Tag Archives: Q Theatre

Been | Here Lies Love

If you love live musical performances, then this is a show for you.

The life of Imelda Marcos is narrated through the operandi of music, thanks to the writing genius of David Byrne and Norman Cook (aka.Fatboy Slim).  Directed by Sophie Roberts and with musical direction by Robin Kelly.

The anticipation upon arrival was palpable, and the energy high, as one looked around the lofty quarters of the Rangatira stage, to see a sprinkling of ‘who’s-who’ in NZ TV, Music & Theatre.

The disco themed concept was evident and most welcomely embraced, from the slick and sequin clad 5-pieced band, to the elaborate and glistening staircase, which reflected the luminescent costumes of the show’s star divas.

Ethereal lighting and a gospel-inspired backdrop fall upon songstress Ria Hall, as she opens the stage with powerful and intoxicating vocals, followed by equally as alluring performances by: Villette Dasha, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Colleen Davis and Sarah Nessia.

The suave and polished band deserve a notable mention, with their acoustically flawless rendition of a concept most unusual,  keeping the heady disco rhythm shaking, to the very end ….  A standout for me in particular,  was the percussionist Antonio Karam, whose vivacity and mad musical ability had not only myself, mesmerized.

Conveying the remarkable rise (and subsequent fall) of such a politically controversial icon was never going to be an easy task.  Yet this unexpected collaboration from influential and allying artists (Byrne & Cook) combined with the stage and musical talent of our very own, individually successful artists –  ‘Here lies love’  is a production of great expectation and certain delivery.

By the end of the show, you will be literally dancing in your seats!

Here Lies Love is now showing over these following dates:
November 22 – December 08th
Rangatira @ Q




interviewed | Yorick!’s Oliver Delvin

Q Theatre’s Matchbox Season returns in 2018 with Binge Culture’s, Yorick!. Promising to be an experimental, totally unique, and hilarious show about death… as well as a full-on musical with stunning design.

Yorick! is reinventing Macbeth as you know it.

We chat to Music Composer and Performer, Oliver Delvin, ahead of the Auckland Matchbox Season.

What is your role in Yorick!?
I am the musical composer and musician character “Oli” in Yorick!.

How are you preparing for it?
Well, we’ve made all the tunes and just finished our paper tech and packed everything up ready to go to Auckland. So right now I’m doing some much-needed laundry, doing some polishing of the backing tracks, practicing my 5 lines and preparing a few little surprises.

Can you tell us more about the music of Yorick! – have you composed original songs?
The songs, just like the rest of the show, were devised collaboratively. The cast was given provocations, I played some piano and they improvised lyrics and tunes to what I was playing. I took those improvs and shaped them into the musical theatre song form we were going for, and then gave them to Jake Baxendale who arranged them for his hot band of Jazz cats who we’ve recorded into this beautiful backing. In the show, it’s just me on stage playing piano and the cast singing.

Are you a fan of Shakespeare? Do you have a favourite character or play?
I would say I am a keen theatre-goer. I was lucky enough to be taught Shakespeare all the way through high school so feel comfortable enough going to a show. My favourite has definitely been the Bright Orange Walls production of Midsummer Night’s Dream that was put on in the NZ Fringe in 2014. Also, favourite film/stage adaptation/reimagining would have to be West Side Story – huge fan.

You’re a busy man, in addition to your theatre work, you’re also part of a band, Hans Pucket – can you tell us more about that?
We’re a guitar pop band, making pretty thoughtful and sometimes pretty emo songs you can dance to, and we’ve just released our debut album Eczema. You can get it on cassette!

Where would we find you on a Friday night?
If I’m not at a gig or rehearsal, at home making a meal with some friends and probably watching a movie.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Joel has been picking us up to go out to Avalon at 8:00 so I gotta be up! When we’re not doing this my girlfriend works 9 to 5 so I get up when she gets up otherwise I just feel stink. I keep pretty with music and theatre so there’s usually a reason to get out of bed. And when I’m not busy like – oh boy – when all this is over, there’s nothing wrong with having some much-needed rest – am I right?

What’s currently trending for you?
Westworld season 2 is giving me my TV fix. Also, I’ve gotten really into whiskey this year – nothing fancy, just on ice in the evening. Also would love to spend some more time with Samin Nosrat’s cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat. Music-wise I am overwhelmed with the good local stuff that’s come out this year: Womb, Onono, Girlboss, The Beths, Wax Chattels, Estère, Dateline, Being, and Kody and Ruben Neilson obviously forever – great to see them playing together again in UMO.

Catch Oliver Delvin in Yorick! – playing at Q Theatre Tuesday 12 June – Saturday 23 June.  Buy tickets here.

NZICF 18 | Dot Con

James Veitch…A Giant Gummy Lizard’s nightmare!

Known for his love for ducks, investment tips in hummus, and views on the internet; British comedian James Veitch performed the last show of his 2018 Australasian tour in front of a sold-out crowd at Auckland’s Q Theatre (it has to be noted, he was in the biggest venue at Q!).

To be a comedian who has presented a TED talk (and the fastest ever to reach over two million views!) is an accolade to admire, thus it was no surprise his Kiwi fans were of all ages and demographics. The hour of hilarity that ensued were the antics of a conman to conmen. If there was one thing to learn from the show, it was; don’t mess with James unless you have time to spare!

Dot Con is a fitting title for the show as James explores his tryst with scammers; from Solomon Odonkoh who wants to move gold, to his American friend Alex’s email account being hacked (they’ll always have Tuscany).

