April 29, 2023

The Coven on Grey Street

 There's a tradition in theatre that Macbeth dare not be named for fear of the curse (Blackadder does an amusing sketch on this) set by witches. What then of depictions of Shakespeare's witches from the play? Is The Coven on Grey Street doomed? For its focus is those very witches.

In Aotearoa beneath the shade of a Pohutukawa, a beautiful and effective set, the weird sisters reunite for the first time in a decade on the occasion of one sister's wedding. The sibling dynamics are relatable, each sister reprising their familiar roles despite the passage of time. There are many call backs to Shakespeare in the script, you could tell who in the audience knew the original well.

It felt as though the production was geared more towards thespians than witches. Some of the seriousness was lost in theatricalness though it also has comedic touches. Only once is real emotion evoked, showing that it is possible. Two plot twists were signposted too clearly leaving no surprise. It's an enjoyable show for witches or Shakespeare buffs but it doesn't live up to its potential unfortunately lacking depth in plot and characterisation.

This review is brought to you by the many versions of Season of the Witch listened to during writing

Performances: 29 April - 27 May (times vary)

Tickets: $55

Audience Care: ‘The Coven on Grey Street’ features mild swearing, fake blood, descriptions of suicidal thoughts, misogynistic language and supernatural violence. 

April 8, 2023

Land of the Long Long Drive

This school holidays head to Circa to see Land of the Long Long Drive. There is singing, dancing, gorgeous costumes, and set to tell a story about friendship, journey and conservation set right here in Aotearoa. The cast is diverse and delightfully talented; let's make piercings, tattoos, all genders and ethnicities the norm on stage. You may recognise Jthan Morgan from Cringeworthy also running at Crica, or previous pantomimes, she lights up a stage and it's a credit to her cast mates that they manage to shine just as brightly as she does.

The adults outnumbered the kids in the audience and they enjoyed it as much, if not more. We have more experience of road trips, could clap along and got more of the jokes. Personally I enjoyed the casual use of te reo. There was a moment that (I won't spoil but) everyone gasped, enchanted.

My young companion had a simple review "I liked it too much."

Performances: 8-22 April (times vary)

Tickets: $15 

April 4, 2023

Cringeworthy - Swinging in the '60s!

 Cringeworthy shows are consistently a good time. Creator Andrea Sanders always beats out her younger counterparts for sheer joyous energy on stage. This time around they're tackling the 60's, as with the other shows expect dancing, singing and jokes about the period with the addition of go-go dancers! 

The wig game was strong, as were the costumes and a very groovy set. The only thing lacking was the energy coming from the audience, it took till the last quarter for the (noticeably older) guests to give a fraction of the vibe coming from the performers. 

Circa's prices have gone up (alongside everything else these days) but Cringeworthy includes a choose your price evening as well as one to meet the cast and an audio described performance.

Fingers crossed the 90's Cringeworthy is in the works!

Performances: 1-29 April (times vary)

Tickets: $55