Category Archives: Show Talk

Mua O! Macbeth by Black Friars Theatre Company | Review

Something wickedly amazing this way comes.

The Black Friars Theatre Company is founded on the ideal of breaking down preconceptions and stereotypes by retelling classic literature in a way that’s relevant to Pacific communities in South Auckland- and in a wider NZ context.

Comprised of young Pacific talent, they’ve been retelling Shakespearean plays in a Pasifika context for the past 10 years.

Their latest endeavour, a magnificent, dynamic and distinctively Pasifika re-imagining of Macbeth is not only a resounding success but an experience that manages to fuse together various Pacific cultures and classic literature in an impressive hour and a half of enthralling theatre.

Under the direction of Billy Revell and Michelle Johansson, Shakespearean prose and dark magic is blended seemingly with Pacific language, music and dance within a Pan-Pacific Hawaiki.

An innovative re-staging of the traditional Shakespearean classic for Pasifika in Aotearoa set against a backdrop of imagined Hawaiki, musical direction (Siosaia Folau) and choreography (Theresa Sao) is impressive and Viola Johansson’s costumes are amazing to behold.

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While Macbeth and Lady Macbeth actors Lauie Tofia and Denyce Su’a gave wonderful performances, which rendered the audience charmed, it was the three witches played by secondary school students Vitinia-Gabrielle Togiatama, Akinehi Munroe, Irene Folau (winner of the Stand Up, Stand Out vocal solo) who absolutely stole the show.

Although at times it can feel like the 14-strong choir is almost shouting into your ear, the harmonies and raw talent made up for the loudness.

Not many LOLs due to the fact that it was a tragedy, however it was a unique and well-executed production that you’d want to experience at least once.

Love N Stuff | Review

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While Tanika Gupta’s Love N Stuff was at times funny, and the storyline amusing, I could have done without some of the extra characters and scenes that seemed to distract from, rather than add to, the overall plot.

The script, changed slightly to better suit a New Zealand audience, offered some insights into love, friendship and the meaning of ‘home’.

There are moments where I’m wondering what relevance a certain extra has to the overall plot, however you learn to sit back and enjoy the show as is.

Mansoor (Mustaq Missouri) of Sandringham, walks  out of his 35-year-long marriage for reasons that he barks out at the audience, while his wife Bindi (Sudeepta Vyas), tries to stop him- with a ragtag trio of friends/neighbours.

Janice (Anisha Bhattacharya) a spunky recently divorced fitness fanatic, image-conscious Akbar (Prateek Vadgaonker) who’s currently hiding from an unwanted fiancé, as well as their younger neighbour Baggy (Paurus Rege) whose hip-hop slang confuses his elders and at times the audience.

It’s community theatre and good if you like a bit of humour and a live band.

 

Directed by: Sananda Chatterjee.
Direction: Ritesh Vaghela
From: June 23 to July 3
Venue: TAPAC, 100 Motions Road, Western Springs

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**Photo Credit: Shovik Nandi

Sieni Leo’o Olo | Incarcerated Outcast Review

Do you know what’s always a great way to keep an audience engaged? Harass and insult them. Or at least that’s how proud South Aucklander,  Sieni Leo’o Olo a.k.a Bubbahblacksheep The Ice Princess, likes to conduct her shows. She interacted a lot with the audience, staring directly into the windows of our souls (especially Mata) and it was a bit disconcerting at first, but it was also kind of funny, y’know?

I guess this is what we get for sitting in the front.

Awkward eye contact.

You chose brilliant seats, Mata. Thanks a buttload.

Okay, so maybe she didn’t harass us from the start (or at all, really. She only called us ugly once or twice, and that comment was made halfway through her act, anyway) but her nerves were evident in those first few minutes. As she continued earning laughs from the crowd, she seemed to settle into her zone with newfound confidence.

Once in her zone, Sieni gained many LOL’s with relatable family stories, mutual disdain for things like interviews and children (VERY MUTUAL, especially in the case of children), and horrifying fantasies.

INSIDE JOKE- those first few statements I made were the bread for the shit sandwich I’m about to make. Ha, kidding.

