Tag Archives: Q Theatre

been | Half of the Sky

Half the Sky follows the poignant, heart wrenching story of the Rose family who come together for one final birthday reunion, as they face their struggle with their eldest sister’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Lennie James’ (The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Save Me) beautifully written script allows you to observe the unique melting pot of this whanau, as they deal with their ‘past, present and their future…all at once’.

Wonderfully acted, with the juxtaposition of incredible humour set against the reality of dealing with such a challenging subject matter, this story will have you laughing out loud and reaching for the tissues from one scene to the next as the ensemble cast brilliantly weaves together themes of loss, truth, betrayal and love.

A wonderful story with a fabulous cast, Half of the sky is a must-see play.

High recommended:       5/5

Half of the Sky marks the third collaboration between Massive Theatre Company and internationally renowned writer and actor Lennie James (The Walking DeadFear of the Walking DeadSave Me), following the success of The Sons of Charlie Paora (2004), Havoc in the Garden (2011), and was developed in collaboration with members of the Massive ensemble.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Sam ScottMassive Company

Starring:
Kura Forrester
(The Wholehearted, The Adventures of Suzy Boon, 2019 Billy T Award Winner)
Grace Palmer
(Shortland Street, Home & Away)
Awhina Rose Henare-Ashby
(The Mooncake and the Kumara, Waru)
Max Palamo
(The Sons of Charlie Paora, Super City II) 
Pat Tafa
(The Wholehearted, Westside)

 

Loft, Q Theatre 305 Queen St, Auckland CBD

been | The Blind Date Project

A date so awful to make you appreciate all your tinder dating disasters. 

“Silo’s 2014 sell-out hit returns for a new year and a new you. Five years on, serial dater Anna’s back on the market and looking for love in all the wrong places. Each night, she meets a new blind date, each one played by a different performer, each one a surprise to Anna.”

I walked into the theatre the same way I walk into a bar to meet all my “blind dates” :  open minded, aloof with zero expectations and a hope for some entertainment and a good story to be told over wine. Greeted by the sound of a leather clad bar keep (Yvette Parsons) singing questionable karaoke, I felt an equal dose of intrigue and “what the hell did I just agree to review”.  An 80/20 reaction to most of my actual dates.

Anna (Natalie Medlock) sits at the bar nervously checking her phone waiting for her Tinder date to arrive.  Shortly after her date arrives – who just happens to be pregnant; Anna feigns indifference but this revelation becomes the central talking point of the “blind date”. This 100% improv comedy explores the great human tragedy that is the online dating profile vs the actual flawed reality.

The date becomes increasingly difficult to watch without wincing as their life stories get told and their poorly constructed personas begin to show cracks and unravel at each twist and turn. The phones begin to go off with more frequency. There are times where the audience is kept guessing who will end up making a run for it. Spoiler alert – They don’t. I am watching a train wreck. Like that bad date you know you never want to see again, but are patiently waiting to see how it all turns out. As a woman we have been known to be too polite to just leave when we ought to.

No I’m not leaving a negative review, on the contrary, the performance delivered on it’s premise. And it left me in awe. With a tinge of hope. There really could be someone for “everyone”.

It definitely put me off going on dates.  Oh, who am I kidding….looking down at my phone…”Uber is 2 mins away”….

 

Showing until 30th September. Book your tickets here .

DocEdge19 | Searching Eva

Berlin based. Virgo. Bisexual. Sex Worker. Anarchist. Musician. Recovering addict … With such a myriad of labels attributed to just one, outwardly complex individual, ‘Searching Eva’ is a documentary sure to push the boundaries of raw candour and identity, as it explores the life of social media star Eva Colle’ through the uncensored and often affected, lens.

The film opens in whispered and hushed voice-overs on an otherwise blank computer screen monitor.  Self-doubt, fatalism and naivety are a few of the topics that are touched upon, as the voices parallel those in one’s head, goading the subject.

