Tiki Taane Mahuta

22 May 2017, Napier Municipal Theatre Created by Taki Rua artistic director Tānemahuta Gray, the production Tiki Taane Mahuta is set to live music from iconic musicians Tiki Taane and Shapeshifter’s Sam Trevethick, and combines theatre, audiovisual projection, aerial performance, contemporary dance, kapa haka, mau rākau and hip hop. Both the narrative and sound track…

Four Flat Whites in Italy

18 May 2017, Napier Municipal Theatre I am certainly old enough to remember enjoying Roger Hall’s TV series Gliding On from the 80s but I was not expecting to enjoy his play Four Flat Whites in Italy, which is pitched at the retiree section of society.  This particular production was directed by Geraldine Brophy (receptionist…

The Pickle King

5 May 2017, Napier Municipal Theatre “If variety is the spice of life, then call me the Pickle King!” Indian Ink certainly cast their net wide in the scope of this ambitious production. Their novel use of space and properties, as well as their method of addressing love and duty, sexuality and sensuality, culture and…

Dead Hill

28 April 2017, Napier prison The Napier Prison “trail of horror” as I had dubbed it in my calendar takes place every month in the 1860s complex that once housed Hawke’s Bay’s most wanted and most unhinged. The location itself being relatively unsettling, this night promised, in my mind, a plethora of murderous tales, the…

NYDS’17 Sharing of Work

April 21, 2017 – Napier Municipal Theatre This place is on fire. Big emotion in all its hues sparks up from the audience. It’s an audience of two halves: from midway to the back proud parents, families and friends, supporters and benefactors; up the front students – their turn will come tomorrow – mirroring their…

Ladies’ Day

23 March – 1 April 2017, The Playhouse, Hastings Comedy is timing and Theatre HB latest Ladies’ Day is on beat and tight in its delivery. Laughs come easily, but there’s also a poignancy here and some tough themes carefully nurtured and teased out. The jokes are lubricated with heavy Yorkshire accents and it’s that…

Mary Poppins

10-25 March, Napier Municipal Theatre The matinee performance  was ideally suited to the younger fans but theatre-goers of all ages were delighted when the Napier Operatic Society wowed the audience with the Broadway musical production of Mary Poppins.  Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke are a hard act to follow but Laura Jeffares in the…

Daffodils

October 6, 2016 Daffodils (a play with songs) has been praised to our Kiwi skies since its opening night in 2014 – “near-iconic New Zealand theatre”, “a fully-fledged wonder”, “essential viewing”,  “genius” – so the bar was set pretty high on my expectations for a good night out, tempered slightly by a cynical niggle that…

Mikelangelo & the Black Sea Gentlemen

October 7, 2016 Last night’s performance by Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen was close to a kind of communal ecstasy – I don’t think I’ve ever seen our festival crowd quite so giddy and exuberant as with this sublime blend of the absurd, even downright silly, and the exquisite, melancholy ache of the minor…

Songs for the Fallen

October 9, 2016 A frisson of electricity flickered around the newest incarnation of the Spiegeltent in anticipation of Saturday night’s performance. The poster child for the Arts Festival, this sell out show promised to be a riotous celebration of life, and did not disappoint. From the moment writer and leading lady Sheridan Harbridge took to…

The White Guitar

October 9, 2016 I sat down with my brother, Gus, this morning to grill him on last night’s raw family drama, The White Guitar, performed to a standing ovation by hip-hop artist Scribe, his brother Matthias Luafutu and father John at the Napier Municipal Theatre. This was Gus’s experience: I haven’t really seen something before…

Hinepau

October 12, 2016 This enchanting stage adaptation of Gavin Bishop’s picture book has to be one of my festival favourites – such a feast for the eyes, ears and heart. Produced by NZ theatre company, Capital E, this contemporary Māori story is sprinkled with local language puns and gentle cultural jokes, while addressing universal issues…