She delivered good jokes, executing them very well, but things aren’t always perfect, and even with Sieni being a Queen on a remote island, there were a few hit and misses with some of her material.

But not a lot.

The material that didn’t necessarily sit with me were jokes that felt very forced, and not completely thought out in my own personal opinion. She had a lot to say, but some of it felt so rushed and then in other cases they seemed to drag on for so long- but I’m not saying that it wasn’t funny, just maybe not as funny as other parts of her show.

Then again, it’s incredibly difficult to remain blank when faced with undeniably accurate reenactments of types people we all know (and wish we didn’t), hilarious skits and that self-deprecating humor I’ve always loved.

I’d also like to say that Sieni has got to have some of the big balls, particularly with her mother sitting in the crowd when she told us about her stand on relationships, sex and drugs. I don’t think I’d ever be able to say half the stuff Sieni said on stage to my mother’s face But this is mostly because I probably wouldn’t live to finish the first sentence.

Any islander that’s able to discuss sex to their mother’s face is either brave or stupid- but maybe Sieni just forgot her mother was in the audience? Ha skeeeee.

On a side note, I feel the need to mention that even though the recommended age is 13+, some of the jokes might be a bit much for a 13 year old, even if I know that 13 year olds are probably the grossest little shits out there.

Olo has great energy, a “vibrant” personality that connects well with the audience and has a refreshing approach with her very flattering facial expressions, on-point voice impersonations and characters. Her constant movement on stage was funny too, making us laugh with little actions.

I’m expecting a lot from Sieni, she’s a delight to watch and she’s honestly just super cute because you can tell that she’s genuinely happy to be up on that stage, making people laugh with her insane anecdotes. I strongly recommend checking her out, and keeping a keen eye out on her, because she’ll only get better. The few cases where she let her nerves get the best of her will only lessen, and she will be a force to be reckoned with.

This is totally unrelated to her show, but she said I have nice hair and I almost cried. No one ever compliments my hair.

I loved your hair too, Xzibit. *inserts heart eye emoji* *winky face emoji* *kissy emoji*

Mata’s thoughts throughout the show- edited for clarity and brevity:

  • I actually looked around until I remembered my mum’s not in the country right now- then I realised that almost all Samoan mums sound the same when shouting someone’s name angrily.
  • Sieni hates a lot of things, and she’s a lot more up upfront about it than a lot of us could ever be.
  • A lot of her jokes hit the mark, a couple tend to overstay their welcome- but it’s okay because it’s funny.
  • So I’m holding an imaginary scooter and I don’t know what to… okay I’m just going to set it down now.
  • Go to her two remaining shows! Shit’s funny and every so often uncomfortable but what’s a little humour without the discomfort?

INCARCERATED OUTCAST

WHEN: Wed 4 to Sat 7 May
WHERE: Cellar at Q Theatre
GET TICKETS
TICKET PRICES:

Full Price $18.50
Concession $15.00
Group 6+ $12.00

*service fee may apply

 

 

Jimeoin | Yeehaa!

Although his name may be difficult to pronounce, the laughs do come a lot easier in Jimeoin’s comedy show Yeehaa!.

I am familiar with him through the English comedy show, Live at the Apollo. I remember him as the eyebrow man, due to his hilariously expressive facials in that particular show. However, this is also very evident in this show as well. You just can’t help but laugh at how expressive he can be. This show encompasses everything you could be familiar with in life. From long term relationships, to how you take out your rubbish. We had a varying age range within the audience, so whatever your age, you can relate.

The show ends with a couple of songs, that seem to becoming a quintessential element to his shows. Although, at times, he does mumble his words, making it difficult to get the joke, but you find yourself laughing anyway as you manage to get the gist of it. All over an exceptional night. So take a look below, and book your tickets for an entertaining night out!

WHEN: Mon 2 – Sat 7 May
WHERE: SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland

TICKET PRICES

Full Price $44.90
Concession $41.90
Group 10+ $41.90
Cheap Wednesday $39.90

Contains adult themes & occasional coarse language.

Nick Cody | Come Get Some!

