Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October

Like a warm fresh loaf, Rewena was an engaging piece of theatre that took me back home. The set in the X Space was a whanau cum marae kitchen; cabinetry in place with a hearty stainless steel bench top and chopping block centre-stage. Maggie was an engaging whole-hearted character who welcomed us into her whare kai wearing a pinny with poi jutting out the pocket; demonstrating with spirit, aroha and humour, how to make a loaf of the finest rewena bread.

This interactive play with underlying tones of family values and traditions had you engrossed with eye contact and delivery. Maggie cleverly toyed with New Zealand humour and its cultural nuances having me in fits over lines like “If you’re going to put something in your mouth, then you should know how to say it properly.” Little stage hiccups added to the flavour and the heart-felt monologue while kneading the bread reminded me of times that I had lost myself in vulnerable thought. The clever integration of our bicultural society combined together in a mixing bowl, to produce a loaf that we drizzled golden syrup on and enjoyed after the show. My friend said that it wasn’t something that she’d thought of coming to, but she was so glad that she did. And my aunty’s appreciation was evident in her hoots and snorts.

Down at the Crystal Palace, the place was packed ready to be enthralled by Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes. I found a front-row seat so that I could be completely wrapped in the essence of this tantalising show. I love watching musicians up close and personal because they are talented treasures that are completely admirable, considering my musical prowess stretches to probably scarring passing drivers’ ear drums from the safety of singing in my car.

This was definitely a fun show delivered in character by a character, Sal, with a charming sense of humour. The grandiose brass instruments belted out tunes (I now have a new appreciation for the trumpet), the double bassist’s digits danced over the fingerboard furiously like a spider, the keyboardist meticulously tapped the keys with speed, the drummer provided the backbone and the two back-up singer sweethearts complimented each other with a voice that dripped with diamonds and a gritty sound that had guts and balls.

The dance floor was well and truly bouncing to songs titled ‘Champagne’ and ‘Drink Until I Pass Out’. I was nearly shaken off my perch. I loved the energy on stage, the audience that got stuck into it and the opportunity to be exposed to an era that I wanted to drink cocktails and jive in.

Outfit of choice: Black flapper style dress with ruffles and pretty purple Max Studio pumps.

Love ‘Wooooooaaaahhhhhhh We’re Half Way There’ NJ