Year to date: creatures, yarns, talks and field notes

After summer’s long tail autumn has settled in, and the view from my office is the best it gets all year. It’s been a busy start to the year. All the usual academic things have collided with events, conferences, deadlines, and let alone everything that was deferred, and deferred, because of COVID. Here are aContinue reading “Year to date: creatures, yarns, talks and field notes”

Go drown in a Dark Lake

ETA, 4pm 15 October: The director of the show / company, Emma, has been in touch to say that the event in Christchurch has been handled very, very poorly and unprofessionally and is not indicative of what the company normally does, and that the remaining shows are being cancelled and refunded. (A friend of aContinue reading “Go drown in a Dark Lake”

Musicals, commodity, and complicity

Over the weekend I reviewed Showbiz Christchurch’s production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical. TL;DR – it’s a terrific show and a credit to everyone involved, bar the fact that it contains a really vulgar, racist, sexist scene (and that the audience near us thought that some of the the homophobic bits wereContinue reading “Musicals, commodity, and complicity”

One big MacGuffin

  The Court Theatre’s current premiere production of Ross Gumbley and Allison Horsley’s Ropable has left me ruminating on the nature of pastiche in theatre, including the possibilities and dangers that are tied up with a play that is predicated upon simultaneously fulfilling and subverting expectations surrounding genre, character, and story. In particular, this isContinue reading “One big MacGuffin”

I watch Dudley Benson get married and wonder if there’s a goody bag

Christchurch-born Dunedin-based composer and musician Dudley Benson recently extended an open invitation: to join him on the afternoon Waitangi Day (February 6), at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, for an hour-long site-specific free performance event in which he marries the land. Benson is an idiosyncratic artist who creates singular, distinct and often sweetlyContinue reading “I watch Dudley Benson get married and wonder if there’s a goody bag”

Alice Canton’s “Little Sister” in (perpetual) development

The relationship between the frail puppet and its manipulative, ambivalent masters is a resonant and recurring way of conceptualising the dynamic between performer and director, dancer and choreographer, work and creator, and artist and audience. It’s one that sits close to the core of Alice Canton’s show for the upcoming Auckland Fringe, Little Sister.  Alice explores, engages with,Continue reading “Alice Canton’s “Little Sister” in (perpetual) development”