Hubbub Review

The all-female cast and crew of Basement theatre’s latest offering, Hubbub, have put together a thought provoking, laugh-out-loud and cohesive production that is well worth checking out this week.

The play is set entirely on board moving public transport; simply and cleverly staged with just chairs, a suspended row of ‘handles’ and a screen depicting scenes of Auckland as seen from a bus window. Hubbub explores the secrets, inner narratives, concerns and random thoughts of five women as they ponder the big and small stuff as they roll.

There is plenty of hilarity, with confessions and some raw honesty from one passenger; the dialogue regarding farts on buses drew an especially big laugh. However, there is some real poignancy from the characters as well. One ruminates on the constant intrusion of social media and the addictive need to check her phone every 20 seconds while on the bus, which elicits a reaction from the audience that falls somewhere between a rueful recognition and something a bit more confronting.

The dialogue is snappy and works well as each of the characters inhabits her own world and explores her own thoughts, almost in isolation from others. The interaction between them is minimal, and kept mainly to the awkward moments that would be familiar to anyone who has sat next to a stranger on a bus. The most powerful moments come in the latter half of the show in which each character gives a soliloquy that delves a little deeper than just idle thoughts. Themes of strong women, loss, sexual harassment and loneliness are all explored, and the audience was totally captivated.

Funny, thought-provoking and greatly entertaining, Hubbub should be on your must-see list for this week.

Hubbub is on at The Basement Theatre until 6 September.

Reviewed by Natalie Ridler.

This play is brought to you by an all-female ensemble, and includes recent graduates of The Actors’ Program. The cast includes: Willa Oliver (Camino Real), Moana McArtney (Shake It Up), Hannah Paterson (The Legacy Project), Naomi Cohen (Camino Real) and Alice Pearce (ATC Selecta). The show contains lighting and sound by Amber Molloy and multimedia by Lisa Fothergill from Wild Boy Productions. Directed by Cherie Moore.