ONEONESIX - 116 Bank Street, Whangarei

18/02/2021 - 20/02/2021

Production Details

Written by Philip Ridley
Director Ella Becroft

Red Leap Theatre


Boldly following in the footsteps of Owls Do Cry and The Arrival, award winning creators Red Leap Theatre return to the road with the gritty premiere of Dakota of the White Flats. Championing the young female voice, this new adaptation of UK author Philip Ridley’s novel plays in Whangarei, Hamilton and Tauranga from Feb 17 2021, with an Auckland season to be announced for later in the year.

Dakota Pink is 14-years-old and afraid of nothing. She lives in a bleak housing complex on the edge of a polluted canal, with rubbish filled fountains, and a skyline spiked with television aerial crowns. Abandoned supermarket trolleys litter the streets and the oil slick water of the canal is filled with monstrous mutant eels who feast on anyone who tries to cross the water. Dakota and her best friend Treacle discover a secret that sends them across the polluted canal to the broken glass fortress on Dog Island.

Associate Red Leap Director Ella Becroft makes her mainstage debut with this thrillingly grungy production embracing Red Leap’s signature style of haunting visuals and blazing physicality. Using wild characters, gutsy heroines, and an electric score, Dakota of the White Flats has been created for anyone with adventure in their hearts.

Dakota of the White Flats takes the classic high-action adventure story – so often the dominion of boys – and places it firmly in the capable hands of couple of loud, rebellious and brave young women. Dakota and Treacle hurl their way through life – they are ambitious, brave and resilient. They are loud little punks. The book clearly has something to say about urban life, with Philip Ridley’s slightly dystopian and uncomfortable view on modern society. While the story references the breakdown of community and the environment, it places hope in the courageous adventuring of young people,” says Becroft

UK-born Philip Ridley is a poet, photographer, songwriter and performance artist, having written drama for radio, theatre and film. Known for ‘in ’yer face theatre’ his first play The Pitchfork Disney was heralded as the key play of the nineties. He has written books for both children and adults earning him awards and nominations for Krindlekrax (1991), Kasper in the Glitter (1994), Scribbleboy (1997) and Mighty Fizz Chilla (2002), amongst numerous other published titles.

Five highly charged actors, with a set designed by John Verryt, lighting by Rachel Marlow and composition by Eden Mulholland, Dakota of the White Flats promises to be a fast-paced and electrifying show, holding tight to friendships and bravery in a changing world.

Red Leap Theatre are committed to creating high quality, original visual theatre that pushes creative boundaries, transforms how the audience relates to theatre and celebrates and supports women’s stories and talents. Their work has toured to great acclaim both domestically and internationally.


18-20 Feb 2021
Two shows daily at 12pm and 7.30pm
Book at Eventfinda

24-26 Feb 2021
at The Meteor as part of Hamilton Garden Arts Festival
Two shows daily at 12pm and 7.30pm
Book at Eventfinda

3-4 March 2021
at Baycourt
Two shows daily at 12pm and 7.30pm
Book at Ticketek

Performed by Hannah Lynch, Ariaana Osborne, Amelia Reynolds, Patrick Carroll, Lutz Hamm

Sound Design by Eden Mulholland
Set Design by John Verryt
Lighting Design by Rachel Marlow
Costume Design by Ana van Schie de Pont

Theatre , Physical ,

Gutsy Girls

Review by Mary De Ruyter 08th Apr 2021

Ah, how life imitates art. The speed at which the Red Leap Theatre crew bolted out of Auckland on Valentine’s Day to get to Whangārei just before the midnight lockdown – to perform the world premiere of new show Dakota of the White Flats a few days later – must have at least matched the speed with which 14-year-old protagonists Dakota Pink and Treacle Duck hurtle through their urban wasteland of a home.

In fact, speed and a sense of adventure (bordering on peril) are also defining characteristics of this atmospheric, downright fun show. The devised work takes the book of the same name, by much-awarded English author Philip Ridley, as its leaping-off point. True to Red Leap’s kaupapa of presenting “women-led theatre”, this time the voices of young women – brave, mischievous and with a dose of punk attitude – are let loose. [More


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Constant whimsy and magic

Review by Jan Fisher 08th Mar 2021

When the curtain comes down on the World premiere of Dakota and the White Flats, the audience rises to its feet. It is the least we can do. We have been treated to an hour and a bit of fizzing, popping, sparkling theatre. A gourmet of the galloping variety. Every moment crammed chock full of creative inventiveness which we’ve gobbled up greedily. Comments like “Oh that’s cool” spring uncensored from those around me. I’ve been a kid in a lolly shop sampling everything. I’ve been a kid at the circus, sitting up, open mouthed, straining my neck to experience every last little thing.

When we enter the theatre the set confronts us: three upturned shopping trolleys and two towering triangular mobile scaffolding structures covered in mini venetian blinds. These are the ‘towers’ of the White Flats. The side lighting picks up the smoky atmosphere. It all goes to create the ‘concrete confines’ of an urban world.

House lights dim, sound effects of cars passing, their headlights sweeping the towers of the white flats … Dakota and her best friend, Treacle, then burst on the scene, guitars in hand, singing their anthem which culminates in dance… loud, punk, ‘out there’.

This raw energy is immediately contrasted with the lives of the adult characters living in the White Flats: secretive or scurrying or sad. The venetian blinds are opened and shut, lifted and closed in quick succession showing snapshots of lives lived alone: Henry Twig, the miser, who hoards shiny things; Medusa the ageing actress – “I’m ready for my close up Mr DeMille” – who is in search of one last diamond with which to decorate her Oscar; Dakota’s mother who sits in her chair, year after year, pining for Dakota’s father who has left her long ago.

Images which create these characters remain for their ingenuity: Henry’s head, huge in a tiny room, crammed full of sparkling baubles for company; Medusa with adoring fans and fanned hands fanning her dress – Marilyn Munro; Dakota’s mum chained by her ragged wedding train to the mirage of a man – Miss Havisham.

It’s up to Dakota and Treacle to show the way, to teach the older women, to face the fear, to continue when the going gets tough, to never give up, to get the prize and to live the life so that doors can be opened, blinds lifted and chains broken.

It is with a huge generosity of spirit that this show is brought to us. Every component – set, lighting, sound, stage action, direction, costume, props – all are working together to create theatre as a living organism. There is experience and expertise coupled with zest and ideas which have bounced off each other, and been built on and brought into an existence that will keep on growing.  

We, the audience, are conscious of the actors working hard both on and off stage to bring us a ‘best experience’. It’s not like the theatre of my youth where ‘the action should be so smooth as to bely all the work which has gone to get to this point’. No, here the actors are working their butts off to create constant whimsy and magic.

In her director’s notes, Ella Becroft says of everyone who helped to collaborate on this show, “I feel extremely lucky and honoured to have spent this time in a room with such incredible creative talent.” Thank you Ella, so do we.


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