Tag Archives: Q Theatre

been | The Vultures

Nominated for Five Wellington Theatre Awards 2016 including Best New New Zealand Play  –  ‘The Vultures’  written and directed by Miria George tells a bitter tale of sibling rivalry and greed, set among an old world of land and privilege.

Performing to a near packed-out audience.  The intimate yet lofty setting of the Rangatira stage provided the ideal backdrop for this indigenous collaborative production by Tawata Productions

Set within the parameters of sacred land and an idyllic lake, the plays theme, together with the polished and engaging performances, highlighting the very distinct character traits within whanau, was simplistic yet highly effective.

Starring Nicola Kawana, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Ani-Piki Tuari & Erina Daniels; the actors are the heart of this production. Honest and kind Sister Nurse Hinemoa is a polar opposite to her successful yet ruthless and intimidating sister, magazine magnate – Atawhai.  Superbly cast alongside their imposing and calculating brother, the dubious businessman Petera, and not least, their more virtuous niece and nephew, the prodigious scientist Kiwi and her cousin, budding gymnast, Te Rāwhitiroa, who have long been estranged.

I was particularly impressed with the metaphoric use of costume throughout the production, the grand and regal cloak of feathers worn by Petera, which throughout his descent into uncompromising rapacity and his physical stature, came to resemble that of an actual vulture.

‘The Vultures’ success lies within it’s characters and the underlying message.  A powerful portrayal of family loyalty vs greed, and the insatiable lust for material wealth which ultimately becomes soul-destroying.

With a very limited few days left of viewing to go, be sure not to miss this superbly crafted piece of Maori theater.


Now Showing @ Q !

Wednesday 18 October – Saturday 21st October

been | Velvet + The Sound of Falling Stars

Where do I begin with such a superbly theatrical and musically packed evening ….. ? One which took me from the bright hedonistic lights of the disco era – a’la Studio 54, to the beautiful yet melancholy crooning of musical heroes now past …

The Rangatira balcony of the Q-Theatre stage provided the perfect spot to appreciate an evening of fabulously retro sounds and an array of gymnastic talent as witnessed through the night’s show and winner of the Adelaide Advertiser Best of Fringe 2016 and the Bank of South Australia’s Pick of the Fringe 2016 – ‘Velvet’.

I loved the raised DJ Booth and the cool and perfectly suited attitude of it’s resident DJ, Joe Accaria, who took the audience through a ‘Boogie Wonderland’.

The drumming and percussion skills of the mix-master, as well as the acrobatic display of a very toned and skilled Mirko Kockenberger was impressive and boosted me out of my otherwise sombre mood, and that was only within the first ten minutes!

With the presence of renowned Australian music legend, Marcia Hines, a true disco diva owned the stage, with amazing soul and star power from an equally talented ensemble consisting of; rising Australian star Tom Oliver, aerialist Emma Goh, a gorgeous display of muscles (Stephen Williams) soul sisters Kaylah Attard and Rechelle Mansour, and not to forget my personal highlight, the delightfully flamboyant hula master Craig Reid.

Velvet was a perfectly polished disco extravaganza of powerful nightclub ballads, a journey of a who’s who of 1970’s dance hedonism featuring; Gloria Gaynor, “If you could read my mind”,  a group effort of the classic It’s Raining Men’ – to an unexpected acoustic act of an altogether different pace, with Tom Oliver in fantastic stage dress and a ukulele version of ‘Stayin Alive’.

‘Last Dance’ was the perfect score to conclude this wonderful show of glitter and glamour.  An energetic and marvellous fusion of dance, disco and gymnastics, ‘Velvet’ is a wonderful parade of Cabaret.

After such an entertaining display I was not 100% certain that my enjoyment could be surpassed. But the next show proved me wrong and on a major scale too …

‘The Sound of Falling Stars’,  performed within the tête-à-tête of the Auckland Town Hall, was hands-down one of the most unexpected and awe-inspiring performances of the season and had me mesmerized throughout the entire evening.

The unassuming musical genius of Cameron Goodall (Sydney Theatre Company’s Lion King) personifies a plethora of musical legends gone before us.  Taking the audience on a musical journey that transpired through the decades.

Marking the tone of the show with a very believable characterization of Elvis ‘The Pelvis’ – Cameron Goodall and creative director Robyn Archer put together a show that was incredibly smart, well-researched and narrated in a manner so unique.

Cameron had outstanding support from George on accordion and from keyboardist Enio Pozzebon, whose passion for real music was evident from the expression on their faces and faultless instrumentalism.

