Viewport width =
March 30, 2009 | by  | in Theatre |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

AK 09

Arts Editor Fiona McNamara reviews three shows in AK 09, Auckland International Arts Festival

Venus and Adonis

Written by William Shakespeare, directed by Marion Potts

Bell Shakespeare and the Malthouse’s adaptation Venus and Adonis is quite simply stunning. It is rare to see an adaptation for the stage, or a role shared between two people work as well as this.

Melissa Madden Gray and Susan Prior share the role of Venus, waiting trapped in a hotel room as they recount, sing and enact Shakespeare’s poem.

Although they interact, there is no sense of companionship between the two Venuses. The character of Adonis is sometimes endowed unto the audience, sometimes endowned by one Venus unto the other and at other times, Venus waits, trapped behind the proscenium arch, but always seems absolutely alone.

The surreal elements of the production so comfortably blur into the real that I was entirely drawn into this world where lust and love, Goddess and mortal are so distinct but so finely divided.

Anana Tregolan’s costume and set combine with the brilliant music and acting to create this beautiful production. The rainforest that houses the musicians was the dreamworld Venus longed for, that she is cut off from in her sterile hotel room, and for the audience too, seems out of reach.

The Andersen Project

Written and directed by Robert LePage

This was virtual theatre at its very best. There were moments when I was unsure if I was watching a live performer or a digital projection. A mesmerising and powerful production bringing to life some of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories within the story of a writer travelling to Paris.

The Wife who Spoke Japanese in Her Sleep

Written by Vivienne Plumb, directed by Colin McCohl

This Production absolutely creates the world of Vivienne Plumb’s story, at times surreal and at others so familiar.

Honey, a New Zealand suburban housewife, suddenly inexplicably begins to speak Japanese in her sleep, although she can’t speak the language when she is awake.

Without wanting to spoil the story (I hope we have not seen the last of this production), Honey’s world entirely changes and the audience is transported with her into a virtual reality that beautifully blends real and surreal images, created by superb direction combined with John Parker’s set design and Brad Gledhill’s lighting and projection.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Fiona was named "Recessionista" in the ASPA Fashion Awards 2009 for her Takaka op-shop frock and spray painted shoes. She co-edits the arts section and also likes to write about women and other stuff.

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. ONCE: A captivating collection of solo dance works
  2. Matilda the Musical — Matthew Warchus
  3. Rant with Grant
  4. A Fairer Aotearoa
  5. VUWSA Constitutional Changes
  6. The Politics of Caring: Interview with Max Harris
  7. Yes We Care
  8. Not Enough to Begin With
  9. On the Fence
  10. Policy for Policies

Editor's Pick

FUCK ENGLISH, VOTE POEM

: - SPONSORED - The layer of mist over paddocks, delicate and cold; the layer of cows under a silver sun-bleached tree; the hills rising over them and in the distance the whole countryside demarcated by accidental hydrangeas or a gentle river.   All of these layers upon layers