The ATC opens its 2016 season with Polo – though not an adaptation of the Jilly Cooper bonkbuster, Dean Parker is very much mining the same territory of stick and balls in his new play, but perhaps more from an outsider’s than insider’s point of view. Let us see. It stars Lisa Chappell, which is a good thing. The play previews from Thursday and opens Saturday night at Sky City Theatre.
Oldies but goodies at Q Theatre. Daffodils (best show of 2014 - opens on Sunday) is a kiwi love story told through the best New Zealand songs ever: a great idea and terrifically executed with two excellent lead actor/singers supported by a live band on stage. No More Dancing in the Good Room (written by and starring Chris Parker of Hudson and Halls and best newcomer of 2015) is a moving and very funny story of a boy who longs to dance. The Book of Everything, which sold out at last year’s Arts Festival, reopens this week too with four new cast members including Amanda Billing and Stephen Lovatt. The play tells the story of a young boy from a religious family in post-WWII Amsterdam, who just wants to be happy and must learn to be brave: it is the perfect introduction to theatre - magical, playful, inspirational, while still dealing with the big issues and suitable for ages 10 to 100.
Down at the Basement it is all about PRIDE this week with Puzzy, a play that shines a light on lesbian Samoan Jehovah's Witnesses, also Heteroperformative, and Hotspot with Pride - a chance to see some of New Zealand's rising musical theatre performers each do a fifteen-minute set, all accompanied by Paul Barrett. Or on Saturday night come to Dragons: Pride – a drag makeover competition where drag queens of Auckland makeover willing/forced members of the acting community who must then perform a song in full drag. Koha at the door.
TAPAC is also all about PRIDE this fortnight and offers up the Night of the Queer 2016, an abundance of live music, aerial performance, dance, theatre and comedy hosted by Shortland Street’s Adam Burrell. At TE POU, new theatre company THE SHAPE SHIFT COLLECTIVE are doing The Vagina Monologues, with all profits going to the Auckland Women’s Refuge.
Last chance for Shakespeare in the Park – The Tempest and King Lear, up at the Pumphouse Theatre in Takapuna. The Pop-Up Theatre opens next week with tickets for Twelfth Night and Romeo & Juliet most in demand, but a fair number of the more affordable tickets still available going by the ticket websites.