Close to You is a new improvised theatrical offering from Wellington improv stalwarts Best on Tap. The show explores closeness, far-ness, and how distance impacts on people and relationships across all walks of life. Based on audience suggestions, these generous and intelligent improvisers shared a delightful show full of surprises to an adoring Thursday night crowd.
Ellen Morgan Butler
If I could describe What’s the Purpose of this Project? (created by Potentially Playing Productions’s Evangelina Telfar and Marcus Jackson) in one word, I would describe it as lovely. Or cerebral. Or dreamy. But this project requires much more than just one word.
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!
Poe’d is an improvised play paying homage to gothic horror and it’s most well-remembered foreparent Edgar Allan Poe. The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) tackle a challenging form with gusto and courage and create a night of interesting theatre made up on the spot.
Claire Waldron is the sole performer (the only stupid b*tch?) in this Six Degrees Festival show, a suite of productions by Victoria University’s Master of Fine Arts – Theatre programme.
Like most creatives, I have a list of people I want to make a show with. Some are obvious: friends of mine from the spoken word scene, previous collaborators, talented peers. Some are farther reaching: the writer of that play I reviewed which I couldn’t find fault with, or directors I have followed for decades. But nowhere on this long and inclusive dream list have I included anyone I was ever in an actual relationship with. The closest I got was making a solo show about a particularly memorable break up. We hadn’t spoken for a year when I performed it to a room full of strangers, but even that was too close for comfort.
Comedy connoisseurs Eli Matthewson (The Male Gayz) and Brynley Stent (Funny Girls) are far braver than I.
Wise Guy is the latest theatrical offering from the exciting young company, Soy People Productions, and is their second mainstage production at BATS. This ambitious play tackles everything from the foibles of comedy to the harsh reality of an AIDS diagnosis in a full-flight theatrical exploration.
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.
Me ’n’ Ma is a wholesome and delightful addition to this year’s Comedy Festival. We are welcomed into the space by a beaming Hamish Parkinson who offers popcorn and lemonade on the way to our seats. He greets every audience member with warmth and gratitude, setting the tone for the heart-warming 55 minutes ahead.
That is a lot of haiku
He reads every one
Retold dreams are typically incoherent rambles only interesting for the teller. I usually don’t want to hear about your dream unless I was in it. Director and writer Shona Jaunas, however, delivers a lucid odyssey into the subconscious of her protagonist in The Dream. The experimental theatre piece layers film, psychedelic soundscapes and dramatic lights to illustrate just how our dreams can be more than the sum of its random images.
Why Are We Still Here? follows four young women dealing with grief. During a storm they break into an abandoned theatre for shelter. They are visited by two ghosts overnight, who help them explore their pain, while working through their own. A solid debut from Tempest theatre, Why Are We Still Here? is a successful exploration into the ways we grieve.
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.
Feminist fruit comedy punk band The Rotten Cores are back from their award winning Fringe season. In Discharge is Rotten to the Core, directed by Christine Brooks, friendships, old and new, are put the test during an intense band practice. The show is a fresh, vibrant, laugh out loud musical with lots of artificial colours and naturally funny flavours.
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.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.