Remember sleepovers? The delirious, sugar-fuelled bonding. Being allowed to stay up past bed-time and share everything while your parents weren’t listening. Heartbreaker Productions has used that time and those memories as a playground to dance, play and laugh in their newly devised anthology Midnight Confessions – and it’s an absolute delight!
As I walk into The Dome at BATS Theatre, Adam Rohe (performer and live show deviser) says hello to me in a way that makes me feel we’ve been friends for years. I instantly feel welcome and comfortable in this space that is relatively bare. The stage only has a pair of former leather car seats on wheels, a black two-seater couch in the corner, and an exposed wall for film projections. Though the stage is sparse, Rohe fills it with his energy, his tenderness, his voice – with words and songs. Accompanied by excellent lighting design by Molloy and documentary film reels by Ben Sarten, they tell the story of his gender transition – the highs and lows, the beauty and the pain – and the existential nature of life and being oneself.
Potentially Playing Productions’ return season of Celestial Nobodies (written by Evangelina Telfar and directed by Anastasia Matteini-Roberts) is a cosmic and comical polylogue that personifies each of the celestial bodies in our local solar system and carries us along for each of their existential crises. It describes itself as a “massive mixtape that tackles social issues with cosmic sparkle”, and it tackles them with a healthy dose of cleverness and flair.
The Magnificent Weirdos’ Tea with Terrorists, written and performed by Sameena Zehra and directed by Sabrina Martin, is a masterful solo show where comedic storytelling combines seamlessly with warmth and intimacy making every minute count. The triumph of this show is Zehra’s unapologetic approach to every retelling of her often dark, sometimes salacious (and always funny!) tales of her life in and across Kabul, Kashmir, and the UK. The skilled nuances to Zehra’s honesty demand she is listened to in the way that never feels, just that– demanding, it’s not just honesty– it’s an unaffected conviction in her ability to hold a room.
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
Wellington Repertory Theatre’s show Apartment written by Tama Smith, co-directed by Smith and Belinda Campbell and production managed by Ewan Coleman is a play about us, two years ago. Apartment gives us a chance to come together, acknowledge the power of community, and compassionately reflect on how we have all navigated the storm over the past two years.
Having read Wednesday to Come when I studied theatre at university, I’ve always wanted to see a production of Renée’s work. It is a story of grief, of hardship, of protest, nestled within a domestic drama in New Zealand amidst the Great Depression. A struggling family must come to terms with a sudden death. At the same time, protesters are marching across the country, with aspirations of closing the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Guided by director Erina Daniels’ careful hands and thoughtful eyes, we’re presented with an exceptional, polished production, one that’s able to bring you to laughter, to tears, and to fight, all within its 80 minute runtime.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.