The Eight: Reindeer Monologues

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

04/12/2008 - 19/12/2008

Production Details


Santa is delivering a massive parcel of talent to The Basement this Christmas season. Michael Hurst, Oliver Driver, Antonia Prebble, Claire Chitham, Sarah Wiseman, Cherie James, Madeleine Sami, Fleur Saville, Dean O’Gorman, Anna Jullienne and many more will bring The Eight: Reindeer Monologues to life.

This amazing array of established actors will be supported by some of Auckland’s hottest new acting talent. 40 actors will alternate over 14 performances turning The Eight: Reindeer Monologues into a huge Christmas cracker surprise – who knows who will pop out on stage next!

Written by Jeff Goode and a sell-out success around the world, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is not the usual sugar-coated Christmas fare. Instead, audiences are invited to The Basement for some in-your-face seasonal merriment as this dark Christmas comedy sheds new light on Santa and his eight reindeer.

Scandal in the North Pole erupts as one of Santa’s eight reindeer accuses him of decidedly un-Christmas like behaviour. Forget happy elves and cute smiling reindeer; think instead of Dasher as a rugby jock; Cupid as a gay toy boy and Vixen as a doe with a tale to tell. You won’t know who you are going to see perform. And you’ll never look at Santa the same way again!

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues
is coarse, witty, vulgar and crude and therefore intended for mature audiences only.

Thursday 4th to Friday 19th Dec, 8pm
No show Sundays 
$30 adults; $20 concessions.
The Basement
Lower Greys Ave,
Parental guidance recommended.

Oh deer … It’s Mr Claus who has been a naughty boy

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 09th Dec 2008

Be warned: These reindeer are nothing like the cute creatures in the Disney movies and no amount of parental guidance could shield children from the scandalous debauchery described by Jeff Goode’s wickedly funny vision of high times at the North Pole.

Since its American debut in 1994, the Reindeer Monologues has become an underground cult phenomenon that offers a raunchy antidote to sugary Christmas kitsch and obliquely targets the rapacious commercialism of the festive season. [More


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You better watch out

Review by Nik Smythe 05th Dec 2008

The crowd convenes at cabaret style round table seating festively adorned with colourful stencils of Santa and his reindeer.   A simple stage resplendant with shiny lights on black curtain is where the action takes place, by which I really mean the various individual accounts of actions past by what tabloids refer to as ‘inside sources’, i.e. Santa’s reindeer.

Extrapolating what we know from such famous rhymes and carols The Night Before Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and the perennial though more recent Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jeffe Goode’s hilarious script takes these world famous loveable characters to darker places than we are used to seeing them in.

In brief, everything we thought we knew about Santa Claus and his faithful herd of sleigh-pullers (‘The Eight’), not to mention his elves and his wife, is strongly alleged to conceal something far more insidious, corrupt and perverse.  Santa himself (‘the most powerful man in the world!’) is facing serious charges of sexual violation against nubile young doe Vixen, and the deer themselves are divided on who is guilty and who the victims are.

The clever gimmick (as if that wasn’t enough) is that each reindeer is alternately played each night by one of five actors, whom I gather offer dramatically distinctive takes on their respective roles.  Under Cameron Rhodes’ expert direction every performer opening night excelled in presenting their hilarious stereotypes.  It’s obvious they’ve had a lot of fun, which transfers exponentially to us, the audience.

Oliver Driver broke the ice as the self-important macho head buck Dasher, angry about the issues surrounding the lawsuit in question, and not a small amount bitter over the one singular time when Rudolf, total rookie and disadvantaged son to Donner, lead the herd on account of ‘fog’…(Rudolf himself, often discussed throughout the eight monologues, doesn’t appear – he’s in a padded cell somewhere singing carols to himself.)

Todd Emerson’s Cupid is an extreme contrast to Dasher:  a drug addled gay porn hedonist, who’s involvement with the case at hand is little or none but he’s still got his opinion.  As Prancer, renamed Hollywood on account of his aspirations, Dean O’Gorman offers a pretentious, ambitious wannabe grown bitter by the chain of events which has caused his alleged star quality to go all but uncelebrated.

The first doe to state her case is Blitzen, played by Nisha Madhan as an amiable cooking host, albeit dishing the dirt on the inherent perversion of the Christmas system and the people in it.  She also quite rightly points out the denial parents who tell their children there is no Santa are clearly in…

The second half sees young Comet (Morgana O’Reilly) crashing in with her Destiny-esque hyper-evangelist pro-Santa rant.  By Comet’s own account Santa turned her life around when she was a troubled young delinquent, and his critics and accusers are simply ignorant.  ‘I guess being a living saint makes you a target for this sort of thing’.

Michelle Blundell’s Dancer is a sleight wee ballerina harbouring some serious schizoid neuroses, and a particular dislike for Mrs Claus, who never does anything.  Claire Chitham’s Donner is another washed-up wastrel, clinging to her forty of whiskey and laconically lamenting what happened with her poor son Rudolf, the Vixen scandal, and basically everything about her miserable has-been life.

Finally the one we’ve been waiting for – the Plaintiff, Vixen (Bonnie Soper), seductive sultry glamourpuss.  Her own story, by which she justifies threatening to bring the most well-loved icon of our time down into the dirt, isn’t so much of a shocking reveal by the time we get to it –  it seems more like a realistic analogy for any similar scandalous tabloid fiasco, only about a centuries old alcoholic and a flying deer.

So did Mr Saint Nicholas Claus commit the perverted atrocity of which he is accused?  That’d be one for gossiping conspiracy theorists to obsess over for generations to come.  Meanwhile, ho ho ho and behave this Christmas.

N.B.:   The Basement is not a large theatre, and given the potential for people to go more than once to experience a different lineup, as well as any number of first timers attending on a whim or well-deserved recommendation, it’s advisable to book early for this one folks.


The Basement December 10th, 2008

Due to popular demand we will be doing 3 late night shows on Wednesday 17th, Thursday 18th & Friday 19th December at 10pm. Book now at

nik smythe December 5th, 2008

I heartily encourage anyone who sees this production to submit their impressions of any other performers not mentioned here, and/or they that are for that matter.

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