Snow White and Rose Red

4 Moncrieff St., Mt. Victoria, Wellington

11/04/2009 - 25/04/2009

Production Details

Who needs Dancing with the Stars, when you can have Dancing with the Bears?

It all began when the hunters came and the animals disappeared. 

Snow White misses the animals and Rose Red needs a dance partner. Together the sisters go on a quest to find both. As luck would have it, on their adventures they meet a prince who loves animals and a bear who can dance!

A delightful tale of dance competitions and animal rights.

Sarah Delahunty has written and directed many children’s shows, including The Emperor’s New Clothes playstory series at Downstage, adaptations of Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin, Puss and Boots, The Gingerbread Man (KidzStuff 2006) and The Sleeping Beauty (KidzStuff 2007).

The talented cast includes:

David Goldthorpe, who was recently seen in The Pied Piper (KidzStuff 2008), played the Earthworm in Fortune Theatre’s James and the Giant Peach in Dunedin last year, toured in Songs of the Sea with Capital E in 2007 and appeared in Troy (the musical) at Circa Theatre.

Alison Walls, who is a Wellington-born actor/director and has performed in New York, Chicago, North Carolina and Wellington. She remembers reading and re-reading Snow White and Rose Red in days gone by and is thrilled to give these familiar characters new life on stage.

Gareth Ruck, who has performed everything from intimate improvised theatre to stadium rock musicals. He has worked in radio for many years and has a fist full of NZ and international radio creative awards.On television Gareth hosted TV3’s The Simon Eliot Show, which was nominated as Best Children’s Show in the 2007 Qantas TV Awards. He was a member of the 2008 Theatresports Champion team The Other Side, and was Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards Sound Designer of the Year in 2008 for Apollo 13: Mission Control.

Phylli JasonSmith, who has been performing since she was a child, first performed in

children’s theatre as Nobody in The Nobodies with Crow Station. Phylli has been performing on stage and screen ever since, appearing most recently as a Siamese twin in Long Cloud Youth Theatre’s Colony.

Performance Times:
Monday – Friday 11 am and 1 pm
Saturdays at 11 am
NB No shows Monday 13 April (Easter Monday)
Tickets $10
Groups of 10+ $8.00 each
Children under 2 Free
With special prices for holiday programmes

Special Opening Preview 11 April $5.00 per ticket.
Bookings:  phone 385 0292  

Prince / Bea:  David Goldthorpe
Rose Red:  Phylli JasonSmith
Hunter / King:  Gareth Ruck
Snow White / Witch:  Alison Walls

Director:  Sarah Delahunty
Set:  Cast and Crew
Operator / Show Stage Manager:  Deborah Gail
Production Manager:  David Goldthorpe
Publicity:  Karin Melchior
Graphic Design:  Charlotte Oliver
Music:  Janet Holborow
Front of House:  Felicity Hamill
Administrator:  Dushka Blakely

Clever mix

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 17th Apr 2009

Snow White & Rose Red, aimed at 2-7year-olds, is all plot, songs, pantomime high jinks and a rough and ready approach to theatrical presentation.

It is a clever mix of a number of fairy stories with the now customary green message tacked on. A daffy hunter (Gareth Ruck) wants to shoot a bear, Rose Red (Phylli Jason Smith) wants to stop the hunting and her sister Snow White (Alison Walls) tags along, a bit too diffident to be a proper heroine.

Prince Hadrian (David Goldthorpe), who keeps falling over much to the delight of the audience, lacks any heroic qualities, though he does come right for the dancing competition at the end.

Alison Walls doubles as a witch who wants to get out of black and into a pink floaty dress so she can get invited to parties and Gareth Ruck doubles as the king who wants the hunter to bring him back a bear.

Rose Red loses a shoe and Hadrian gets turned into the bear. A lot of plot but the young audience seemed to follow it all despite a couple of songs too many and the tatty scenery making place a matter of conjecture.
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Energy and confidence overcome poor production values

Review by Mel Camp 13th Apr 2009

It is a testament to KidzStuff’s solid reputation that the opening performance of Snow White & Rose Red was packed out, even in the middle of Easter weekend.

