Whangarei Girls High School, Lupton Avenue, Whangarei

05/12/2012 - 14/12/2012

Production Details

Come see the absurd and exquisite world première season of Ben Anderson’s The Blue Airplane. Written for the ‘man who thought he was ugly’, The Blue Airplane is a whimsical and moving theatre that celebrates the unique qualities in us all. 

When an Airplane suffers chronic self doubt it plummets from the sky. It is up to one of the passengers, ‘Man’, to reawaken Airplane’s self belief before they all perish in a spectacular crash.

With a set constructed from recycled materials in the newly refurbished “The Hall Theatre” at Whangarei Girls’ High School, the show promises to be visually spectacular with an ecological spin.

It’s a powerful and fantastic story populated with Bumblebees, gigantic Spiders, terrorist Fruits, sniffer Dogs and even the Sky itself.

Join the twenty two members of the Northland Youth Theatre Junior Company for an hour of beauty and magic that you and your family will never forget. 

The Hall Theatre
Whangarei Girls High School, Lupton Avenue

5 – 14 December 2012, 8pm
Matinee Sun 9th at 2pm 
No Show Monday 10th or Tuesday 11th

Tickets $12 if you’re under 18 or a beneficiary and $17 for everyone else 🙂

Call 09 438-4453 for tickets or go to eventfinder:  

The Cast:
Frankie Mulcare, Marc Loynes, Bella Adams, Ebony River, Rebeca McKean, Ella Thomas, Neve MacLean, Luke Simpkin, Kaelyn Power, Lily Hallett-Pullen, Romane Gardes, Phoebe Robertson, Anna Mason, Emma Harnden, Gengis Gardes, Zelde Morrison-Smith, Florence Morrison-Smith, Zoe Robinson, Meg Robinson, Olivia Walls, Jasmine Fisher-Johnson, Tove Petersson.

The Crew:
Assistant Director: Zara Skuse
Set Design: Rob Pollock, Peter Larsen, Zara Skuse
Production Manager: Peter Larsen
Production Assistant: Dallas Rees
Lighting: Seth Giles
Photography: Te Paea Hoori  

Energy, imagination and inventiveness

Review by David Stevens 08th Dec 2012

The Northland Youth Theatre has another small triumph on its hands with The Blue Airplane being presented at the Whangarei Girls High School. It is a piece of extraordinarily inventive theatre.

The plot, such as it is, is simple. An aeroplane loses faith in its ability to fly (“metal can’t fly!”) and what we watch as its faith in itself and its ability is restored.

It’s a metaphor, of course. The aeroplane represents any child, any young person, any one, whose dreams of life are shattered by cynical reality and I found it completely involving – and completely charming.

I take my hat off to the playwright, Ben Anderson, who has attempted something really quite difficult to do and has succeeded admirably. If his message is simple, it is important and most engagingly presented.

I also take my hat off to the director, Robert Pollock, for his marvellous staging. There are moments of great theatrical effect, achieved with minimal staging. I shall not soon forget the fly trapped in a startling (and totally believable) web before our eyes, and the terrified look on the fly’s face as it realises its fatal predicament.

The evening is filled with magic moments like this – the sky itself makes an appearance – and all credit must go to the young cast who have embraced the play and the staging wholeheartedly, and all of whom acquit themselves admirably.

I also take my hat off to the audience. I think I’m pretty smart at working out a play’s intentions, but many in the audience (including several young children) were way ahead of me. And, while I’m throwing out plaudits, I have to congratulate Peter Larsen, the Northland Youth Theatre ‘s Artistic Director, who recognised the merit of the play, which can’t have been easy on a cold reading.

Those expecting an old fashioned, naturalistic drama should stay away, this is not for you. But anyone who wants to see energy, imagination and inventiveness should be sure to see this. I hope the play gets a much wider exposure.

It makes us care about an imaginary aeroplane which represents all of our dreams – and self-esteem – in a sometimes cruel and unforgiving world. 


The Play Press December 8th, 2012

FYI The Suicidal AIrplane (the original name for Ben Anderson's extraordinary little play) has been published by The Play Press - See entry at for more information.

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