4 Moncrieff St., Mt. Victoria, Wellington

27/09/2014 - 11/10/2014

Production Details

It’s not only birds that sing up high… 

Rapunzel is trapped in a tower… it just so happens that it’s on an island that’s protected by DOC. When a prince who’s being made to work at DOC for ‘real life experience’ comes to work on the island, he finds to his surprise that it’s not only birds that live here and sing all day!

With our usual Kiwi twist on traditional fairy stories, songs and audience participation (as well as a few jokes for the adults) Rapunzel is sure to delight.

See you at the tower!


27th Sep – 11th October
4 Moncrieff St., Mt. Victoria
Performance Times: Monday – Friday 11am and 1pm, Saturdays at 11am 
Tickets $10, Groups of 10+ $9.00 each, Children under 2 Free
$7 Special Opening Preview, Saturday 27th September
Bookings: phone 04 385 0292 or go to www.kidzstufftheatre.co.nz

Rapunzel:  Eryn Street 
Prince:  Garth Morgan 
Witch/Sam:  Julia Truscott

Director:  Amalia Calder
Technical Manager:  Grace Morgan-Riddell
Production Manager/Front of House:  Emilie Velluet-Draper
Set:  Emilie Velluet-Draper and Cast
Songs:  Amalia Calder and Matt Clayton
Administrator and Publicist:  Fingal Pollock
Financial Officer:  Dushka More



Review by John Smythe 27th Sep 2014

We are greeted at the door by two uniformed DOC officers and when the show starts it turns out we’re visitors to a DOC-protected island under the protective care of Sam (Julia Truscott) and Prince Harry (Garth Morgan), who is stationed here to gain real life experience.

Deep in the bush there is a tower in which a lonely Rapunzel (Eryn Street) sings poignantly of her loneliness while hugging her very long plait. She has been imprisoned by her Witch of a mother (Truscott) for her own protection because the precious Rapunzel is – apparently – allergic to people.

When the Prince discovers the tower and Rapunzel, and that her mother casts spells, he declares them all to be against the rules so they have to be evicted to protect the island – although in the same breath he sings a song about it being his job to protect her.

Somehow this central theme of protection vs freedom – intriguingly established as both good and bad practices – is not exploited to dramatic, let alone comic, advantage. Nor are the characters developed and enriched by having them pursue strong objectives, deal with obstacles and grow in the process. The basic elements are sketched in but more often than not the characters are mouthpieces for telling the story rather than its actively driving forces.

That said, the actors are all lively yet relaxed, avoiding the pushiness that often accompanies children’s theatre, and the story unfolds in a reasonably well-paced way. The opening show audience is enthusiastically vocal and the actors handle some extraordinary comments astutely, acknowledging them while not letting the kids derail the show. (One little girl’s solution to the witch problem is to “get a sword and behead her!” Is she a Brothers Grimm aficionado or has she been tuning into the news?)

A number of set-ups – the Prince out of his comfort zone; birds in the treetops – are not developed and paid off. Other elements – like the Prince being turned into a dog, which of course is a no-no on the island – are not set up as well as they could be.

Then there is the sudden revelation [spoiler alert] that Rapunzel is a long lost Princess. Apart from this sudden injection of a whole new story element at the last minute (Prince Harry’s “I didn’t see that coming” gets a hollow laugh from the adults), it seems very ‘class-conscious retro’ to require her to be of royal blood in order that the Prince may marry her.

While it is competent (apart from the mindless habit of singing some songs in irrelevant American accents), there is a strange lack of playfulness in the script and production. That, along with the two-dimensional characters and storyline, makes it all feel like a colour-by-numbers representation of the usually much more richly wrought KidzStuff plays. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council