Gisborne War Memorial Theatre, Gisborne

22/10/2020 - 23/10/2020

Production Details

Creator and puppet designer: Sarah Burren
Composer/musical director/coCreative Director: Midge Perez

Little Green Man Productions

“Only 30 seconds gone and all of us are captivated, spellbound and lapping it up.” — ALAN SCOTT (2018 THEATREVIEW); The Matariki Glow Show


A giant scale puppet show for 2-10 year olds with magical glow-in-the-dark characters from Māori myth and legend.  This innovative, cutting edge new concept features more than 40 glow-in-the-dark puppets under ultraviolet light in a black box theatre environment.  The ALL NEW TE MOANA GLOW SHOW 2020 is set around the takutai moana (coastal sea) and Te moana-nui a-Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean), with the show being a delightful story about our kai moana and the whakataukī “He waka eke noa. We are all in this together.”

Rich in Te Reo Māori, it’s an upbeat show that has the audience buzzing from the onset. This masterful 45-minute show is underpinned by catchy music that engages the audience immediately, followed by a Q&A session afterwards for our tamariki. There’s an abundance of educational content to take back to the classroom. This production is suitable for special needs children.


The production was created by Sarah Burren who collaborated with Midge Perez on the style and genre of show. They have an impressive history of having worked on twenty children’s shows together. Composer/musical director, Midge Perez is one of the show’s Creative Directors along with Sarah Burren and Chantelle Brader. Puppet designer and creator, Sarah Burren has been involved in the concept, design and production of over 100 stage shows and live events both in New Zealand and internationally.

Recognising the significance of Matariki to many New Zealanders, they sought the guidance and approval of kaumatua Dr Haare Williams (amorangi in arts, culture and education) to create a Matariki story that will ignite the spirit and pride of our tamariki.


The show is specifically designed to be toured. All 40+ puppets pack down to fit in a 5 seater hatchback including WARU, the giant octopus!

36,000+ children have seen this extraordinary show since 2017.

80 shows were staged in 19 venues from May to July 2019.

21,000+ children saw it in 2019. Don’t miss out… it’s literally legendary!

“Teachers teach. But good teachers lead us into the inner, wilder places of the mind. Give our kids the Maui spark that will lift them and, once in flight, let them soar. Matariki does that by giving our tamariki a fresh beginning by tracking to where they’ve come from – by remembering their ancestors.

I am delighted to support this programme which allows us to celebrate our own corner of Earth here in Aotearoa New Zealand with our own iconic narratives, heroes and deities.” — DR HAARE WILLIAMS MNZM QCM JP

Tour and Booking info 


Akld TAKAPUNA October 9 @ 10am
Bruce Mason Centre

KERIKERI October 12 & 13 @ 10am & 11.30am daily
Turner Centre

Akld PAPAKURA October 14 @ 10am, 11.30am & 1pm
Hawkins Theatre

WHAKATANE October 15 & 16 @ 10am & 11.30am daily
Whakatane Little Theatre

TAURANGA October 19 @ 10am, 11.30am and 1pm
Baycourt Theatre

HAMILTON October 20 @ 10am, 11.30am and 1pm
Clarence Street Theatre

NAPIER October 21 @ 10am & 11.30am
Municipal Theatre

GISBORNE October 22 & 23 @ 10am & 11.30am
Memorial War Theatre

WELLINGTON October 26-28 @ 10am & 11.30am daily
Shed 6

Kaumatua Dr Haare Williams

Theatre , Spectacle , Family , Children’s ,

An amazing visual family spectacle

Review by Karen Morris-Denby 24th Oct 2020

“It was cool!” chorus my grandkids when asked if they’ve enjoyed Te Moana Glow Show.  A perfect commendation from a 6-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy.

More than 40 wonderfully crafted larger than life, glow-in-the dark puppets, dance and ebb and flow like the Pacific Ocean tides. Set around takutai moana, the coastal sea, and Te Moana-nui a-Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean, Kina suffers memory loss as she has hit her head. She is desperate to return to her home and family but cannot remember anything before her accident.  She meets a number of helpful and not so helpful sea creatures who suggest she find ‘Uncle Tiny’ the all-knowing masterful fish in the ocean.

Under ultraviolet light, in a black box theatre environment, waltzing, jiving clams, sea crabs, a giant octopus, sea horses, a manta ray, a dolphin and other sea creatures move gracefully across the stage, accompanied by pre-recorded and live music.  A Kina solo with a magnificent voice is a highlight of the show.

Meeting the errant Pacific Queen of the sea and her rogue ‘fish in waiting’ – one of whom thinks he is a dog – brings focus to Kina’s story of her struggle to find her place in life and her desire to be beautiful. A wishing star grants her the wish.

One sea creature tells Kina that she is a sea cucumber. When she meets a kindly octopus, he is very helpful and shields her from the Queen of the Pacific who wants to take Kina away to be her servant. The octopus tells Kina she is not a sea cucumber but a wonderful sea urchin.

Eventually with the help of the great Tangaroa, son of Ranginui (the sky father), Kina is reimagined into a beautiful glowing pearl.

The messages throughout the Glow Show – He waka eke noa: We are all in this Together, and be kind, be humble and find the beauty within – is an apt reminder for these unusual times we are experiencing.

Generous in Te Reo Māori, Te Moana is a story of our kai moana and the whakatauki it embodies has some unusual aspects. If we want to be transformed, can it happen?  

At the front of the stage are the wonderfully crafted flamboyant sea crabs. I wait for them to do a dance of their own but it appears only one had brought its dancing shoes.

A delightful show enjoyed by young an old.  The after-show question time is a great way to enhance the audience’s feeling of positive involvement.

Creative director and puppet creator Sarah Burren, writer/composer Midge Perez, director Rokalani Levea and the wonderfully skilled puppeteers – Rebekah Head, Bella Robertson, Laughlan J Campion and Conil Tod – have created an amazing visual family spectacle. 

[For full company credits, go to: https://www.glowshow.co.nz/meet-the-team]


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