Tag Archives: Q Theatre

Fringe 18: Triage! A Nursing Cabaret

If an energetic, vibrant and soulful show is what you’re after, Triage! A Nursing Cabaret fits the bill perfectly.

Australian singer Zuleika Khan expertly carries this one-man show, which blends sharp, clever humour with soulful singing sure to captivate. Examining the demanding, high pressure atmosphere of hospitals through the lens of a real-life registered nurse, Triage! carries a definite uniqueness and intrigue.

And while the content may be dark, Zuleika’s adept comic abilities enable viewers to confront themes of death and disease in a smooth and honest manner. The best thing about Triage!, however? The songs. It’s hard to imagine anyone listening to Zulieka’s powerful, confident and remarkably unusual voice without walking away feeling like they have just witnessed something magic.

Hers is the kind of voice that makes you stop and listen; the kind that deserves to be on a big stage. This, combined with Zulieka’s captivating, confident stage presence, guarantees you’ll be not just entertained but deeply impressed.

Add this to your bucket list, people.


Triage! A Nursing Cabaret is running at Q Theatre as part of Auckland Fringe until Saturday 3 March. 

FRINGE 18: Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster

Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster (created and directed by John Burrows) opens in dramatic fashion to the theme tune of Law & Order and the background voice of ‘that’ infamous Sesame Street character.  The stage is set like that of a criminal courtroom and stage show all at the same time, with the audience itself becoming the jury.

Throw in a plethora of widely known brands and allegoric puns surrounding baked goods, alongside popular daytime TV game-show references – and a night of irreverent slapstick ensues!

It’s main players: Courtney Eggleton, Kirsty Bruce, Lucas Haugh, Rishab Kapoor, Will Moffatt, Sneha Shetty and Kyle Shields become the: Shewsburys, Graham Crackers, Belgian’s and Swiss Cremes – a cameo panel of the accused and the accuser, each presented with the alleged crime and interrogated with the most ridiculous of motives.

‘Judge Jury & Cookie Monster’ uses the most entertaining and unusual of interactive theatrics to solve the crime, in the spirit of such game shows as: Deal or No Deal, The Chase and the contemporary social card game, ‘Crimes against Humanity’, as a process of elimination and acquittal of suspects one-by-one ….

A Krypton-Factor styled task to re-enact a probable crime-scene scenario, was extremely amusing and reminiscent of a skit from ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’, showcasing particularly clever mechanics by one very laterally thinking jury member.

Drawing us all to the conclusion of the show (and in turn the case itself).  Judge Jury & Cookie Monster sedge-ways into a conversation between the plaintiff and the judge, that exposes a most unexpected background story, and subsequently, the most unpredictable of outcomes.

With a surprise guest plaintiff each performance night and fantastic moments of comedic improvisation, you are guaranteed an evening of unbridled excitement, and if you’re so lucky, a complimentary cookie upon leaving the courtroom, being just the icing on the cake!


Now showing at the Q Theatre ~ 27th February – 3th March

FRINGE 18 | 5 mins with John Burrows

Can you work out who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? In Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster, the audience play the jury; together with a handful of actors and a special guest, in this interactive comedy trial, you set the verdict: Guilty or Not guilty.

We chat to the mastermind behind Judge, Jury and Cookie Monster, John Burrows. John, an Auckland resident, has been pushing the creative, interactive boundaries of theatre for many years, his previous shows include, Delivery#17, a show that sent his audience on a quest through the streets of Auckland.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland?
No, Brought ‘Delivery #17’ to AKL Fringe 2017 which was an evolution of ‘Delivery #16’ first presented in Edinburgh Fringe 2016

How different is an Auckland audience to other audiences?
Unsure if this is asking ‘How Auckland Fringe audiences are different from Auckland Audiences’ or ‘How Auckland Fringe audiences are different from international fringe audiences’?
Auckland: The beautiful thing about the Fringe festival is that people are actively interested in something different, there anticipation of the shows are framed with the expectation that this is delightfully different. Regardless of comfort zones it makes audiences more open and likely to leave their preconceptions at the door.
International: It’s hard to compare Auckland Fringe to Edinburgh the largest Fringe Festival in the world. There the population trebles in size for a full month. It’s an absolute cacophony of voices, images, ideas and energy. What it does afford audiences is the opportunity to see theatre, artists and types of work on a bigger stage or platform then they normally get. Its explosive and exposing in a way that is now commonplace in larger Fringe’s.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Crazy kooky comedy

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
I didn’t actually see it but Edinburgh Fringe 2016 had “Come Look At Baby” a half hour piece of theatre in which you could look at a baby for half an hour.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Other than ‘Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster’ right?

  • Shot Bro: Confessions Of A Depressed Bullet (I’ve seen the show and it’s a necessary, honest and beautiful piece of theatre – good thing too as it clashes with JJC)
  • It’s A Trial (Only on for one night this interactive trial, unlike ours, dives into fact not fiction with a real issue to be debated)
  • Roots (Sharing Q Loft with us during the second week of the fringe PAT is a company to watch and see at every opportunity)

Where will we find you during the festival?
Other than Q Theatre in the Loft & Lounge… Basement Theatre is practically a second home for me.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
Very little of mine. Just my flatmates. Working during the day and rehearsals into the night… producing everywhere in between has put me on a fairly out of the house diet

Tell us about your spirit animal?
I’m a puppy. Always a puppy. Playful as all hell and eager to have a good time.

Word Association:
Fringe – Fun
Fridge – Food
Auckland – Traffic
Festival – Fun
Lights – Camera
Chocolate – Chips
Winter – Wonderland
Theatre – Passion

Don’t miss John Burrow’s Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster at Q Theatre Tues 27 Feb – Sat 3 March. Buy tickets here.


FRINGE 18: Ladylike: A Modern Guide To Etiquette

Vaginal steaming, chicken liver pate and a spoon full of liquor… Just some of the things a modern day lady needs to think about..

A masterclass in etiquette and housewifery, Louise Beuvink’s nearly sold out show, Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette, explores the demands of the modern woman. The masterclass covered the latest trends in spa treatments, hosting champagne dinner parties on a box-wine budget, watching cricket, doing your make-up, and of course, learning how to please your man (after all ladies, that’s what it’s all about!).

This one woman show has been expertly curated by Beuvink, exploring feminism in her own unique, satirical way. Louise is a fresh, intelligent, and witty comedian, who’s next show I’m already looking forward to.

Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette is running at Q Theatre as part of Auckland Fringe until Saturday 24 February. Unfortunately all shows have sold out – Ladies, you’ll have to wait until her next season to school-up.

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.