Mathew, Mark, Luke

and Joanne

This sophisticated and very funny play reminded me a little of Yasmina Reza's Art, a play about friendship disrupted when one of three friends buys an expensive painting that is completely white. Both plays are three-handers that explore the dramatic repercussions of a loved one doing something surprising and challenging. Both plays are also witty, smart and profound.

Charlie Gates, Stuff

A comedy about belief, bursting with instances of the apparent absurdity of conviction to those not themselves in its grip. Its three way relationship structure is an economical way of presenting personalities and questioning their attitudes. Beyond that, both playwright and astute director Steven Ray explore the comic implications of following blindly the rules laid down by someone else. 

Lindsay Clark, Theatreview

Tom Peters and Phil Vaughan
Luannne Gordon
 

THE WAR ARTIST

Carl Nixon has constructed a fine and very moving play, which in Steven Ray’s production gets everything right. The dialogue feels pitch-perfect. The big situations are hit superbly. The three characters turn out to have surprising depths. Owen Black plays Sergeant Price, Simon Leary Private Mitchell, and Tom Trevella George Butler. It’s hard to imagine a better cast.  

John C Ross, Theatreview

Reflections on life, death, luck, religion, art and morality lace the dialogue ... The War Artist is a compelling piece.... its intention to temper the horrors of war with humanity and humour pays fitting tribute to the men who fought, bled, suffered and died on those far-off battlefields so long ago. 

Richard Mays, Manawatu Standard

Owen Black

TWO FISH 'N' A SCOOP

Just as the script embraces so many thematic facets ranging from love to hatred, from racism to unity, from family problems to peer pressure, fascinatingly, only two actors embody the entre range of Carl Nixon's dozen characters. 

New Zealand Travel Guide

There is more than enough in this play and this production to satisfy the most jaded theatre palate. To be sure, the fare on offer is so delicious you may want to come back for a second helping. 

The Christchurch Press

Nixon's script has some lovely moments and his writing shifts smoothly – with only the odd graunch – from lyrical to laconic to comic … a should see for all New Zealanders. 

The Listener

At a time when New Zealanders pride themselves on fair-mindedness and yet rhetoric about “real New Zealanders” and “immigration” often barely conceals racism, Carl Nixon's socially aware, funny and deeply affecting play couldn't be more timely. 

Otago Daily Times

Hweiling Ow and Chris Parker

Two Fish ‘N’ A Scoop is exactly the sort of polished professional production we need: a New Zealand playwright giving us our own voice, delighting us with laughter, yet forcing us to confront such dark and demanding issues as racial intolerance.The problem is real and sadly always topical. Award-winning writer Carl Nixon has chosen that humblest and most familiar of forums for the debate: the local fish ‘n’ chip shop, and it works a treat. 

Theatreview

The arc Two Fish takes will surprise somewhat but it's still a touching examination of the importance of doing what is right, rather than what is easy and that second chances do happen. 

The Guardian

 
 
Jude Gibson, Phil Vaughan, Peter Hambleton and Geraldine Brophy

THE BIRTHDAY BOY

I liked this play. I liked the premise and the way it's played out Nixon paints the to-have-or not-to-have-children choice in many shades of grey with the odd splash of black and white. There are no right of wrong choices in life, his play suggests, only choices. The play is funny, too, with plenty of light-hearted pokes at political correctness and middle-class angst, and the story moves along smartly as we journey with the couples into their futures.

Faith Oxenbridge, The Listener

You would think that there is not a lot of humour at seeing two friends drift apart and a marriage fall apart – but in fact the smiles came often. 

Kiwiblog

A comic trip passing through several birthdays and on the way we are confronted with the trials of friendship, parenthood, marriage and the search for personal fulfilment. 

The Dominion Post

… captures the zeitgeist of the post-feminist generation, from a white, middle-class and largely male perspective….Nixon's deeper understanding of human nature is allowed to come to the fore, not to mention his ability to subvert our value judgements and expectations. 

Theatreview

Topical, funny and thought provoking, it is distinguished by some fine writing from Carl Nixon….The perils of parenting for couples in the late 30s and beyond opened up a new horizon for comedy. 

The Christchurch Press

Sandra Rasmussen and Ross Gumbly

Laughs, sniggers, wit and jokes and a plot with a salutary point, what more could you ask for? The Birthday Boy at Circa is a winner. 

Scoop

THE RAFT

A play that goes deep into a heart of darkness and lights it up with warmth and compassion…. In case this all sounds like too much angst, the play is sprinkled with funny, silly and endearing bonding moments between characters, the little things that happen even when a family is at odds. 

Manawatu Standard

An action packed-finale.

The Domionion Post

Certainly the best and most moving New Zealand drama that I have seen. 