The show is dotted with stories both old and new and fans were delighted either way. James has the ability to breakdown an email chain and reenact the bond he’s formed with the scammer in a way that audiences appreciate.

Dot Con was a show not to be missed and can easily be labelled as one of my favourites for this year’s International Comedy season. It’s easy to see why his videos have gained over 12m views on YouTube.

5 stars.

NZICF 18 | What A Country!

A word of advice: next time Wilson Dixon is in town, go see him. Laughs are guaranteed, and you’re going to walk out satisfied whether you like his country style of music or not.

If you haven’t seen him before, Dixon blends comedy with music, performing country songs with impressively clever lyrics and breaking them up with some seriously great banter. His whole persona revolves around the United States, from the Western accent (though he’s actually a Kiwi) to the outfit (cowboy boots, check; cowboy hat, check; vintage sunglasses, check).

The topic of Dixon’s new show builds on this theme, placing the United States under a spotlight and questioning its many quirks, from Trump to the stereotype of “redneck” Americans. Songs such as Ain’t No Good provide hilarious – and astute – insight into real issues such as heartbreak, blind dating and domestic disagreements.

Perhaps what is best about Dixon’s performance, however, is the deadpan manner with which he performs his entire set. You’d be lucky to see this man crack a smile, and not once does his tone range from anything but mild, nor his pace stray from its consistent slowness. There’s an art to that, for sure.

Dixon certainly isn’t new to the comedy scene, but this could just be his greatest act yet.

Wilson Dixon plays 1 – 15 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.

NZICF 18 | G.O.D (God. Oil. Drugs)

Who says you have to go to church to hear a sermon?

Being heralded as the UK’s answer to Chris Rock, our expectations for Dane’s debut NZ show were high …and he didn’t disappoint.

Gracing the stage to Stormzy, Dane opened his sermon by stating he likes to educate; not just entertain. He then divulged into growing up black in a Catholic household. What followed was an hour of side splitting comedy of observations that contribute to not living in an equal society.

Dane compared the double standards of gender neutrality, fair trade chocolate, and foodies. He also deeply analysed growing up to TLC’s 90’s chart topping single, No Scrubs and how it contributed to a lack of getting girls.

Dane has a unique talent for delivering punchlines and relating to the audience, a talent which only a select group of comedians have mastered. I’d say that he’s my generation’s answer to Eddie Murphy in his prime.

5 stars.

NZICF 18 | Alexis Dubus vs the World

A pleasant hour of orchestrated confusion sums up Alexis Dubus verses the world.

Dressed in a velour suit and armed with a miniature ukulele, Dubus started the show with his song, ‘Versus the World’. A fitting theme song for an hour filled with poems, spoken word, song, and witty humour, all performed in a variety of styles.

An ode to Grain Waves, a hatred of Bananas, and To be a Comic, were just some of the poems recited during the show. Dubus played a subdued, graceful character on stage; a stark contrast to his alter-ego, Marcel Lucont.

His poetic stories were clearly inspired by his travels as comic; often grounded and of low-status. His poem, ‘To be a Comic’, was a reflective piece revealing the truth behind making it as a comic, the polar opposite of the perceived glitz and glamour of show business. And his stories of staying in a hostel in Perth revealed the realities of his life on the road.

A special mention must be made of his performance of Never confuse Shampoo with Champagne, it was one even Sinatra would be proud of!

Like a box of chocolates, there’s always a selection that isn’t as good as the others. The show delivered but there were aspects that didn’t work for me. However, the tone and laughs were consistent throughout.

Alexis Dubus is an elegant wordsmith and a master at manipulating the English language. The orchestrated confusion made it a pleasant show to watch.

3.5 stars.

Read our interview with Alexis.

See Alexis Dubis in Alexis Dubus vs the World in Auckland 28 April and Wellington 8 – 12 May.  Buy your tickets here.

NZICF | 5 mins with The Umbilical Brothers

Aussie duo, The Umbilical Brothers, return to New Zealand with their latest live show, Not Suitable for Children. Inspired by that time they created a kids TV show for the Sesame Workshop in the US; the show is packed with violence, sexual references, innuendos, coarse language, and maybe some face painting…. And you guessed it, it’s most definitely, Not Suitable for Children! We chat to them ahead of their shows.

Describe your show in three words or less..
Fry your brain

What’s the inspiration behind it?
We made a kids’ TV show for Sesame Workshop in the US. All the while our comedy brains were thinking about things that could go wrong. The result is a really wrong live kids’ show – so wrong that it’s not for kids.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Hopefully nowhere near children. That came out wrong…I mean no kids should see this show. Apart from that, we’ll probably hang around a lot at the classic, failing to be as cool as the stand-up comics.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Which is the good one? Look, we wouldn’t dare take any kind of swipe at NZ comedy. You’re the only ones qualified to swipe, even if it is incestuous.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Luke Heggie, Urzila Carlson, Jimmy McGhie, Guy Montgomery, Aunty Donna, any act you’ve never heard of (it’s important to try new things), and if you’ve got any time or money left – us.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
Stuck in the Middle With You

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
A screen showing the words “You do not have access to this service”

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Further Than Planes Fly (Eves Karydas), Genesis (Justice), Watch You Go (Tyne-James Organ)

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Awesome! I’d take the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.

World Association:
Comedy – Debatable
New Zealand – Original Zealand OK, but not as scenic as New.
Woke – Groggy but alive
Adulting – Just Kidding
Basic – Double-bassic
Trend – Vicious dinosaur attack
Joke – Trending New Zealand Comedy more Woke than Basic Adulting Joke

The Umbilical Brothers play 15 – 19 May at Auckland’s Rangatira at Q as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.