Lake Wanaka Centre, Wanaka

04/12/2019 - 06/12/2019

Production Details

Oh yes we can!  

The Wanaka Pantomimers are back with their annual pantomime, bringing lols, lollies and lots of seasonal cheer to the Upper Clutha.

This year’s show is Sno Whyte and the Seven, featuring a stellar cast of professional and not-so-professional actors, to tell you a tale of apples, mirrors and, um, snowboarding.

Will Sno live appley ever after? Wheat will happen to #thatwanakallamacorn? Come see the show on the 4th, 5th or 6th December for the answer to these and many other questions (such as why would you write a Christmas show with seven snowboarders?).

Fun for all ages. Get your tickets today!  

Lake Wanaka Centre, 89 Ardmore St, Wanaka, Queenstown Lakes
Wednesday 4 – Friday 6 December 2019
plus 4pm Friday 6 Dec
Adult: $20.48 ($19.00 + $1.48 fees)
Child: $9.23 ($9.00 + $0.23 fees)
Buy Tickets 
Phone Sales: 0800 BUY TIX (289 849) – Ticket Outlets

Sno Whyte:  Grace Bentley
Steezie:  Cole McIntyre
Slayer:  Manu Barnard
Speedy:  Tom Caulton
Brienne:  Ella Moore
Shardonay:  Haley Vuleta
Stevie:  Melanie Telford
Squeezie:  Fergus Brebner
Magic Mirror:  Simon Brebner
Truancy Officer:  Joel Herbert
Joe:  Becky Plunkett
The Voice Of Ed Leigh:  Ed Leigh
Lamacorn:  Tia McCutcheon, Caoimne Heath  

Writer:  Liz Breslin
Director:  Gilly Pugh
Production Manager:  Sarah Millwater
Production co-ordinator:  Katy Rowden
Production assistant:  Haley Vuleta
Costume:  Sarah Millwater, Susan Allison, Susanne McCutcheon, Jane Rimmer, Sue James-Moore, Ashleigh Cram, Mackenzie Allison
Stage manager:  John Schwarz
Lighting:  John Schwarz & Gabriel Schwarz
Lighting Operator:  Natalia Schwarz
Sound:  Mitchell Collett
Set:  Dave Millwater, John Schwarz, Bill Brooker
Set painting:  Erinn Keith  

Theatre , Pantomime ,

1 hr 30 min

Plenty of local and contemporary laughs

Review by Sue Wards 05th Dec 2019

The Wanaka Pantomimers’ third Christmas pantomime, Sno Whyte and the Seven, gives a distinctly Wanaka flavour to another revived fairy tale.  

Written by Hawea Flat playwright and poet Liz Breslin, and directed by versatile theatre veteran Gilly Pugh, the two-act pantomime was again rehearsed and produced in just three weeks – a big ask for a mostly amateur cast.  

The groups’ two previous pantomimes presented subversive versions of Cinderella (Cindy and the Villanelles) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Jac (who is resilient) and the Beansprouts). Sno Whyte is a less political offering, with a looser connection to the original fairytale. 

But a Christmas pantomime audience wants local people and local jokes, all of which are on offer. This version of the seven dwarves – seven snowboarders crowded in a scody flat – is on the money, tossing up jokes about snowboarding stereotypes (the sponsored showpony, the vegan yogi – #snoga, and the sleazebag) and playing for laughs snowboarding slackers’ contempt for the noble Nordic sport of cross country skiing.

Charming contributions from the ‘littlies’ include a cluster of sigh-inducing cute bunny rabbits, bluebirds, flowers and snowflakes; an adorable apple tree; and a very well coordinated llama/unicorn (why a llamacorn? Who knows?). 

Toi Whakaari graduate Grace Bentley is relaxed and likeable as Sno, a disengaged teen who runs away from home and finds purpose preparing to compete in the Ultra Nouveau [snowboarding] Rookie Comp.

Wanaka GP Simon Brebner makes a welcome return to the stage as the Magic Mirror, getting lots of laughs (“Nine out of ten Wanaka GPs recommend ice cream”) and providing some narration to the tale; and Becky Plunkett is sharp and pitch-perfect as Sno’s father.

Including the long-standing local choir, Wanakapella, is a nice touch and I would have liked to see more from their Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque members. 

But professional actor Joel Herbert steals the show as the charming pantomime dame. He plays a truancy officer – possibly inspired by Miss Trunchbull’s softer-hearted sister – and deploys her stick and carrot to great effect. 

There is excellent makeup and costuming throughout, great musical numbers, and plenty of local and contemporary laughs. If this feel-good pantomime is missing anything, it’s a clearer storyline and tighter action (rehearsal time may have been compromised this week as Wanaka deals with torrential rain and the lake threatening to flood the CBD). But a community group which prepares and stages an entertaining annual pantomime gets a round of applause from me – and the grinning audience.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council