Tony Ryan (patron, Court Theatre)

Owen Black and Laura Hill

A beautifully written, produced and presented work of luminous satisfaction. Perfect. Damn fine play. (Centrepoint production) 

Peter Hawes. Theatreview

An intense journey that is judiciously modulated with naturally occurring islands of humour and humanity. (Downstage production) 

John Smythe. Theatreview

 
Russell Smith as Barry Crump

CRUMPY - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BARRY CRUMP

You really must see this one. Director David McPhail surpasses himself. As Crumpy himself might have said, “Dunno if it gets better than this.” 

Metropol

By carefully selecting certain incidents and ignoring others, a credible case could be made for a role model of masculine self-sufficiency, an abuser of women and abandoner of children, a loveable wandering rascal, a homely philosopher, even a seeker after eternal truth. Here you will find hints of all these characters in one amalgam that achieves a satisfying balance. 

The Nelson Mail

Crumpy offers some insights into a man who loomed large on the cultural landscape. 

Jim Tully, The Christchurch Star

Carl Nixon has struck a very clever balance in this play. He develops surprising depth in this neatly structured drama. Certainly there is laughter, but juxtaposed against this is the abuse Crump suffered at his father's hands and the consequences, which haunted the bushman-poet-writer's adult life…. When the play is over, you feel you understand, perhaps for the first time, what drove the man 

The Christchurch Press

Mick Innes and Russell Smith
 
 

DISGRACE

Cleverly, Nixon lifts Coetzee's elegant, austere prose and jigsaws it into short, narrated scenes of the fall and redemption of one white South African man. 

The Listener

Carl Nixon's adaptation, performed by the Auckland Theatre Company, successfully distils the essence of this nuanced, multi-layered novel. 

The Herald

Like the novel, it's richly complex and clever; sexual and racial politics are picked to pieces and woven into a moving terrible tale full of irony and ambiguity. 

Sunday Star Times

So dense is Disgrace in exploring evocative themes – sexual power, inter-generational relationships, national politics, personal security, ageing and identity – that after the two-hour performance the viewer is left contemplating a range of issues from the extremely personal to the universal. 

Bay of Plenty Times

THE BOOK OF FAME

Carl Nixon's intelligent, absorbing adaptation of Lloyd Jones's award winning novel ….. a masterful job of condensing Jones's fragmented, episodic writing into a lean, muscular narrative, while retaining his lyrical prose. 

Sunday Star Times

The audience roared and stamped at the concluding haka. 

Capital Times

The audience were clapping hard to show their appreciation of a very strong performance of a very fine adaptation … a fluid play that is interesting, amusing and stimulating. The Book of Fame is unquestionably a walk with the ancestors, a glimpse of a time gone by that still survives inside the psyche of a nation. 

Christchurch Press

By the end I find myself surprised and elated at how rich the experience has been. 

The National Business Review

But even if you're a heretic or a recusant and names such as Billy Wallace, George Nicholson and Fats Newton leave you cold, The Book of Fame is a must-see. 

The Listener

 
Alastair Browing
Anna McPhail

KIWIFRUITS - A NEW ZEALAND FAIRY TALE

Standing ovations are rare at plays in Christchurch but the spirited standing ovation at the opening night of Kiwifruits was the only way this premiere production could have concluded… the audience are made so welcome and are so superbly entertained from the outset that when it is all over no-one wants to leave. 

Christchurch Press

An outrageous and gorgeously funny comedy... a tightly-scripted fairy tale that delivers an enjoyable evening’s entertainment of vamp, glam and dazzle with hilarious consequences. 

Wanganui Chronicle

Exaggerated, theatrical and cheerfully crude, but never offensive. Just about everyone will love it. 

Otago Daily Times

If you're looking for glitz, glamour, drama, suspense, absolute hilarity and grown men in high heels … then you’ve gotta see Kiwifruits. 

Guardian

 
 
Jared Corban, Greg Cooper and Andy Spargo

THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF NEW ZEALAND (ABRIDGED)

Essential elements of the Kiwi psyche were merged with glee …. A hoot and great to see an alternative spin on some of our received wisdoms. Four kumeras out of a possible five. 

The Southland Times

I was soon caught up in a whirlwind of offbeat vignettes of dubious educational value and loving (almost) every minute of it. ….proved that humour is the best tonic to labour pains in the never-ending birth of our nation. 

The Listener

A play that sparkles with wit…. Slapstick and satire live happily together in this production. The frenetic impersonation of Split Enz was a highlight. But the piece de resistence is the playing of the wars New Zealand was involved in as a great rugby game. It’s a fine a bit of comedy as you will see. 

The Christchurch Press

If you're looking for glitz, glamour, drama, suspense, absolute hilarity and grown men in high heels … then you’ve gotta see Kiwifruits. 

Guardian

© Carl Nixon, Photography by Stephanie Nixon