Court One, Christchurch

14/04/2009 - 24/04/2009

Production Details


These Easter holidays, your kids will not want to miss RUMPELSTILTSKIN, The Court’s latest holiday show.

RUMPELSTILTSKIN follows the story of Mary Miller, whose Dad tells the most enormous fibs.  When the prince hears one of these whoppers, Mary is asked to spin all his straw into gold – and she does not know how to do it!  Luckily, help is just around the corner from a little man with a funny name…

In RUMPELSTILTSKIN, Daniel Bain, Claire Dougan, Javier Jarquin and Amy Straker portray the nine different characters, from an officious Spinning Wheel to the dim-witted Straw Mouse.  Audience interaction abounds as kids provide sound effects and scenery for the characters on stage.

Greg Cooper, last at The Court directing Beauty and the Beast, is welcomed back to The Court Theatre to direct RUMPELSTILTSKIN. 

With tickets at only $7, RUMPELSTILTSKIN is fantastic, affordable family entertainment that will keep spirits high and creativity abounding these holidays.

The Court Theatre, Tuesday 14 April – Friday 24 January
Mon-Fri 11am & 1pm, Saturday 11am only (no shows Sundays)
All tickets $7.  
Book at The Court Theatre Box Office, 963 0870
or online at 

50 mins, no interval

A good yarn spun with inventive twists

Review by Lindsay Clark 15th Apr 2009

Adaptations of embedded classics such as this are riskier than the dozens of versions around would suggest. At the core of course are the strong old bones of fable, which become even stronger with the layering of time. The problem lies in developing appropriate sparkle for contemporary kids without losing the allure of the magic. To his credit and that of the production team and cast involved, Greg Cooper finds a pretty satisfactory compromise.

Entertainment has to rank way up there in priorities for holiday fun theatre and this is where the production scores very well. Playing to a capacity house of eagle-eyed and honest little punters, the cast zip through the story with sparkle to spare. Although, for me, the imposed frame of a royal princess hunt and the final treatment of the key character were disappointments, strong new characters introduced en route are evidently a popular compensation for the said eagle-eyed ones.

Thus the very experienced and versatile extended cast rollicks through the challenges dished out to poor Mary Miller by spoilt and lisping Prince Horace, he of the Bouncy Castle, in search of a princess. The spinning wheel involved is elevated to interesting character status with further useful colour provided by Horace’s bulldog-toting mother and a straw mouse friend for Mary. There is a splendid stork delivery bird/courtier and plenty of theatre sports type audience participation to boot, all making clever use of the existing space prepared for The Gods of Warm Beer. 

Technical support from costume, lighting and sound design is sometimes skimped for children’s theatre, but in this production Chris Klingenberg, Josh Major and Michael Bell/Geoff Nunn respectively deserve a mention, as does the props provider Esther Riley, for  finding fun solutions to such problems as a royal steed, disappearing straw bales and a spoon-scoffing lapdog.

But it is as always the actors who make the moment or not. Daniel Bain, Claire Dougan, Amy Straker and Javier Jarquin have the talent and zest to fill the stage with engaging characters and to keep inventive twists to the story from knotting up. To pursue the metaphor they spin a good yarn.
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