The Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch

10/07/2017 - 22/07/2017

Production Details

Snow White Goes Wrong in new Court Kids’ Show 

Only the magic of theatre can save Snow White in The Court Theatre’s latest production.

What starts as a regular production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs quickly goes off the rails when the ‘real’ actors can’t perform, and three ushers are forced to step in to do the show themselves. The result is a production filled with manic energy and a hefty dollop of audience participation – particularly when the script calls for seven dwarfs.

Director Andrew Todd, an on-stage veteran of numerous kids shows as well as a Court Jester and filmmaker, is enjoying his first time in the director’s chair. “I really love going to work and creating theatre for kids,” says Todd. “I love the style of comedy that kids’ theatre has… broad physical slapstick and precisely constructed jokes.”

This original take on Snow White is the creation of writer Brendon Bennetts, whose recent kids shows at The Court, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood, similarly took a fresh look at classic fairy tales.

Todd describes Bennetts’ script as a ‘madcap’ show that explores how theatre works. “At the heart of it is three characters who have never put on a show before being thrust into a situation where they have to,” says Todd, “and putting on a show is exciting.”

Playing the three reluctant performers on the brink of disaster are Rhiannon McCall, Crisstian Grueber and Greta Casey-Solly. “Everyone in the cast has different strengths,” says Todd. “Rhiannon has a strong improv background; Greta trained at NASDA; and Crisstian is a brilliant piano player and physical comedian. It’s been a lovely exchange of ideas.”

Set designer, Chris Reddington, has created a ‘traditional’ Snow White backdrop that can accommodate the frantic action, while costume designer Sarah Douglas has made numerous colourful outfits for the performers’ multiple roles.

Todd hopes that the young audiences leave the theatre excited by how the story was told. “By the end of the show I don’t want kids wanting to be Snow White, I want them to dream of going into theatre.” 

Snow White is part of the 2017 KidsFest and plays at
The Court Theatre from
10 – 22 July 2017
Starting Times: Mon–Fri: 11am and 1pm
Sat 15th: 11am only
Sat 22nd: Relaxed Performance: 11am
Sat 22nd: 1pm
Tickets: Child $10. Adult: $15. Caregivers Required.
Booking Details: 963 0870 or visit

Actor One:  Rhiannon McCall
Actor Two:  Greta Casey-Solly
Actor Three:  Crisstian Grueber

Director:  Andrew Todd
Set Designer:  Chris Reddington
Lighting Designer:  Sean Hawkins
Sound Designer:  Tom Harris
Costume Manager:  Sarah Douglas
Stage Manager:  Ashlyn Smith
Properties Manager:  Christy Lassen  

Theatre , Family , Children’s ,

The joyful magic of storytelling

Review by Lindsay Clark 10th Jul 2017

It is almost a given that holiday theatre for children will involve retelling (even dressed up as re-imagining) nursery fodder and even though the well-worn substance of the tales is almost indestructible, there is all too often a sense of stale invention, relying on the old highs and lows to shape to the experience. Emphatically, this scenario does not apply to Andrew Todd’s energetic direction of the surprise in store at The Court. 

The production is full of inventive solutions to the predicament lined up for two ushers and the naughty nephew of one, who’s hauled out for ignoring the routine announcement about using technical devices. The entertaining complications follow, when we learn that an overflowing rubbish tin, hastily removed from the set, has tripped and laid low the whole rehearsed cast as well as their musical support.

But wait, the show must go on. On stage, three intrepid performers ‘improvise’ their way through the story, transparently dealing with character and scene changes, and augmented by eager volunteers from the audience. It is all terrific fun.

The sense of adventure and enterprise is well sustained and involves Chris Reddington’s splendid arching tree trunk to stand for a definitive entry point and forest, while lighting from Sean Hawkins and sound from Tom Harris pick up the changing moods. Costumes managed by Sarah Douglas add to the vibe as they are whisked on and off, the beards and caps provided for the seven volunteer dwarfs proving especially successful. 

But it is the three ‘brave’ irregular actors who really light up the stage with their energy and patent relish. Identified only as Actor One, Two or Three, and dealing with them in order of their ‘roles’, the trio is a winning combination of talents.

Greta Casey-Solly conjures up an engaging Snow White, transforming from goofy shyness to confident prince kisser, Disney cute but also genuinely fresh as a role. She is joined by Rhiannon McCall who turns out a splendidly evil Queen, a ponderous huntsman and the versatile leader of the dwarf troupe. Crisstian Grueber is the nephew who turns out to be a dab hand at an atmospheric keyboard, nimble scene changer and yes, a shy but adorable prince. All this on top of the three original usher/nephew personae who kicked things off to a flying start. 

As a holiday treat that uses the resources of theatre to create under our noses the joyful magic of storytelling, the new Snow White is hard to beat. My eager appendage, who is good at handling the five point scale from a lofty ten year old’s viewpoint, unhesitatingly came up with a 4.8 rating and I would be at least as positive. 


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