Friends Forever

Court One, Christchurch

19/01/2009 - 31/01/2009

Production Details


Get the kids out of the house and into The Court these school holidays for FRIENDS FOREVER, a fun show for children involving one Great Auntie, two mischievous kids and thirteen whimsical storybook characters.

Tom, Charlotte and Great Auntie Muriel dive into the dressing-up box, using toys and household items to retell such well-loved tales as Puss in Boots and the Great Enormous Turnip.  Audiences are enveloped in the magic of theatre, watching and participating in the on-stage creativity, and ultimately discovering more about the value of friendship.

With the liveliness that has become a trademark of The Court’s kids’ shows, Marama Grant, with Monique Clark and Markus Hoetjes play several characters (as well as voicing puppets) in bringing the stories to life.  

Elizabeth O’Connor is welcomed back to The Court Theatre to direct FRIENDS FOREVER and is certain that it will be a refreshing treat for young and old.

With tickets at only $7, FRIENDS FOREVER is fantastic, affordable family entertainment that will keep the spirits of fun, play and friendship alive these holidays. 

The Court Theatre, Monday 19 January – Saturday 31 January

Mon-Fri 10am & 12pm, Saturdays 10am

All tickets $7.

Book at The Court Theatre Box Office, 963 0870
or online at 

Aunty Muriel, Queen, Kuia, Elephant:  Mârama Grant
Charlotte, Puss, Spider, Old Woman, Tortoise, Mouse:  Monique Clark
Tom, Jimmy, Ogre, Old Man, Hippo, Lion:  Markus Hoetjes

Set design and Construction:  Richard van den Berg
Sound and Lighting Design:  Geoff Nunn
Operator:  Josh Major
Costume Design:  Emily Thomas
Props:  Helen Beswick
Stage Manager:  Anne Fahey
Production Manager:  Peter McInnes

Nimble trio’s fun and games with unobtrusive moralizing

Review by Lindsay Clark 21st Jan 2009

All razzle dazzle by night with the gorgeous excesses of La Cage, by day the stage at Court is catering for a very different audience and twinkle rather than glitz. It is, however a very engaging twinkle and good value, with no fewer than five stories all contributing to the friendship theme.

Playwright Delahunty and director O’Connor have accurately judged the balance of action and exposition, fantasy and home truth to wrap up an imaginative bundle of goodies for their young audiences.

Great Aunt Muriel (a name to conjure possibilities indeed) sets out to read stories relevant to her tricky rellies – tearaway action man Jimmy and pouty Charlotte who’s just had a tiff with her ‘best friend’.

The stories are brought to life by the simple contents of a toy box, a few puppets and the odd soft toy, backed up by clever music choices supplemented of course by the audience and willing individual volunteers.

So, we have Puss in Boots (a cat can be a friend too), The Kuia and the Spider (sometimes friends stay together for the fun of disagreeing), The Lion and the Mouse (big and little is a useful combo), The Little Old Man and the Turnip (more friends can mean more help) and The Elephant and the Hippopotamus (sometimes friends come unstuck and need a bit of help to come together again).

The moralising is unobtrusive but helpful in keeping the action well matched to the preoccupations of Jimmy and Charlotte.

The compilation offers much fun and games for the nimble trio making up the cast. Mârama Grant, Monique Clark and Marcus Hoetjes have a ball without lapsing into the condescension and hamming up which sometimes spoils the whole experience of children’s theatre at least for the attendants in the audience.

Polished transitions, solid ensemble skills, purposeful character work and confident singing voices distinguish the production as one to see this holiday season. The youngest member of the audience, as far as I could see, was Johnny, aged two months and he was happy throughout.


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