Taken from gather&hunt.
We've said it before and we'll probably keep saying it, but we're amazed by how good theatre has been this year in Auckland. With the help of our team of theatre reviewers, we've put together this list of our theatre highlights of 2013.
It was tricky business, so much so, we've written a list of the best of the rest here
Him - Barnie Duncan
Charmingly simply yet unfathombly creative. We spent an hour in a newspaper lined basement with Him...
, and witnessed the story of a man obsessed yet terrified of the outside world. We left the auditorium happily covered in newspapr ink, totally enchaned by Duncan's imaginative stage craft.
En Route, One Step at a Time Like This - Auckland Arts Festival
We thought we knew the streets of Auckland like the backs of our hands until this show. Guided by arrows on the floor, notes in hand, a phone and an ipod, En Route
took us to places we've never seen whilst completely enchanting us.
Kiss the Fish - Indian Ink Theatre Company
This was one of India's highlights of the year. Kiss the Fish
was bright, energetic and hilarious, made more interesting by the story's more serious undertones.
(Kiss the Fish featured Auckland Actors' James Roque)
Nick: An Accidental Hero - Renee Lyons
Renee Lyons brings colour, truth and humour to this true story about a normal Kiwi bloke who got unlucky. Tears flooded and laughs echoed, which made each emotion the more precisely felt. Alice loved it so much she crossed the seas and took her family to it during the Edinburgh Fringe
Hamlet - Galatea Theatre
We actually didn't get round to putting our astonished reaction to Hamlet
down in review form, which is a tragedy in itself, as this was definitely one of the best plays we've seen all year. Four of us went along, and found ourselves paralysed with suspense as the sequences of this well known play were brought before us as though they were entirely new.
Perfectly cast, simply staged, and abridged without overdoing it, this was Hamlet
as it should be. Lines were delivered as though the actors were savouring every bite - even the words 'to be or not to be' were heard afresh. An underestimated theatre company - if you missed this production, you certainly missed out.
(Hamlet featured Auckland Actors' Wayne Coreham and Anna Stillaman)
Squidboy - Theatre Beating
Another show that went on to be a success at the Edinbugh Fringe Festival
first appeared at ours. We can't remember much except laughing, and admiring Trygve Wakenshaw
's meandering imagination, which he shared with the whole audience to create an entirely pretend set, which he navigated with hilarity.
The Pitchfork Disney - The Moving Theatre Company
Daniel Willams' incredibly detailed and sumptuous set design was the best we saw this year, and a marvelously crafted piece of theatre called it home. The Pitchfork Disney
was possibly also the most disturbing play, and gave us plenty to think about.
(The Pitchfork Disney featured Auckland Actors' Todd Emerson)
Ernest Rutherford: Everyone Can Science! - Nic Sampson
We've decided this was the funniest play this year, but we can't really recall how a show about the scientist who split the atom managed to make us laugh so much. Perhaps it was the genius writing, well-timed story telling and enthusiastic audience we encountered the play with. Either way, it was so funny that both sides and atoms were split.
White Rabbit, Red Rabbit - Silo Theatre
A play about the idea of plaus, this one was one of the most experimental shows of the year. Featuring a different actor each night, whose script was only opened for the first time on stage, each night told a different story.
(White Rabbit, Red Rabbit featured Auckland Actors' Jess Holly Bates, Rima Te Wiata, Alison Bruce, Sophie Roberts, and Oliver Driver)
Abigail's Party - Vibracorps
Sophie Roberts stole the show in this masterly staging of a modern classic, playing one of five disparate characters that come together in the 70s living room of upwardly mobile Essex housewife, Beverly. In fact, the entire cast were fantastic, enacting all of the sexual tension, sociopathy and social commentary Mike Leigh's televised original is so famous for.
(Abigail's Party featured Auckland Actors' Andi Crown and Sophie Roberts)
Chicago - Auckland Theatre Company
Pure unabashed entertainment, the Auckland Theatre Company
's version of Chicago
is gritty, shocking and surprisingly unglamorous. It's no surprise even the extended run sold out.
(Chicago featured Auckland Actors' Lucy Lawless, Amanda Billing, Andrew Grainger, Mike Edward, and Stephen Butterworth)