COLOSSAL’s show Dream Garden produced by Eleanor Strathern is a non-verbal aerial circus show exploring the dream world through movement, physical comedy, and gentle audience interaction. Performed and choreographed by aerial circus artists Imogen Stone and Jackson Cordery with tech by Zane Jarvie, Dream Garden provides something beautiful for everybody. Enticing in its craft, relaxed in its confident exploration of dreams, this truly is circus for the soul.
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
Wellington Repertory Theatre’s show Rope, written by Patrick Hamilton in 1929 and directed by Helen Cashin and Paul Stone, is no classic whodunnit, because we know who did it right from the start. It follows a party unfolding from the perspective of the hosts, two high-key psychopaths and low-key lovers, Wyndham Brandon (Slaine McKenzie) and Charles Granillo (Tom Foy) and the tension of the piece comes from their evasiveness of their guests sleuthing and joking instead of from a hunt for clues.
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
SquareSums&Co’s show Bunny, written, directed and performed by Barnie Duncan and produced by Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee is a love letter to clubbing and an exploration of dealing with grief. Made in the weeks following the death of his mother, Robyn, Duncan brings this iteration of Bunny to BATS with a year of development under its belt, having been made for the 2021 Comedy Fest.
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability (Australia), Theatre Today (Singapore) and Diverse Abilities Dance Collective’s (Singapore) show SAME-SAME 2.0 is an ensemble devised dance and theatre production that celebrates friendship across multiple borders. The piece is simple and radiates with the joy of its creators, constantly surprising the audience with the personalities of the performers.
Ellen Morgan Butler
I’ll be honest. I’ve never really been a fan of minimalist or abstract art. Sure, there’s the odd so and so that I think “hm, pretty,” but mostly it goes over my head. When I walked into the stark white of the Toi Pōneke Gallery to view Gary Peters’s colourful exhibition New Old Forms, however, I think maybe something clicked.
Heading into the Random Stage at BATS the stage is lit in a red ambience, an actual stage elevated above the seating area, a rarity for BATS. The smoke machine is swirling, the band in the corner is thumping out an upbeat bass and the hairs on the nape of my neck are tingling with anticipation. Monster Songs is a supernatural pop concert filled with songs we love from pop and other from musical theatre, centred around monster-themed tunes. I love Hallowe’en, it’s my favourite time of year, so I was giddily looking forward to the show starting.
Ghosts, floating, an autobiographical exhibition by Wellington artist and writer Briana Jamieson, features a range of media including oil paintings, poetry, and sculpture. The works act as “abstract shrines to people and experiences”, taking viewers on a journey through lost summers, and moving them to feel their way through their own memories.
Footnote New Zealand Dance presents five emerging artists in their short-term dance company, ChoreCo 2019. In Nobody Hears the Axe Fall the talented team suspend reality and envelop the audience in a visceral, haunting world.
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.
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.
Inquisitive eyes etched on paper in thin, cross-hatched strokes study me as I enter Thistle Hall. A slender ceramic pot with pursed lips judges my sock and shoe combo. Celia Kent’s first solo exhibition Expressive Features: The Nose Knows presents portraiture and pottery. Each piece is unique and screams character. The walls are adorned with her black and white illustrations while the anthropomorphic pots add soft blues, greens and foliage upon their tall plinths.
Ensemble is the perfect title for this exhibition. Four mature female artists are showcasing their very different talents. Wax, watercolour, beads and textile presented together offer a complimentary kaleidoscopic treat.
‘This production of Spamalot will feature strobing lights, as well some joke and puns you may find painful’. The Wellington Footlights Society certainly delivers on all of the above, and let me assure you, all of the above is well worth it.
Rose Matafeo is everybody’s Sassy Best Friend - brassy, supportive, dorky, endearing and lightening-quick to a punchline. Her hour-long stand-up show is a delightful mismatch of wildly varied, relatable stories about her quest for confidence; stories about leaving her side-kick tendencies behind to become the leading lady in her own life. It’s a masterclass in call-backs, self-deprecating humour and distinctly Kiwi stand-up comedy.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.