Of all our country’s most infamous streets Auckland’s Karangahape Rd is by a mile the most extraordinary storyteller. Many conveniently turn a blind eye to the ridge that harbours our floating morals and various sins but often bypass the prolific history of Auckland’s trouble child. The Okareka Dance Company are performing K’Rd Strip: A Place to Stand at The Loft at Q Theatre; a performance that opened with the mythological Hape calling to his brothers from Karangahape ridge, a legend that plays spiritual spectator to the subsequent variety of colour, action and narrative.
Directed by Simon Coleman, with the assistance of some wonderfully scant costume design by Elizabeth Whiting and the lighting wizardry of Ambrose Hills-Simons; K’Rd Strip: A Place to Stand tempts the audience into the vibrant flamboyancy that frolics in the shadows of the urban struggle. The variety of life that gives K’Rd its reputation is presented over 21 scenes by a the multi-talented cast of Will Cooper Barling, Jamie Burgess, Taane Mete, Adam Burrell Taiaroa Royal and Jason Te Mete and is seamlessly tied together by some vivid choreography and an eclectic arrangement of New Zealand music, including the likes of Split Enz, The Dudes, Mi-Sex and OMC.
K’Rd Strip: A Place to Stand is as entertaining as it is eye opening. The cast are able to cover the diversity and identity of K’Rd’s people and deliver potent six part harmonies with some stand out solo vocal work from Will Cooper Barling and Taiaroa Royal. The audience are reminded of the mayhem that accompanies a typical night out on K’Rd and explores the masculine, feminine and miscellaneous side of these outings with both accuracy and hilarity. Those that know the K’Rd Strip intimately will adore this spectacle and it is sure to enlighten those with a healthy curiosity and and/or open mind.
Reviewed by Ben Blackman
K’ RD STRIP plays
AUCKLAND 11 – 15 June, Q Theatre (Bookings: www.qtheatre.co.nz)
MANGERE: 19 – 22nd June, Mangere Arts Centre
DUNEDIN: 28 and 29 June.
HAMILTON 2 and 3 July.
PALMERSTON NORTH: 6 July.
WELLINGTON: 10 – 13 July, Downstage Theatre (Bookings – www.downstage.co.nz)
Visit www.okareka.com for ticketing, venue and further information regarding this event.