The artistic expression and avant-garde culture of Berlin is a focal point for this documentary.  The city’s strong resonance to the creative and questioning inclinations of Eva Colle’ (the subject) are inescapable.  It is also a base for director  Pia Hellenthal, which explains the strong connection and affinity the city holds for them both.                        Location is a very important aspect of this film.  As it documents the wide disparity between Eva’s homeland – a seemingly banal village laced with communist history, to the liberal and experimental metropolis of Berlin, Germany, through cinematography and sound.

In ‘Searching Eva’, Hellenthal also uses very modern and pertinent methods to bring forth some of the underlying themes of this documentary; with flinching and antagonising statements, like ‘Rotting at 25′ (referencing age) alongside honest yet projecting responses to the comments and questions posed regarding sex, weight and purpose  – all streamed to the viewer over computer screen prompts, in the same mode as that of an online chatroom.

We learn the sometimes harrowing truth about Eva (not her given name) and her unconventional life choices, through frank, honest and open conversations between herself and those around her – from potential flatmates to those with her friends and most intimate family members.

Nothing is shied away from, nor is considered taboo in this film. Perhaps even intentionally, as to rattle the awareness of the viewer so we must acknowledge the situational reality of Eva, and in doing so, also challenge and reflect upon our own thought processes and judgement of self.

Searching Eva can be, at times, somewhat uneasy to watch, from obvious bed stains to exposing the most intimate body parts with such detachment, for her they seem to be just a normality.  Stories of her upbringing; growing up alongside heroin-addicted parents, leaving home at 17 and jarring sexual encounters, are some of the most confronting and saddening.  However, in some ways, these moments have paved the way for the artistic direction of the protagonist of the film’s online persona.

Furthermore, her often bleak and melancholic insights inspired me to search for her material online and delve deeper into the real Eva.

A very creative and honest insight into the life of a modern age internet star.  Searching Eva also is important, in that is also addresses the issues that drive the age of the milennial Bloggers/Instagramers/Tweeters etc … and is the internet a positive platform for this?  My conclusion after delving deeper into online posts and her cogitation throughout this film, is that Eva Colle’ is just like many of us out there, searching to be loved and accepted.

Despite her layered and intricate past, Eva leaves the impression of  being fragile and childlike.  This can make the message of the film confusing, and also poses the question as to whether there need be a message at all.  However, perhaps we can find this in Eva’s apparent ease and calmness in one closing scene.  Perhaps she chooses to display this to us, as to demonstrate her own acceptance and/or a sign of regaining control.  In summary, it is evident that the major impact Eva Colle’ has made on her followers is in helping them embrace their identity and be comfortable in their own skin.

Director: Pia Hellenthal                  Country: Germany                Running Time: 83mins

Searching Eva(2019) is part of the DocEdge Festival 2019 and screenings are at the following locations and times:

AKL – Q Theatre.  Sun 2nd (6pm) & Tues 4th Jun (8.45pm)                                                                                                WGN – Roxy Cinema.  Tues 18 (8.15pm) & Fri 21st Jun (8.45pm)

 

NZICF 19 | 5 mins with Liv McKenzie

Liv McKenzie: comedian, feminist, dreamer. Always acting first and thinking never, Liv ran from Christchurch to NYC to chase the American dream: and she’s back to tell you about it. We caught up with her ahead of her shows.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Groundbreaking, iconic, anti-inflammatory

What’s the inspiration behind it?
I moved to New York last year, and I feel that I am both “Living the Dream” and also in a stress nightmare that there is no waking up from 🙂

Where will we find you at the festival?
Outside the Queen Street Maccas, fighting seagulls for dropped chips

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Super Like!