Nick Cody, often reference by his red beard, brings a great hour long show to Auckland. I hadn’t heard of him previously, and wasn’t too sure what kind of comic style he would bring, but as he opened the show with the notion of “you took a risk so thank you”, he kind of put me at ease, and by the end of the show I can tell you, don’t worry, as the so called “risk” is worth it. There were so many good, golden nuggets in his show which kept coming. He let us in on his life and the recent adventures overseas he had with his comedian lifestyle, along with everyday bits that we all have to deal with at some point.

I enjoyed his natural story telling, which allowed the laughs to come freely, and the odd punchlines. It just worked so well in a nice, intimate setting that is the Vault at Q Theatre. The setting definitely made you feel relaxed and cosy as he laid out the laughing moments for us, and there wasn’t that demand for your laughter as well, that you can get on the odd occasion from some comedians new to the [Auckland] scene. The jokes are relatable for any age group, but probably more specifically those in their 20s – 30s as there is elements to his material relating to dealing with growing up.

It was a great night out overall. Take a risk and check him out.

TICKET PRICES

Tuesday & Thursday $18.00
Friday & Saturday $20.00
Concession $18.00
Cheap Wednesday $16.00

Contains adult themes & occasional coarse language.

Stephen K Amos | The Laughter Master

Stephen K Amos is a brilliant comedian. His material is filled with laugh out loud moments, that leaves you feeling like you did a bunch of ab workouts by the end of the show. The show was about an hour and a half, and I laughed throughout it. Stephen K Amos has an amazing talent of making every joke hit home in a relatable way – one way or another.

Every joke is a tale of some adventure that he has been on, and the varying people he has stumbled across in life. It is honest material that he delivers to an audience that can at least relate to one, if not, majority of the stories.

If you think you are funny, and want a chance at heckling Stephen K Amos, be prepared to be laughed into oblivion by the audience. He has a natural tack for making you regret your decision to open your mouth, and fair play to him. If you don’t like it then sit back and shut up or as he stated “this isn’t your living room, you don’t have to stay!”. But aside for the attempts by some of our fellow audience members to start off their on comedic journey [don’t quit the day job guys], it was a brilliant night. Unfortunately he was only in Auckland for the two shows over the weekend, but if you have the opportunity to see him, go for it as you won’t regret it.

He will be in New Zealand for a few shows the start of May, so have a look via the NZ International Comedy Festival website and book a ticket.

TICKET PRICES

Full Price $40.00
Concession $38.00
Group 6+ $38.00

Contains adult themes & occasional coarse language.

Matt Okine | Review

Matt Okine gets deep in his show for the Comedy Festival 2016. He tackles the big questions, like how did the sensational flavour of salted caramel originate and populate our planet? Why are there so many f**kwits in the world? And other complex issues like racism, sexism, exploitation of animals, and more…

Matt talked non-stop for an hour, weaving stories with anecdotal simplicity using in-jokes about lemons and side-stories about finding a five dollar note with poop on it.

His jokes, strategically placed as they were, kept coming. I appreciate a good story, and Matt was able to tell us intricate details of a day in the life of Matt Okine without missing a beat.

Admittedly, for the sake of a good story, there were some lulls in the lols. Matt gave us a look into his life and into his own way of thinking about the world, as sporadic and cynical as it might be, he indeed left the audience with a strange sense of inspiration.

So I walked out of there thinking, not only has the guy got comedic timing like a genius, I could also have an in-depth discussion with Matt over a drink or two and really nut out the world’s problems: perhaps we will find a way to produce a peppery-chocolate flavour treat, or find out whether his girlfriend is really cheating on him with a lemon.

In all honesty, it was a great laugh. It is amazing how you can give a man an hour with a room full of strangers, a wooden stool and a mic with a stand and a list full of mistakes he has made in his life, and BAM: Pure comedy.

Matt Okine

When: Sat 23, Tue 26 – Sat 30

Where: The Loft, Q Theatre

Get tickets: Ticketek

Ticket Prices: 

Tuesday & Wednesday $22.00
Thursday $25.00
Friday & Saturday $27.00