From the blue-grass/country of Hank Williams to the Neapolitan classic tune ‘O Solo Mio’, transitioning through to soul icons Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye; then to a complete juxtaposition of rock gods; Jim Morrison who noticeably influenced his formative Michael Hutchence, Kurt Cobain and even portraying the anarchic punk Sid Vicious.

So many more figures in musical history, that I cannot name all,  but with each one, he immerses himself with such honesty, depth and appreciation that was truly remarkable.

His rendition of Tim Buckley’s ‘Song to the Siren’ so cleverly intertwined with his equally musically talented son Jeff, was hauntingly beautiful.

Cameron Goodall provides the audience with accounts of each artist’s inevitable fate – all chronicled so informatively, whilst seductively sashaying between musical genre; country, soul, rock and even a crooning Frank Sinatra – his version of ‘I did it my way ‘summarizing a magical and truly moving performance that truly left me touched and spellbound.

A definite must-see this Auckland Live International Cabaret Season.  5 Stars *****

been | The Pickle King

To celebrate their 20th Anniversary, Indian Ink Theatre Company – whose humble beginnings saw them in a rehearsal space in Wellington – have chosen to share their highly acclaimed The Pickling King with audiences across New Zealand.

The story centres around two hotel workers, an overbearing Ammachy (South Indian aunty), a mysterious guest and a haunting piano player, in what was once the finest hotel in town. Like a pickled onion, as you peel the layers, the play explores socially taboo subjects, which kiwis have come to accept and Indians don’t want to discuss.

Indian Ink’s founder, Jacob Rajan has passed the baton for this anniversary tour; with Vanessa Kumar (Boys Will Be Boys, Peter Pan) and Kalyani Nagarajan (The Brokenwood Mysteries 3, Polo) taking the helm, along with Andrew Ford (Le Sud, The Lady Killers) and Ayrton Foote on piano.

Ford as the pickle man and Kumar as the overbearing aunt give a strong performance and will have the audience in fits of laughter.

It’s easy to see how this show has won so many awards – it’s better than poppadum’s with mango pickle! Catch it at Q Theatre until Saturday 19 August.

been | The Effect

The impressive and inspiring collaborative force – Fractious Tash, have undoubtedly put themselves on the thespian radar; introducing to Q-Theatre’s 2017 Matchbox Season, the raw uninhibited and compelling production of “The Effect” – a play by the reputable Lucy Prebble (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), and directed by the visionary Benjamin Henson.

An unlikely love-story, set within the cold, confining parameters of a clinical drug-trial.  It’s subjects; the wry, cynical yet stoic heroine Connie (Jessie Lawrence), cast athwart the upbeat and lovable Irish rogue, Tristan (Daniel Watterson).

A great set, minimalist yet detailed.  It’s characters were immediately engaging; my companion taking a little longer to warm to them, but within minutes, was as transfixed as I, with a script so intelligent and absorbing, brought to life by such magnetic acting talent.

The inevitable attraction between these two polar opposites, are triggered by a clinical trial that they have both knowingly entered into, overseen by Dr Lorna (Sheena Irving) and Dr Toby (Will Wallace), who themselves, are most interesting personas through their portrayal of undeniable sexual attraction, that is yet restrained by the realities of life and own mental-awareness.

Confronting and powerful messages about love and it’s all-consuming hold over us, both mentally and physically, are ideas that are challenged by it’s integral characters; can certain chemicals induce or affect our innermost thoughts?  Or are we best left to allow our emotions to develop, and to deal with or overcome the consequences naturally, no matter how painful or challenging they may be …. ?

Sheena Irving is outstanding in her portrayal of the empathetic but emotionally troubled psychotherapist,  alongside such thought-provoking and incredibly relevant dialogue between the rest of the equally talented cast, surrounding the issue of mental illness and the important role that drugs play in how we deal with them as individuals.

Daniel Watterson and Jessie Lawrence wowed, with their intense passion and believable interpretation of love, which had me so involved, if not perhaps, emotionally a bit wrought at the end, yet delivered with great intention and just the right dose of humor to avert the classic Tragedy genre.   The only irony now being, I think I may be safer sticking to Tinder then messing with any love inducing chemicals …   🙂

