by Laura Ferguson
Much Ado About Nothing is part of the Alexander Sparrow and Katie Boyle comedy extravaganza currently being hosted at The Gryphon Theatre. There are nine different shows being performed by the talented pair. After seeing Boyle’s one-woman show of The Merry Wives of Windsor earlier in the year, I was intrigued at how Alexander Sparrow would put his spin on Much Ado About Nothing. While doing all the characters. On his own. I mean, wow.
Lonely Shakespeare Collective, the company that focuses on Shakespeare’s less popular plays, raises the stakes this year by presenting a tragicomedy that sparks debate over authorship. Double Falsehood is a play that I had only heard vague historic ramblings about—it is officially attributed to Lewis Theobald but is thought to be adapted from the lost play The History of Cardenio. It’s new territory for me, going into Shakespeare blind, but it’s satisfying to see the all too familiar plot devices crop up along the way.
by Laura Ferguson
A one-woman show of my favourite Shakespeare play The Merry Wives of Windsor? Oh, yes please! Katie Boyle makes my Shakespeare dreams come true with a ninety minute show where she embodies every one of the characters from the Shakespeare classic. So ‘twas a dark, rainy, frigid night I went along to the Newtown Community Centre to see how this iteration played out.
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.
by Laura Ferguson
Fun Fact: the cinematic masterpiece that is She’s the Man starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum is a modernised version of Twelfth Night. Did I watch She’s the Man eleventy more time as “research” for this play? Yes, I did. Did I like this play better? My gawd, yes henny! Why? Because Anastasia Matteini-Roberts’ version has EVEN MORE DRAG! My personal opinion is that everything in life would be better with a little more drag tucked into it, so I was gagged to find out that one of the plays in Victoria University’s Six Degrees Festival had made my queer little dream come true.
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.
Ophelia Thinks Harder was written 20 years ago by New Zealand writer Jean Betts. It is a modern, feminist response to Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Hamlet. Lord Lackbeard’s Touring Company present both shows; modern and classic, masculine and feminine in a double bill season that has toured the North Island and has its final stop here in Wellington. Performed at Boat Café on Oriental Parade, the atmosphere is casual and welcoming. Julia Campbell directs a cohesive production of Ophelia Thinks Harder and through the story depicts the extreme edge of the female experience in Hamlet’s world.
Presented by Students of THEA302 and THEA308
Directed by Stella Reid
When I heard that the 300 level students of Victoria University of Wellington were taking on the oft-performed Much Ado About Nothing, I admit I raised an eyebrow. It’s a daunting challenge, making this fan favourite seem fresh and worthwhile for their audience, most of whom have to brave harsh winds and rain to get to Studio 77 up in Kelburn. Thankfully, the bright-eyed and fresh faced company of THEA 302 mostly live up to that challenge.
Were I to take my pick of Shakespeare’s canon to enjoy on an already gloomy April evening, Titus Andronicus would not be my first choice. It’s far more likely to find itself somewhere near the bottom of my list, because with the gruesome subject matter at the heart of Titus, I find it hard to stomach that the play could ever sit anywhere within the realms of enjoyable.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.