Puff the Magic Dragon

The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland

08/04/2017 - 20/03/2017

Production Details

Based on the song by LEONARD LIPTON and PETER YARROW
adapted for the stage by TIM BRAY

“Puff, the Magic Dragon lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist, in a land called Honalee…”

The song, made famous by the 1960’s folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, is now a magical, fun adventure with that old rascal Puff and little Jackie Paper live on stage. You and your children will love this gorgeous show celebrating friendship, childhood and imagination.

Encourage your children to dress up as their favourite dragon for the Costume Parade at the start of the show – School Holiday season shows only.

Please check site for dates and times and booking info: http://pumphouse.co.nz/whats-on/show/puff-magic-dragon/

Puff:  Tim Raby
Jack:  Cole Johnston
Peter, King, Pirate First Mate:  Zak Enayat
Mary, Prince, Pirate Captain, Jacqueline:  Lucy Hill
Paul, Musician:  John Ansell

New Zealand Sign Language Interpreter: Melissa-Sue Sutton and Zana Paraha (selected shows)
Audio Describer:  Nicola Owen (selected shows)

Director:  Tim Bray
Set Design:  Rachael Walker
Lighting Design:  Steve Marshall
Costume Design:  Vicki Slow
Stage Manager:  Katie Querin
Lighting & Sound Operator:  Josh Wilson, HLx Limited
Choreographer & Movement Coach:  Linda McFetridge
Props:  Rachael Walker
Lighting Crew:  HLx Limited
Front of House Manager:  Tanya Davis
Ushers:  Will Moffatt, Aaron Ryan, Maryanne Rushton, Rebecca Ansell
Teachers’ Resource Guide:  Rosemary Tisdall
Publicity:  Sally Woodfield, SWPR
Print Design:  Stefania Sarnecki-Capper, Red Design
Photography:  David Rowland, One-Image Photography
Videography:  Chillbox Creative
Illustration:  James Stewart  

Theatre , Musical , Family , Children’s ,

An enjoyable, gentle show

Review by Heidi North 09th Apr 2017

Based on the song – made famous by the 1960s folk group Peter, Paul and Mary – this school holidays Tim Bray has adapted Puff the Magic Dragon into a theatrical adventure featuring seven-year-old Jackie Paper (Cole Johnston) and a fun-loving Puff (Tim Raby).

Following the original lyrics of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’, Puff and Jackie encounter a wonderful King (a show-stealing performance by Zak Enayat), as well doing battle with pirates. Lucy Hill is the fourth actor in the ensemble, playing a variety of roles: Prince, Pirate Captain, singer Mary and a Mermaid. 

‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ is a bittersweet song: after childhood adventures frolicking together, eventually Jackie stops playing with Puff; Puff gets sad, can no longer be brave and goes into his cave very sadly.

This adaption stays faithful to the sense of melancholy that comes from growing up and stopping dreaming. Unless you’re very familiar with the song – and I doubt most of the children in the audience are – this makes some narrative leaps a little confusing.

I would like to see the narrative work harder to tie up some story elements within the stage production, rather than just follow the story because that was the way it was originally written.

The songs are less fast-paced children’s songs, staying instead more faithful to the original folk vibe of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’, which slows the pace down. But the children in the audience do seem to stay captivated, despite the parts of the show where the pace lags a little.

With live music throughout by John Ansell, great costumes by costume designer Vicki Slow, and some nice staging effects – dry ice, a pirate boat on wheels and a whimsical bedroom set – Tim Bray’s Puff the Magic Dragon is an enjoyable, gentle show.


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