After the Accident

8-12 August 2017, Napier Little Theatre Napier Repertory Players’ alternative, versatile studio productions work well for exploring challenging themes within a shortened time space, providing opportunities for performing arts participants to increase their skill base in all elements of theatre, using minimal props, sound and lighting. Their latest offering, After the Accident (written by Julian…

Blithe Spirit

28 July 2017, Aubyn Live Theatre, Hastings As I parked up behind a healthy row of cars, a flutter of excitement came over me. I had driven past Aubyn Live Theatre hundreds of times, regularly seeing the sign change as performances came and went, but this was my first tentative step into the world of…

The Sound of Music

16 July 2017, Municipal Theatre, Waipawa There was a buzz in the air at this matinee performance: the Waipawa Musical and Dramatic Club’s production of The Sound of Music. A lot of the audience had family members in the cast, crew or orchestra, and they sported huge smiles which matched mine and attested to our…

Menagerie a Trois

20-29 July, Theatre HB Playhouse I buy free range eggs with almost religious zeal.  On the few past occasions I’ve brought cage eggs I’ve scuttled out of the supermarket burning with shame.  I regularly toy with the idea of going vegan, before I remember there’s nothing in this world quite like bacon.  I worry frequently…

Blood Brothers

7 July 2017, Tabard Theatre, Napier If the combination of a heart-wrenching story of twins, separated at birth and raised on opposite sides of Liverpool in the 1960s, set to music, sounds like your cup of tea then get along to the Tabard Theatre’s production of Willy Russell’s cult musical, Blood Brothers. The story centres…

Oliver!

4-7 July, Hastings Girls’ High School Hall Oliver! must be one of the favourite musicals of all time. It’s certainly mine. I had the score as a child and read it like it was a novel. I knew all the words to all the songs and loved all the ins and outs of the story….

Over the Top

30 June 2017, Playhouse Theatre, Hastings Tailing the Gallipoli centennial commemorations, I must admit, I felt weary at the thought of Hawke’s Bay’s youth theatre troupe, HaBYT, staging true-life World War One stories and the risk of a glorifying ANZAC legend.  But the guiding hands of director Peter Cottrell, dramaturge Amanda Jackson and choreographer Champa…

Whatever

23 June 2017, Napier Little Theatre It was a dark and stormy night – no, really – as I made my way through the rain and fog to Little Theatre, tucked between colonial cottages on McGrath St and the railway line. It’s an intimate, well-loved space for an evening of live entertainment, and the place…

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…