The Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch

11/04/2012 - 21/04/2012

Production Details

Hair-raising Family Fun at The Court Theatre 

The Court Theatre is letting its hair down in its school holiday production of RAPUNZEL.

The classic fairytale has been adapted by local writer Brendon Bennetts into a fun show for all ages. The story of a beautiful girl with long hair trapped in a tower, a handsome prince and a wicked witch remains the same – with a territorial wolf, a magic carrot and a tuba-playing butler added for good measure.

Director Dan Bain has enjoyed using the additional space provided by the new Court Theatre stage and has combined “a witty script” with plenty of “physical comedy, puppetry and hair-whipping, as well as fun music and songs.”

The cast includes Julia Guthrey as Rapunzel, with Hamish Parkinson and Kathleen Burns providing all of the other characters. All three describe some of the costume changes as “a close shave” but are enjoying being part of a “madcap, colourful show that will bring a smile to Christchurch families.”

RAPUNZEL runs for a strictly limited ten-day season from 11-21 April,
with tickets cheaper than a buzz-cut at $9 for adults and children.

Venue:  The Court Theatre, Bernard St, Addington (off Hagley Park end of Lincoln Rd) 
Performance Dates:  11 – 21 April 2012 
Performance Times:  11am & 1pm weekdays; 11am only Saturdays. No show Sundays. 
Ticket Prices:  All tickets $9 
Bookings:  The Court Theatre Box Office, ph: 963 0870, online www.courttheatre.org.nz  

Cast:  Kathleen Burns, Julia Guthrey and Hamish Parkinson 

Colour, zest and surprises

Review by Lindsay Clark 12th Apr 2012

The original story line already guarantees the time tested elements of fairy tale drama: wondrous princess-in-a tower, roving prince and jealous witch. In the Bennetts version we are offered the extra bounty of poncy tuba-playing butler, destitute father (Rapunzel’s) and some clever puppets, most notably the witch’s pet wolf.

Dan Bain directs a well paced fifty minutes with scenes punctuated by fast blackouts, which seem fresh again after a good spell out of favour. Certainly the young audience was captivated and responsive, a sure sign that the creative team and cast are on the right track for a successful alternative to holiday doldrums.

The set of Calendar Girls (David Thornley),currently playing as the main bill, transforms neatly to a tower with handy knot holes in the walls, so that Rapunzel’s wondrous hair is not pulled off every time she has a visitor, though the illusion of climbing it is still maintained. This focal feature and the long green ramp of a hillside nearby provide a functioning space for the chases, discoveries and rapid escapes which hold much of the excitement of the developing tale.

The fairy tale look is well sustained by Bronwyn Corbet’s costumes, which give the actors a head start. Thus the Bennetts Rapunzel, played by a colourful and tuneful Julia Guthrey, is a vivid, feisty young thing, albeit in princess get-up. She uses her locks most inventively to aid and secure her true love, the loveable, lute plucking dope, Prince Fresh, a versatile Hamish Parkinson, who doubles as Father.

The cast trio is completed by Kathleen Burns in fine form as Witch and Butler. The puppets, I think, are to the credit of Helen Beswick, responsible for props. They too contribute to an entertaining, fast moving fifty minutes.

Plenty of colour, zest and surprises are essential aspects of popular holiday theatre and this production uses them effectively to bring the original big-hair favourite to life. 


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