BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

20/04/2021 - 24/04/2021

Production Details

Home to a happy group of people was a small island in the Pacific Ocean.  

Why were they so happy?

They had everything they needed. They grew vegetables and fruit to eat, they caught fish. They played games with each other and told stories, stories of old and stories of new. Sometimes they sang those stories. 

They saw all colours that made up their world, the colour of the sand, the hills, the sea, the rocks. They gave the colours names like Yellow, Kowhai, Samasama. They told stories and sang songs about the fish in the sea.

The big fish, the small fish and especially the Rainbow fish. The Rainbow fish had all the colours of the world.

There was one song they sang, of a time when the Rainbow Fish lost its colours, a time when the other fish in the sea had no colours, a time when the wind created great mischief to the people of the island and the fish in the sea.

English, Te Reo and Samoan are freely used throughout the performance.

BATS Theatre, The Dome
20 – 24 April 2021
10:30am & 12:30pm
The Difference $40
Adult $15
Child Aged 12 or Under $12
Group of 4 Price $50 (4 tickets only) $11.25

Theatre , Family , Children’s ,

Well-paced, uncomplicated and engaging

Review by Georgia Jamieson Emms 21st Apr 2021

Rainbows and Fishes is my second Peter Wilson-created kids’ show in two days, the other being Seasons at Circa One. While not as technically sophisticated as Seasons, Rainbows and Fishes is delightful in its simplicity and quiet charm, and is sensitively directed by Wilson and Lyndee-Jane Rutherford.

Wilson’s beautiful fish puppets are deftly handled by experienced performer Kenny King. King tells the story of the rainbow fish with warmth and integrity, never swinging into cheesiness or silliness, which can be the downfall of a kids show. This is not a bells and whistles show, but a well-paced, uncomplicated and engaging tale.

I wondered if the plot was based on Marcus Pfister’s The Rainbow Fish, a classic children’s tale, but this is an original: a fish of many colours is stripped of its scales by the mischievous wind, and the scales then create a rainbow on which the other, greyer, fish can swim and gain their own colour.

The script is peppered with Te Reo and Samoan, which keeps me on my toes, but causes zero confusion for my 7-year-old, who says he finds it “easy” to understand. The 4-year-old sits quietly, her eyes growing larger as the rainbow transforms the grey fish. Although billed as a show for all ages, it is perhaps better suited to the younger ones, and is perfect for introducing pre-schoolers to the magic of theatre. Unobtrusive sound effects and gentle pre-recorded accompaniment for the handful of musical numbers are a lovely addition. 

The parents in the audience appreciate the excellent timing of the piece – 30 minutes – which is really ideal for pre-schoolers. The show finishes before the squirming and asking for snacks begins. Afterwards, King chats with the young theatregoers, all of them a bit starstruck by the star of the show: the dazzling fish of many colours. 


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