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Ray Motherfucking Shipley, James Mustapic, and Mel Bracewell, because her show is on at the same time as mine, so I’m hoping it sells out and people will be forced to come to mine

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
Shrek

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Schitt’s Creek because Catherine O’Hara is a revahlaaaaaation. I also just finished rewatching Sex and the City, because it’s the cheapest way to enjoy New York

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Hard Feelings/Loveless by Lorde, Mad by Solange, and the national anthem of white people, Mr Brightside by the Killers

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Masturbate less frantically

Word Association:
Comedy – Coming
New Zealand – Out
Adulting – Of
Basic – My
Trend – Cage
Joke – AND I’VE BEEN DOING JUST FINE

Liv McKenzie performs in her show ‘Living The Dream’ as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo, running May 2-26. For dates, venues, and tickets, head to comedyfestival.co.nz.

NZICF19 | 5 mins with Ivan Aristeguieta

Ivan Aristeguieta is a Venezuelan-born, Australian-based award-winning comedian who has performed sold-out shows across the world, including opening for Chopper right across Australia, and a sold-out run in his NZ debut for the NZICF 2018. He returns to NZ with his new show, The Fourth Floor.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Damn funny!

What’s the inspiration behind it?
It’s my yearly report on my life. This year I’ll be turning 40, I’m moving to the fourth floor.

Where will we find you at the festival?
Q Theatre, Auckland and Te Auaha – Tapere Nui (Big Theatre) in Wellington.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Right

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
James Roque, Aaron Chen, Becky Lucas

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
Happy Gilmore

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Tree with deep roots. A Korean action packed soap opera based on the creation of the Korean Alphabet.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
New York state of mind, 19 Dias y 500 Noches, Pedro Navaja.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Walk I like to walk.

Word Association:
Comedy – the way of enlightenment
New Zealand –  Korean Food
Adulting –  Sciatic Nerve
Basic – caustic soda
Trend –  Kombucha
Joke –  Fart

Ivan Aristeguieta returns to NZ with ‘The Fourth Floor’, performing in Wellington on May 12 and Auckland from May 14-18 as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo, running May 2-26. Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 19 | 5 mins with Eleanor Tiernan

Can success be gained without a sex tape? Irish Comedian Eleanor Tiernan explores this foolish notion in her show, Success without a Sex Tape. Picked as ‘one to watch in 2019’ you don’t want to miss the much anticipated NZ debut by this fresh Irish Star. We catch up with her before she takes over the Vault at Auckland’s Q Theatre.

Describe your show in three words or less.
Chill The F*** Out (That’s 4 I’m sorry but if that makes people angry pls go back and read the four words).

What’s the inspiration behind it?
This is my own personal attempt to push back against the subtle pressures to perform being successful for other people while not actually knowing what success actually means.

Where will we find you at the festival?
I expect to be on stage while the shows are on. Other than that, I have zero plans. I was hoping people would come find me and take me places. However, I beg you to please use this power I am offering you wisely. I do not wish to end up in what Oprah would call “the second location”. I will not expand on what that is in case of giving inept killers ideas.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Ooooh I’ve not been to NZ before but so I guess I’ll use the Bumble function that lets you put a 24hour pause before you have to reply to the person. That will give me a chance to check the clubs out. However, they’ve asked me over so safe to say I am already positively inclined towards it.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I’ve recently discovered Australian comic Aaron Chen and I find him so funny. I am really looking forward to seeing him in NZ. Other than that I would recommend Jamali Maddix, Joe Lycett, James Acaster, Becky Lucas but I’m sure you already know about these guys.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
“Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – U2

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Soz I’m on a Netflix strike until they give me my own special. They are regrettably unaware of my political stance thus far.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
I’m not on Spotify for reasons of wanting to pay for music and am happy to sound virtue signally about it.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I’d like to play more games on my phone. There are so many gold coins I could be collecting that I never get because I’m doing things like admin and interviews before comedy festivals.

Word Association:
Comedy – Sex
New Zealand – Sex
Adulting – Love
Basic – Sex
Trend – Food
Joke – Sex

Eleanor Tiernan performs in her show ‘Success Without A Sextape’ and is on the line-up for the Best Comedy Show On Earth, both as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo, running May 2-26. For dates, venues, and tickets, head to comedyfestival.co.nz.

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