July 16, 2017

Young & Hungry Festival of New Theatre 2017

The Young and Hungry Festival is a long night of theatre. Last years seemed even longer as the best piece was at the end. This year they reversed things and had the best piece at the start. One of the patrons is Dame Kate Harcourt who, despite being 90, is very active in theatre currently appearing at Circa in Destination Beehive. The other patron is Taika Waititi. Two big names supporting emerging talent. It was a shame neither of them appeared on opening night but Bats Theatre was packed anyway, there may not have been room for them.

On offer this season are One Night Only, Fallen Angels and Attila the Hun. If you're only going to make it to one I recommend One Night Only. There was not one thing about that production that I did not love; the acting, the dancing, the singing, the script, the use of props, they even managed slip ups well. It was funny, inventive and unexpected.

As a side note it would be great if the programmes said more about the production itself. There's a lot about the festival, a cast list, as well as notes from both the script writer and director leaving no room for details about the play. This year there were warnings for shows but these only appeared at the box office, not online, when booking or in the programmes. I might be a bit pedantic but some of the content was disturbing and theatre goers need to make informed choices.

Performances: 14-29 July; 6:30/8/9pm
Tickets: $20 each or $51 for all three

July 12, 2017

Destination Beehive: 2017

The state of world politics is frankly laughable. A reality TV star with more bankruptcies than sense is the president of the United States of America. America chose to hire someone completely inexperienced over a very experienced, but unfortunately female, candidate. If you didn't laugh, you'd cry. Well do I have a show for you.

Destination Beehive: 2017 is an irreverent look at politics in New Zealand though it also touches on the international political scene. Once you get past the cheese factor, and an overly long opening song, you'll laugh your way through the evening.

Diversity in this production is on point. There are student actors as well as a nonagenarian, more women than men and a little bit of colour. All of them sing, all of them dance (some with the aid of a mobility scooter) and all of them do great impressions.

No politician is safe. Not even Winston Peters "the drinking woman's George Clooney" who was kind enough to make an appearance (via video, but still - what a good sport!). Lorae Parry's Helen Clark had to be there, it would be a waste of such a good mimic if she weren't. There are rapping candidates and a serenade to one ministers hair.

The script is so fresh it even referenced that afternoon's slip in the Ngauranga gorge. Every night is likely to be a little different.

The best I can say is just go. I hate politics and I loved it.

: 8 July-5 August (times vary)
Tickets: $52