Moonroe’s Happy Hour is a variety show featuring song, circus and a touch of burlesque created and performed by Laura Oakley and Jackson Cordery. Variety is the name of the game with this show, with some acts proving to be genuinely astonishing while some were found lacking.
Hell School: The Musical is an original musical created by a collective of students from the theatre programme of Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington and is directed by James Wenley.
Sexy Golf Boy is the latest in George Fenn’s portfolio of bizarre, experimental works. Fenn’s shows are usually highly interactive fever dreams full of surprise and unknown. This one is no different.
The Big HOO-HAA! Pōneke is a competitive improv show (a-la Theatresports) which was originally created in Perth, Australia and has migrated onto our shores for its New Zealand premiere in this year’s New Zealand Fringe Festival. Despite some opening night wrinkles, it’s a rambunctious, rollicking good time starring some of the city’s finest improv talent.
It’s 2022 and this year’s Fringe has over 20 online offerings, including C-Arts’ programme of international events from around the world. Finding myself in isolation because of you know what, I’m excited to take a digital dive. My first online show of Fringe is DGP Production’s Satan vs God. This production is beamed all the way from Florida, USA, and I regret that I’ll have to teach them the meaning of “yeah…nah”.
GAG REFLEX is a (more or less) one woman show, created by Rachel Atlas, and directed by Sabrina Martin. GAG REFLEX takes us through Atlas’s experiences as a performer, a sex worker, and a survivor, in a world that often feels like it is not built for women like her. This is Atlas’ first venture onto the stage as an actor, and I must say, what a strong entrance!
New Zealand Theatre Live’s MILK OF THE GODS is the show where the audience is given agency through water (and milk) balloons, and it is a welcome sequel to their frenzied 2021 Fringe season of MILK!
Ephemeral Theatre’s RAW! ASMR is a devised solo feminist clown show by Amy Atkins and, according to the programme, is the first of its kind in Aotearoa. Directed by Sara Hirsch and devised by Bethany Miller, Amy Booth, Liz Butler, and Pája Neuhöferov, the show is 45 minutes of whispered chaos, and as an avid ASMR fan, I feel ecstatic that this niche corner of YouTube content has been given some theatrical legs. While evidently a development season, RAW! ASMR is bright, fresh, and Atkins is a skilled entertainer.
Reviewed by Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
The Kallo Collective and A Mulled Whine’s show The King Of Taking is a promising work in development from beloved NZ clown, Thom Monckton. The show is a circus satire of a selfish king receiving gifts from his subjects/us/who cares! The show is already sharp as a tack, even as a demo, with Monckton flexing his international, award-winning clown muscles on home soil.
When Chansons – Songs & Stories from Piaf, Brel, & Me pops up, of course my interest is piqued. I’m French, on my mother’s side, and the show is advertised as a “musical journey through France”. So, I’m interested to see how French this would be, especially as I incorrectly assumed Stefanie Rummel was French – she’s German. And in this review, the real critic is my own very French mother.
Wendybird is the latest theatrical outing for fast-emerging company Blue Flicker. This year they bring Prea Millar’s debut solo show to fringe – a playful reclaiming of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, from Wendy’s perspective. More than that though, it is an artful reflection on a young woman’s experience growing up in someone else’s story.
As we enter Te Auaha's Tapere Iti, we become aware of a low rumble and cracking sounds. There is a white screen on which is projected black and white grainy film of snow and ice and several pieces of white draped furniture adorn the stage. Into this sparse world bursts 15-year-old Rory (played with consummate skill by Laniet Swann). This is her play and for the next 85 minutes she takes us on a huge emotional and physical journey.
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
Wake Productions’ stand-up show The Scottish Kiwi is helmed by ‘born and fled’ Scottish New Zealander Ryan McGhee with Michael Macauley as the warm-up act. From the winner of Best Newcomer Lower North Island at the NZ Comedy Guild Awards, this show is an up-beat romp across continents as McGhee gives comedic life to his misadventures in Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Always funny, sometimes smutty, definitely gay.
Spitz and Crumple is an improvised, smooth-lounge concert created and performed by Ben Jardine and Liz Butler. It’s the best improvised music I’ve ever seen, and the theatrical equivalent of a warm hug from your Aunty Jan. Strap in for a rave review!
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.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.