Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon

Pacific Crystal Palace Spiegeltent, Havelock North Village Green, Havelock North

04/10/2017 - 07/10/2017

Baycourt X-Space, Tauranga

27/10/2017 - 28/10/2017

Suter Theatre, Nelson

11/10/2017 - 12/10/2017

Carterton Events Centre, Wairarapa

22/10/2017 - 22/10/2017



Kokomai 2017

Tauranga Arts Festival 2017

Production Details

Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon

 Imagine what it’s like to stay up all night!

Meet Sunny Ray: happy, light, a true wonder of the world. Meet her best friend in the sky, the Magnificent Moon: the all night party guy who gets to stay up late EVERY single night!

One night Sunny Ray breaks all the rules and instead of going to sleep, stays up very, very late to party with the Magnificent Moon.

Fresh from a critically acclaimed world premiere at Sydney Festival, Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon will delight audiences aged four years and over.

Pacific Crystal Palace Spiegeltent
Wed Oct 4th: 1pm
Sat Oct 7th: 10am
Adult: $35
Concession: $28
Family of Four (Each):$28 

Wed 11 Oct, 1pm; Thu 12 Oct, 10.30am
UNDER 19 $9 | ADULT $15
FAMILY (4 people, max. 2 adults) $44 
Book Now!

Carterton Events Centre
Sun 22 Oct, 2pm
Adult $30 / Adult Friend $27 / Child $15 (2-18) /
Under 2’s sitting on knees, free

Tauranga Arts Festival 2017
X Space, Baycourt
Friday 27th October, 06:00pm
Saturday 28th October, 01:00pm
Adult $21, Children $16
(TECT $17, $13)

Theatre , Family ,

50 mins

Playful performers invite audience to shine too

Review by Emily Mowbray-Marks 30th Oct 2017

As our final outing within the Tauranga Arts Festival 2017 programme, second born and I attend Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon (from Australia): a rock concert for kids and their adults with some great banter in between.

Baycourt’s X Space is pretty much full. It’s such a lovely space. It’s easy to connect with the performers without the proscenium arch and permanent wings and all that traditional theatre palava.

The show’s opening line, “Is there anyone out there?” is reminiscent of an episode of Pigs in Spaaaaace, from the Muppets. The direct address to audience introduces the show warmly and we are invited to participate all the way through.

Clare Bartholomew & Daniel Tobias rock at this job of making us feel part of the act. They’re gentle, humane humans who don’t talk down to the kids; nor do they shout / talk with extreme animation or freak any of us out in general. They’ve got the delightful style of being blasé and we all appreciate it. A cunningly slightly depressed performer for family audiences is way more accessible and enjoyed than an overly enthusiastic, one-too-many-cups-of-strong-tea-supped one (in my humble opinion).

Daniel Tobias has some great dad jokes firing out of him. Playing the moon, he is dressed like a white spangled cowboy and is full of personality to remind me of something from The Castle or another typical Australian excellent-cringe-comedy e.g. “I like to play Blues, Jazz, Rock n Roll – I like to go through phases.”

As Sunny Ray, Clare Bartholomew – whilst watering her blow-up garden, complete with a cactus which gets tickled awake each morning – dreams of being able to stay up late at night to go to a party. She ponders about whether the members of her garden would feature at these occasions. She goes through each of them, “I wonder if daisies go to parties. I wonder if there’s lots of grass at parties.”

Chortle and chortle, us Mums, Dads, Aunties, Significant Others go. Like a successful picture book where it wins both the heart of the child and the adult reading to their wee one, this show wins all of us over.

As we’re walking into the show I turn to my Esther and say, “I thought of you when I read about this show.”
She asks me, “Why?”
“Because you remind me of the sunshine”, I reply.
“Why?” she says again.
“Because you’re happy and I think the sun helps people feel happy,” I suggest.
Esther finishes with a smile, “The sun chases the clouds away.”
And this show definitely feels like it’s chasing the Spring winds and rains back into the Kaimai.

Sunny Ray is busy talking about all the things she loves doing, which are similar to Slinky Malinki’s, “That’s my favourite thing to do, wake everyone up.”

This show has adorable slapstick theatre conventions: naive and comedic. The one-liners and song lyrics are full of child-like love-of-life mixed with profundity: “I’m just going to have a disco-nap” versus “All the light you see in me is a reflection of you… You’re a star. You’re the best at being you by far.”

The designer needs a round of applause too, for their inventiveness: a sun umbrella with its underside a ruffled picture of the blue blue sky; Sunny Ray’s twinkling gold and black sleeping bag she shuffles out in, to open the show; and who can forget the upside down yellow plastic sun-visor worn atop of the Sun’s hairdo, or those hightop yellow converse boots?

The songs are catchy, the dialogue is everything we want our kids to hear, the audience is invited to shine alongside a duo of relaxed playful musical performers.

Get along! 


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Review by Juanita McLellan 25th Oct 2017

Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon is a wonderfully crafted piece of children’s entertainment that adults can fully enjoy.  The work is whimsical, yet well-crafted to appeal to children of all ages and the young at heart.

The premise of the story is simple enough: Sunny Ray who is the sun, is jealous of the fun that the Magnificent Moon gets up to at night time so she decides to stay up all night to party with the moon.  This does have consequences, however, as any young child who stays up late can attest to.

Told through dialogue and songs, the story progresses nicely.  Sunny Ray interacts directly with the audience, both young and old, on their levels.  She dances with the youngsters and encourages them up to join in … Those under 6 are having a ball from the very beginning. 

With the repetition of a key song for both the sun and moon characters, it isn’t long before some of the kids are joining in with the singing.  When we meet the Magnificent Moon, he saunters out in his Elvis jumpsuit with an electric guitar, clearly very, very cool.  The Moon often breaks into famous songs about himself, and engages in humorous banter with the crowd, eliciting applause. 

Both the actors are clearly seasoned children’s performers, easily winning over the audience within a few minutes.  Dealing with technical issues on the run, they are not phased, nor do they skip a beat in rectifying the issues as seamlessly as possible.  The minimal set and bright costumes add to the fun.  The technical team do a fantastic job with the lighting, mesmerising the children when it is night time, with simple yet effective starlight effects. 

The most unexpected element of the story is how they incorporate science within the work itself.  The children between 6 and 10 can easily follow the jokes about phases of the moon, or how the sun helps the plants to grow, and how the earth rotates around the sun.  The puns included in the script are innumerable, entertaining those a little older. 

Overall, I am very impressed with the whole operation: the storyline, the actors, the music, the technical team.  The work is highly entertaining and an afternoon is well spent smiling. 


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Full immersion

Review by Kim Buckley 04th Oct 2017

My inner child allows me to sit on a very comfortable cushion on the floor thinking ‘all the better to immerse myself’. For a while, I am the only adult sitting on the floor and I am, of course, surrounded by kids who look at me with big eyes and disbelief. I see other adults present sitting in chairs, and I get a few looks like I might be a bit daft. I sway, I shout, I clap, I dance, I high-five, and I have my cheeks and nose tweaked like I’m a pretty flower. I love it. I’m grinning.

Written and performed by Clare Bartholomew and Daniel Tobias, Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon is innovative, bright, colorful, rock and roll, sparkly, and intelligently directed at young minds. They use invention and props delightfully, with absolute imagination.

A must see for young and old, it makes perfect sense. Especially the Magnifecent Moon’s blingy cowboy boots. I walk away with shoe envy.


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