The Effect is now showing @ Q Theatre – Loft.  August 1-12

NZICF | Frenchy Unleashed

Frenchy’s show can be describe in two words: pure evil.
Having followed his presence online for a while I was somewhat prepared for a show of filthy, lewd and most likely offensive jokes. I wasn’t disappointed.
The lanky Australian bounded onstage at the Q Theatre and launched straight into it. Content ranged from religion and sex fails to Tinder stories and the Kardashians. Highlights included two surprisingly good raps and one severe telling-off of a persistent talker. He also played a couple of hilarious tunes on the guitar, which was a good way of breaking things up.
The man’s humour is gnarly, in the best way. He’s got a rough wit that causes the odd wince but gets the hearty laughs rolling in nonetheless. The show was very well executed, running smoothly while still allowing time for audience interaction, at which Frenchy excels. If you don’t mind excessive amounts of swearing, graphic sexual material and some semi-offensive jokes, Frenchy is definitely worth a watch.
**** 4/5 stars
FRENCHY performed in Auckland as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival.  Catch him throughout the country on the following dates:
  • May 20 – Theatre Royal, Nelson
  • May 21 – Civic Theatre, Invercargill
  • May 22 – Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin
  • May 23 – Aurora Centre, Christchurch
  • May 24 – Clarence Street, Hamilton
  • May 26 – The Mayfair, New Plymouth
  • May 27 – Opera House, Wellington
Find out more here.

NZICF 17 | 5 mins with Frenchy

He may look like he’s out of Sesame Street, but even Big Bird can’t make crowds laugh as much as Frenchy.

The smart, witty, self-deprecating comedian has found worldwide stardom; selling out shows across Australia, NZ and the UK and amassing over 2 million followers on social media.  Fresh from performing in Melbourne, Frenchy is performing at Rangitara at the Q and at venues across the country.

Describe your show in three words…

Lynx Africa Deodorant.

What’s the inspiration behind the show?

Stories & shenanigans from the past year, such as my poor attempts at dating, weird sex stories, the Kardashians & whatever other topics my immature brain finds funny.

What are your top 3 New Zealand Comedy Festival picks?

Daniel Sloss, Aunty Donna and Joel Creasey

Tell us about your most memorable time on stage?

My first ever show in Edinburgh, Scotland I had the unfortunate luck of having 8 lads on a stag party (bucks night) sitting in the 2nd row. Within 2 minutes they were yelling at me to get my cock out, obviously I said “no but you can if you want”. So some 6ft unit hops onstage & whips out his trouser snake which happened to be the biggest thing I’d ever seen. It was like the hammer of Thor, it put a hole in the floorboards as it smacked into the ground. Everyone laughed but it wasn’t until I was chatting to the front row 20min later when I found out that the front row had three 15 yr olds males… who were about 2 metres away from the tripod.

Amy Schumer is known for heckling the odd heckler, what’s your approach?

Depends on the heckler & how annoying they are being. Sometimes I’ll just ruin them with a quick one-liner, but if I’m feeling especially malevolent sometimes I’ll turn the house lights on so I get a good look at them then go to town…

What’s your social media of choice?

RedTube probably. Wait I meant YouTube. Both. And Instagram. #LikeCommentSubscribe

Word Association:

Comedy youtube.com/SungaAttack #LikeCommentSubscribe

New Zealand – Churr Cuzzy

Trump – Walking Meme

Holiday Inn #Chingy

Pineapple  haven’t had fruit in 8 yrs tbh.

Sheep lol

And finally, describe the last meal you ate:

Beer from a shoe. (Ate / drank ;).

FRENCHY performed in Auckland as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival.  Catch him throughout the country on the following dates:
  • May 20 – Theatre Royal, Nelson
  • May 21 – Civic Theatre, Invercargill
  • May 22 – Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin
  • May 23 – Aurora Centre, Christchurch
  • May 24 – Clarence Street, Hamilton
  • May 26 – The Mayfair, New Plymouth
  • May 27 – Opera House, Wellington
Find out more here.

NZICF 17 | Justine Smith – An Hour Roughly

Justine Smith is probably best described as a raconteuse.

The chill of an Auckland Autumn night became a distant memory as we packed into Vault at Q Theatre for an hour of hair-raising tales and no-holds-barred humour, spiced with frequent colourful language and served with lashings of opinionated style. The show flies by and feels like a fraction of a night out with an entertaining, lively new best friend.

Loosely based around the theme of Nature and Nurture, Justine’s show opens with a musical introduction to her family – in fact, family is a recurring theme throughout the evening, as she explores the story of her adoption in sometimes brutally honest style.

Justine’s time spent travelling in her twenties and, later, working in the hospitality industry have sharpened her banter like none other. Life, love, travel, work, men and children – no subject is safe from her hilariously frank observations and sharp-tongued opinions.

Go and see her if you like your stories lurid and your laughs frequent – just maybe don’t ask her about the third time she got arrested… Get tickets HERE.

3/5 Stars

JUSTINE SMITH performs at Vault at Q Theatre until Saturday May 20th as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival from 27 April – 21 May. For the full line-up of shows in the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website!