Riki Kiwi

Drama Christi Studio, Wellington

18/04/2006 - 25/04/2006

Production Details

Written and directed by Jeff Abbott
Pianist Ryan Lee

Kapitall Kids Theatre

Riki Kiwi is tired of foraging on the forest floor, while watching all the other birds in the forest flit around high above him. Riki decides he needs to learn to fly just like everyone else! He is encouraged and helped by his friends Miles the sporty Fantail and the exuberantly flighty Tui. They quickly find it’s not as easy as they expected. But not daunted, Riki and company set off across the forest to consult the clever Morepork Aristotle the wisest bird in the forest. But sneaking after them is the wicked rat Mingus who has also taken it into his head that he wants to fly too! All he needs is a pair of wings.

This original, exciting and musical play offers plenty of opportunities to join in with the action as well as delivering information about New Zealand’s native birds and conservation.

A fun adventure about friendship and learning your strengths, Riki Kiwi is a first play for writer/director Jeff Abbot. An Upper Hutt High maths teacher by day, Jeff has also written many of the songs and music for the show, which will be played by young pianist Ryan Lee.

Riki - Nick Dellabarca
Tui - Brianne Kerr
Aristotle - Dan Ashworth
Mingus - Michael Fowler
Miles - Sean Cullen

Theatre , Music , Children’s ,

Actors fly away with the show

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 24th Apr 2006

Another new, locally written children’s show is on offer these school holidays, this one having a very distinctive New Zealand flavour to it from first time writer/director Jeff Abbott for Kapitall Kids Theatre. 

The title character of the show, Riki Kiwi (Nick Dellabarca) is bemoaning the fact that he is left to forage for food on the forest floor while his mates Miles the fantail (Sean Cullen) and Tui the song bird (Brianne Kerr), flit about the trees having a wonderful time looking for their food. 

When the attempts of Miles and Tui to get Riki Kiwi to fly end in failure, they seek the assistance of the wise old morepork Aristotle (Dan Ashworth).  However, what they don’t realise is that close on their heals is the rascal rat Mingus (Michael Fowler), who also wants to fly. 

When Mingus kidnaps Tui in order to use her wings, the action really hots up. This is, of course, where Riki Kiwi comes into his own using his ability to forage to rescue Tui, – the moral of the story being that – "we cannot be who we are not, but we can be who we are and make the most of the skills we do have".

Abbott’s simple but very New Zealand story is effectively told, the many original songs – the music and lyrics of which are also penned by Abbot and skilful played by Ryan Lee – adding much to the shows charm. But it’s the considerable skills of the actors who really bring the show to life; not only through their very animated and energised acting and singing but also through the way they successful interact with the audience.


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