringe Festival’s ‘Pick of the Fringe’ Laura Piccinin presents Lesbihonest – a one-hour autobiographical stand-up show about their queer journey across three decades of LGBTQIA+ history. It’s clear from the offset that Piccinin is a well-rehearsed and sincere performer, the smooth cadence of their voice and bright facial expressions garner close attention from the friendly Ivy Bar crowd. This friendliness, however, isn’t nurtured by Piccinin, and I’d urge them to place more emphasis on connecting with their audience beyond the relatability of their comedic anecdotes.
According to the entry on the Fringe website, ‘something unexpected has come to life in Martin Luckie Park’. Barbarian Productions’ latest venture, U R Here (directed by Jo Randerson), describes itself as an open-world-video-game-inspired showing where you can pick your own path through the park with friends, and based on the company, the cast and Barbarian’s resources, I have high expectations.
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
Access by Hamish Annan, made in collaboration with Katie Burson and Rob Byrne, invites people into direct contact with authentic emotional expression. Feelings ripple through the performer and audience as this dynamic work moves between the personal and the communal.
lovE leTTer BOnanZA
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
lovE leTTer BOnanZA is a WE THE COLLATERAL production created and run by Katja Starke out of Raglan Roast Coffee on Abel Smith Street. Sit at our old, paper strewn table, choose your favourite typewriter from a colourful collection and learn to type a letter to your Big Love, Granny, unborn child, cool neighbour, future self or Santa. Learn how to start a letter, write a beautiful middle bit and a good ending.
Disability awareness and accessibility are not often things that come to mind when one imagines a dance show. We have these preconceived notions that dancers are machines who put their bodies on the line to make it all look easy, but what happens when we stop to think about these notions? We get LIMITS. LIMITS is an intensely physical, funny, and thought-provoking solo by Bonnie Curtis exploring what it means to have an ‘ideal’ body that’s limited by internalised misogyny and disability.
3 Steps Back
3 Steps Back, written and performed by Emma Katene (Ngāti Kahungunu) and directed by Kate Anderson, is a sharp and generous solo that attempts to map Katene’s experience with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) since her formal diagnosis in 2020. At once performance poetry, physical theatre and vocal show, Katene invites us to ‘sit back and perhaps even eat some snacks, while [she] sings and dances her way through the feeling of two dimensions colliding. Watch out though, you might even see some of your own pathways reflected.’
Hell School: The Musical
Hell School: The Musical is an original musical created by a collective of students from the theatre programme of Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington and is directed by James Wenley.
Where the Water Lies
Where the Water Lies by Continuum. Theatre Company is a meditation on time and place and the compulsory nature of ‘chance’. Writer and performer James Ladanyi says that this show has been in the works for almost three years, and the crux of the show is really in its own making – the creative process, just like life, requires the right ideas and conditions at the right times. This is the kind of show that has you musing over the sum of moments that has brought you to the room, and to tell you the truth: it has my heart from those first two familiar notes of ‘Babys’ by Bon Iver.
Just the Tip
Have you ever considered sex work? Been a naive university student saying to yourself ‘well if it all goes haywire I can always strip… right?’ Convinced yourself it’s not that hard? Well strap in, because Just the Tip: A Strippers Guide to Strip Club Etiquette is here to prove you very, very wrong. On this fateful Wednesday night in Ivy Bar, it’s our first day at the club as ‘baby strippers’, with performer/activist/sex witch (love that) Vixen Temple showing us the ropes and introducing us to some of the clientele we can come to expect. If you’ve ever thought stripping was easy, think again.
Sexy Golf Boy
Sexy Golf Boy is the latest in George Fenn’s portfolio of bizarre, experimental works. Fenn’s shows are usually highly interactive fever dreams full of surprise and unknown. This one is no different.
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
An innocent, raunchy, empowering, heartfelt investigation into the ebbs and flows of love within all facets of our life. A deconstruction into the human heart, a remapping of a young woman’s heightened emotions. Starring Tessa Redman (she/her), lighting designer Elekis Poblete-Teirney, sound designer Jackie Jenkins and marketing designer/photographer Trantham Gordon.
CAUTION: WET FLOOR
CAUTION: WET FLOOR, directed by Genoveva Reverte, is a solo piece of physical theatre starring Jackson Burling who plays “the loveable but lonely airport cleaner Francis” as he tries to make the most out of the job no one wants. From the team behind Brick Haus Productions, we’re asked to see these humble cleaners in a new light, realizing that one person’s trash really is another person’s treasure.
Nailed It!- A Builder Play
Who do we actually make theatre for? Whenever I put on a show I wilfully delude myself about my audience. I imagine hordes of strangers coming in blind and walking out as deeply emotionally affected converts. In reality, 90% of my audience will be one degree of separation away from me or my cast. That’s local theatre, baby. Ultimately we make it for our loved ones, which while ego-bursting, is somewhat beautiful. It’s all one big school play.
The Big HOO-HAA! Pōneke
The Big HOO-HAA! Pōneke is a competitive improv show (a-la Theatresports) which was originally created in Perth, Australia and has migrated onto our shores for its New Zealand premiere in this year’s New Zealand Fringe Festival. Despite some opening night wrinkles, it’s a rambunctious, rollicking good time starring some of the city’s finest improv talent.
Rich People Cry Too (And Other Lessons I Learnt From Telenovela) is Lucy Dawber’s autobiographical solo show that weaves the key themes of an oh-so-dramatic telenovela and her life as a third-generation Latina living in Aotearoa. The show is tight, well-rehearsed, and with a teensy bit more re-jigging is set to be a real crowd-pleaser!
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.