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.
Years ago, Andi Snelling was bitten by a tick while on holiday in New Zealand. The resulting Lyme Disease left her unable to perform, unable to do much except fight to stay alive. Happy Go Wrong is the show she never thought she would be able to make. That description makes the show sound rather tragic, but Snelling presents us with a moving take on suffering - That it’s not until you are close to death that you truly know how much you want to live. The result is a celebration of life that is profoundly moving, joyful and life affirming.
Four dancers step into the void. Light slowly creeps on to the stage. Three of the dancers are masked. Delicate music builds with the light. The masked dancers stalk our protagonist. They latch on to him like ghoulish parasites. He cannot escape.
Lift Off is a showcase of young talent presented by Te Auaha for the New Zealand Fringe Festival 2020. It promises “tomorrow’s taste-makers live and firing on all cylinders” and it absolutely delivers. The showcase is a triple-bill of emerging artists demonstrating talent across all disciplines of performance. There’s song, dance, music, monologue, drama, comedy and even multiple languages spoken on stage. It’s an artistic smorgasboard which guarantees something for everyone and that’s what Fringe is all about!
Part storytelling, part stand-up, Dancing on my Own is a jovial jive through the trials and tribulations of growing up queer and with ADD while being born for the stage. Maddy Warren, a master of physical comedy, comes into her own with the awkward punch line. Unfortunately, a lack of preparation lets her down and a sixty-minute show feels like a drawn out half hour.
Written and performed by Damien Warren-Smith, and directed and cowritten by Cal McCrystal, Garry Starr Performs Everything is riot of a show that will delight theatre-makers and casual audience members alike. Having won awards in the Adelaide, Brighton, and Manchester 2018 Fringe Festivals, and having been nominated for both Best Newcomer and the Golden Gibbo Award in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018, I was intrigued to say the least. Let me break down this must-see of Wellington Fringe Festival 2019.
As someone who has never had a bent for movement, it always astounds me to see the way that dancers can tell a story with their bodies alone. Flying Down Sand Dunes is the first full-length work by Well Fare State—recent graduates of contemporary dance at the New Zealand School of Dance. Created as part of the Toi Pōneke Choreographic Residency, it explores the human condition, addressing themes of love, fragility, strength, and loss.
by Laura Ferguson
Is there a better party in the city right now than Sound and Fury? Imagine, if you will,
entering a ‘pasta spaghetti’ tinsel curtain into the depths of Club 121. Walking down the steps, the throbbing music growing louder, opening into a LED-heavy club scene where sequinned bodies gyrate to amazing mash-ups from Dead DJ Joke, audience members dancing with and around the performers. Imagine ordering a wine from the bar and it arriving in a safe plastic receptable, a metaphor for how messy this evening will get.
Dusty May Taylor
I sat down with Kate McGill and Frith Horan to discuss their tongue-in-cheek, pop-inspired brainchild Album Party, aka The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two. Coming to Wellington’s BATS Theatre from 13-17 December, Album Party is launching The Besties Tour, a brand new collaborative venture between BATS Theatre in Welly and The Basement Theatre in Auckland. Winners of the 2015 Auckland Theatre Award for Best Entrance, Wellington natives Kate and Frith (with the help of their lovably demented characters TYLA and DENI$) are more than up to the challenge of spearheading a new initiative.
The Menagerie is a monthly variety show produced by Rachel Rouge. The August show was a mix of circus, burlesque, magic, comedy, music and poetry all tied together by the MC Mr Wizowski.
The performers were equally balanced between emerging artists and established performers. Each of them obviously being chosen for their talent and stage presence, both of which was notably high across the board even if there were occasional doses of nerves.
Courtney Rose Brown
Dust Pilgrim is a devised work with a focus on interweaving physical performance and theatrical magic. Presented by Red Leap Theatre and directed by Julie Nolan and Kate Parker, it is a simple story of a young woman named Panuelo’s fight for freedom. Dust Pilgrim is an enchanting production which is devised by Alison Bruce, Ella Becroft and Tom Eason. The creative team weave magic with their craft and the audience is captivated.
Courtney Rose Brown
Mana Wahine concludes 2016’s Kia Mau Festival, performing a sold out season at Circa Theatre. Presented by Okareka Dance Company, the production is directed and choreographed by the talents of Taane Mete, Malia Johnston and Taiaroa Royal. Drawing inspiration from Te Aokapurangi’s story of courage, the productions chronology is threaded through the stories of the performers and inspiration from the choreographers.
Pressure Makes Diamonds and this show is a shining example of that. Laura Daniel is a 2016 Billy T Nominee and the pressure is on to compete with the other nominees for that coveted top spot. She promises us a spectacle and what she’s delivered is a rollercoaster ride of glorious glitter, dancing and comedy to sink your teeth into.
As an audience member walking into Knitting While Sleeping, you are faced with an important choice. Do you join in, or do you spectate? Joining in means being immersed in the dance experience. It’s certainly an exciting option not often offered to dance audiences. Choosing to participate brings you close to the dancers...
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.