Lana, 20-something, Rotorua. A Sagittarius-cat owner-stand up comic with a “it was mutual” breakup haircut seeks romance, midnight snacks and ex boyfriends’ weddings. In her first solo NZ Comedy Festival entry, Lana dishes on her disastrous attempts at dating and faking having everything together.
by Laura Ferguson
One event I truly miss since moving from Christchurch is their annual World Buskers Festival. That’s one reason I look forward to the productions of Rollicking Entertainment starring husband-and-wife team Lizzie Tollemache and David Ladderman. Their latest offering, Seven Deadly Stunts, brings me more of what I crave in a busker festival-less world: excitement, thrills, fun and the bouncing curiosity of seeing feats even my imagination wouldn’t dare attempt.
Tollemache and Ladderman’s Seven Deadly Stunts is exactly as it sounds: seven sideshow acts that combine anticipation, vicarious fear and comedy. It delivers this in chainsaws, and no, that isn’t just an awkward substitution for spades.
Clare Kerrison's Infernal Recall is a whimsical improv storytelling adventure that activates audience engagement in a unique way.
We sit in the new Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, ready to watch Clare Kerrison's Infernal Recall. Clare Kerrison herself potters around, asking us (wisely) to move forward, since “it’s an intimate show”. She then adds, “oh but don’t worry, not touching-intimate”.
“Psychological flexibility is the sign of a healthy mind. A friend once told me ‘people have the right to their own stories’. Both of these things seem true, and yet they work against each other.” We May Have To Choose demonstrates, even in its very title, that ideological conflicts don't necessarily live on either side of a fence called truth.
Who are you? Who? by Best on Tap bravely explores this difficult question through an equally brave form. They present audience members’ anonymous self-assessments as a string of improvised scenes and stories, where improvisation stems from truth over comedy. By playing towards “Honest Truths” Best on Tap aim to challenge the preconception that improvisation should primarily be funny. But how truthful can an interpretation be? We write our brief identity blurbs onto cards, place them in a bowl and witness the portrayals of ourselves unfold.
Shirley Gnome’s one-woman show Taking it Up the Notch is a hilarious, unapologetic raunchy riot. Accompanied with her glitter guitar and stunning voice, Gnome shares country ballads about sex, masturbating, existential crises and sex. But don’t worry, she gives you the chance to leave after the first song if it's too much to handle.
True to it's title, In Bed starts in a very ordinary double bed, with a blue checkered duvet and an excess of pillows. Seasoned Improviser, MC and Director Brendon Bennetts welcomes the audience to the makeshift bedroom on BATS theatre’s second floor, with warmth and confidence. In his intro, Bennetts tells us why he wanted to stage a show in a bed, explaining that we spend most of our time in bed yet rarely see it accounted for on-stage. In Bed aims to shine a little light on the intimate, moving, sexy and funny moments that can occur between the sheets.
Courtney Rose Brown
Playing a part in this year’s Young and Hungry Festival, Owen Baxendale’s script Dead Days is a dynamic piece with a black comedy forefront that is guaranteed laughs. Debra Mulholland (director) navigates moments of dark humour with moments of vulnerability and loneliness, with a slowing of pace and a stillness which creates many moments of empathy alongside laughter.
Courtney Rose Brown
Like Sex, written by Nathan Joe (winner of Playmarket’s Playwrights B425 2016) and directed by Samuel Phillips is part of this year’s Young and Hungry Festival that is now taking over BATS Theatre for the rest of the month. Like Sex explores the sex life of teenagers, navigating preconceptions, awkward interactions and bold gestures; seven scenes, with seven different pairings playout. Cleverly structured so the person from the previous scene shares the next scene with a different person. In effect, creating a new link in the chain.
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.
Courtney Rose Brown
SolOTHELLO is part of the 2016 Kia Mau Festival that is taking Wellington by storm this Matariki. Presented by Te Rēhia Theatre Company alongside the British Council, SolOTHELLO is a one man show performed by Regan Taylor and directed by Craig Geenty. As the name suggests, the show is William Shakespeare’s Othello, performed as a solo. However, Geenty and Taylor transform what could have easily been an ego trip, (tackling one of Shakespeare’s most ambitious plays solo) into something that is beautiful in the simplicity of deft storytelling. With the use of Te Mata Kokako o Rehia (traditional Maori mask) Taylor reclaims the story of Othello into the lands of Aotearoa, in telling the audience that William Shakespeare is a thief. SolOTHELLO is one man’s retelling of the jealousies and manipulation from Othello in a new and innovative way which brings an exhilarating life force to the text.
Written and directed by Mīria George
Presented by Tawata Productions as part of Kia Mau Festival 2016
The Vultures presented by Tawata Productions is the second show of the Kia Mau Festival that opened last night. The development season of the play was presented as part of the Pūtahi Festival 2015 at Studio 77, written and directed by playwright Mīria George. The premiere season of the show, now at Bats Theatre, revolves around the human desire of wealth, the connection of the whānau (family/community) to the whenua (land) and the status quo within a wealthy Māori family.
Combining Jack Ansett, Dylan Watts and Justin White in one show should have been a discordant adventure - but thanks to some clever MCing by Snap it became relatively harmonious.
I went to a comedy show tonight that not only made me laugh big snorting laughs, but also made me question my life, made me cry as I remembered my mother, and reignited my desire to do something more than just what I do everyday until I retire or die. Though I was a complete stranger, I hugged that comic hard. That comic was Alice Fraser and her show is Savage.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.