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AuthorSean Harbottle

Author Archive: Sean Harbottle

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July 17, 2017

Say what you want about Anthony McCarten. Literally, say what you want, there’s a good chance he can’t hear you; there’s a good chance he’s laughing his way to the bank off the success of his screenplay for Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything. WEED, originally written and performed in 1990, stands in stark […]

July 8, 2017

The notebook that I use to write my criticisms and praises in during a theatrical production was left notably absent at the end of Courtney Rose Brown’s The First Time, and it was not simply a result of the stage lights being confined to five central spotlights. From an opening that introduces each character and […]

June 19, 2017

At one point during Larger Than Life, Te-Whakakotahitanga-o-Ngā-iwi-o-Te-Motu Boy-George Jackson (the full name of Tahi, played by Shadrack Simi) calls his lost love to stage in order to serenade them. The problem is there are only three actors onstage during Larger Than Life, and all are intimately involved with the performance of aforementioned serenade. The […]

June 19, 2017

I am by no means a veteran of the world of dance. Unless you count furiously gyrating and unconvincingly lip-syncing to Roxy Music’s 1973 classic Street Life for an assembly talent show when I was 12, I have never “danced”. Manaia, which is part of the Kia Mau Festival in Wellington, served as my first […]

June 14, 2017

Six years ago, someone close to me died. I still haven’t sorted out her things. Each item is simultaneously vital, and meaningless. I’m angry at the things: they have outlived her. Subconsciously, they haunt me. They are a reminder of what no longer exists. — Director Jane Young, speaking on the motivation for The Basement […]

June 6, 2017

“Just trust fate!” proclaim the colourful Fragrance Gods throughout the course of Two Belles in Love, to the point where it becomes more than just a motif, and it almost feels like I’m being forcibly audited by Scientologists. They have already made themselves familiar with the audience, moving into the crowd before the action starts […]

May 22, 2017

I was not in a good mood when Pauly Lowe of Raw Collective asked me to review his band/collective’s upcoming gig/fundraiser, billed as their “last show for a while.” Stress of assignments and bouts of homesickness, coupled with the everyday hell of living at 222 Willis Street, had taken their toll on a usually positive […]

May 22, 2017

As a general, unspoken rule of reviewing theatre, it is customary and even expected to commend one-person shows that don’t end in utter disaster. The sheer scale of planning, the gruelling rehearsal period, the necessary charisma and repertoire required with different audiences each night, and the added anxiety of being unable to see how others […]

May 22, 2017

Performed by students of THEA 323, directed by Intercultural Theatre Practices expert Dr. Megan Evans, and written originally by Chinese playwright Li Yu, Two Belles in Love: A Romance deals with societal stigma towards the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals to love openly. Despite this, it promises to be “sweet, funny, and compellingly relevant for a […]