The Julie Thesmo Show, now playing at the Memorial Theatre, is a modern adaptation of the guaranteed-unpronounceable ancient Greek play Thesmophoriazousai. It’s a play about art’s place in and responsibility to the community. In the hands of the Victoria Ancient Theatre Society, this modern adaptation is presented with unironic earnestness, allowing the arguments to blast through and smack the audience in the face. However, the production feels occasionally stilted by ideas of what “theatre” should be.
The Menagerie is a monthly variety show falling on the final Saturday of each month at the Fringe Bar, the September show produced by Rachel Rouge. Tonight’s show (24 September), sewn together by this month’s hostess, Caroline Welkin included: magic, music (solo and group acts), poetry, burlesque, hoop dancing, rope routines, and comedy.
Each of the performers offers unparalleled variance from one act to the next, and all are enjoyable to watch—the talent was high across the board. While the occasional nerves caught up with a few of them, their collective stage presence and performative abilities were encapsulating. I found myself worrying about missing any of the action just to take brief notes!
by Laura Ferguson
The Grass Is Meaner, directed by Geraldine Brophy, is a play that takes issues of xenophobia and classism and uses the audience’s own stereotypes to reinforce and stabilise its characters rather than allowing the script to do so. It is confronting and abrasive. Its goal is not to cleverly twist your mind, but to shock. Going into the theatre with this knowledge will allow you to enjoy The Grass Is Meaner in the same way you know what to expect when experiencing the body horror of a Cronenberg film. I, unfortunately, did not have this prior knowledge and will, to the best of my abilities, work around that.
The Propeller stage in BATS glows, illuminated in orange. As shadows permeate the edges of this elegantly staged anthological play, the undulating jazzy hip-hop music dies away and the thematically titular Hold Me by playwright Emily Duncan begins.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.