The original Grimm fairytale is a rather bland story about two nature-loving sisters, a mean dwarf and a Prince who is turned into a bear. However in this adaptation, writer and director Sarah Delahunty has successfully jazzed the whole thing up, ditching the dwarf for two delightfully naughty antagonists: a witch in search of a pink floaty dress (no one invites you to parties when you’re dressed like a witch), and a daffy British hunter in search of a bearskin.

There’s a lot of plot to get through in 45 minutes but the script is tight, the directing is energetic and the actors leap in with confidence and keep things ticking along with clarity and simplicity.

The show is driven by Gareth Ruck in the dual roles of Hunter and King. His youthful exuberance keeps the whole play bouncing along nicely; so much so that the kids were keener to help out the Hunter than save the bear. The old "Which way did he go?" chestnut not quite turning out the way it was supposed to.

But it is during these moments that Ruck is in his element and improvises seamlessly. It almost appears that he, as in the best improv tradition, invites disaster, leaving the audience to wonder how he’s going to get himself out of this one. Which he does every time, to the delight of both children and adults. The other actors seem a little afraid of interacting with the kids, something that two weeks of shows should remedy.

Alison Walls is suitably nice as the rather superfluous Snow White, but she comes in to her own as the witch. It is refreshing to see a witch who has real motivation for being in a bad mood. Both Ruck and Walls hit a nice balance between evil and silly which avoids the tears in the audience.

David Goldthorpe does an excellent job of the timid Prince. He exhibited a lovely yearning in his singing and his numerous pratfalls were a real hit with the youngsters.

Phylli JasonSmith’s Rose Red is the least well defined of the characters, and while she maintains good energy, she could do with a stronger director’s hand to guide her in to a more noble, less flappy heroine.

The songs are a mixed bag, as is the singing. The Hunter has the catchiest songs and Ruck attacks them with mighty aplomb. The two girls could do with putting more characterisation in to their pieces, which might cover the weak melodies and difficult keys.

The Tararua Tramping Club is clearly a tough space to work in and does not lend itself to high class production values. Having said that, there is no excuse for scruffiness. When your budget is tight, and you don’t have a designer, then keep it simple and tidy. The cardboard set pieces were too small and vague to add anything. The cast make the most of the tiny stage but the ratty orange cloth at the back served no purpose but to make the space look cheap. Cleaner lines and a little more imagination would do wonders.

The same can be said of the costuming. While it is typically period/fairytale there is a dire lack of hats to cover unstyled hair and everything needs a good ironing. Little details such as these can add so much to a character and make a production look complete. It is also a shame that Rose Red’s costume seems to swallow her up. No one likes a frumpy heroine. I do not believe that just because a show is aimed at children that the audience should forgive poor production values.

However, the core workings of the play are solid and enjoyable. Sarah Delahunty clearly knows what works in kid’s theatre and has four very capable actors to keep the kids laughing and dancing till the very end.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


John Smythe April 17th, 2009

Having just seen Snow White and Rose Red I’d like to say the production values seem fine to me (of course some things may have changed since the opening performance; the ironing of costumes, for example).
A lot of work has clearly gone into the boxes that turn so that different faces suggest different settings. Sure the imagery could be bigger and bolder but from where the kids sit I think they read quite clearly.
It has always been a mark of Kidz Stuff shows that the style of staging and costuming is not a million miles away from what the kids could do themselves at home or at school (unlike Capital E which, with much bigger budgets, goes for high production values that offer a different level of magical theatrical experience).
That said, this afternoon there was an audible gasp of “Wow!” from the audience as the boxes became the trophy for the dance competition, the front of the stage pulsated with golden fairy lights and a mirror ball put a veritable sparkle in the air.
I’d also like to agree that Sarah Delahunty brings the story elements together very adroitly. Without apparent effort, the plot lines advance and themes are explored with every beat. The riveted kids clearly had no trouble following it all – and their eagerness to dance at the end proved they had become fully involved in the story.

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