Lake Hawea Community Centre, Wanaka

10/11/2018 - 10/11/2018

Suter Theatre, Nelson

11/10/2018 - 12/10/2018

ILT Stadium, Invercargill

09/11/2018 - 09/11/2018

SIT Centrestage Theatre, Invercargill

14/05/2017 - 14/05/2017

Circa Two, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington

18/04/2017 - 29/04/2017


Southland Festival of the Arts 2017

Nelson Arts Festival 2018

Production Details

Spray and Wipe are two cleaners who have been hired for their most exciting job ever, cleaning a magician’s house! But when they accidentally let the magic out of its box, everything is turned topsy-turvy…

Now, the audience must help Spray and Wipe think of a plan to get the magic back in the box before the magician comes home, as her house gets messier and messier! The best of circus, slapstick and magic combine in this very special adventure for primary school aged children and their families.

Waterproof ponchos provided for those in the front row…

[An earlier version was called The Messy Magic Show:
“Plays out in a terrifically unexpected way….Highly recommended.” – Theatreview ]

For Children aged 5+  

Circa Two, Wellington
18 – 29 April
Tues – Sat 11am
$10 – $15
For Children aged 5+
Book now

SIT Centrestage, Invercargill
Sunday, 14 May, 2017
Book here

Lizzie from Rollicking Entertainment talks about the creation of the show…

Do you remember watching a play or hearing a story when you were very small? Did something broaden your horizons, make your world sparkle or inspire you? And is there a moment, an image or a line that has stuck with you, even after all this time? 

Ok. Let’s talk. Today in our hometown of Christchurch, a well-meaning person asked us why we were ‘wasting’ our time and abilities on theatre aimed at people who were too young to buy their own tickets. It’s not the first time such a comment has been made. 

When we started work on The Messy Magic Adventure, a strange thing happened. Suddenly, what we do stopped being referred to as art. It was ‘just’ a kids show. And ok, I’ll be real. It is neither rock n roll nor earnest drama. There’s no one leaning against a street light looking cool. This show is a tale of two cleaners, created for children and their families. It’s silliness and fun that asks the audience to find magic in the everyday. It’s slapstick and mess and a chase scene through the audience. It’s belly laughs from five years olds who have not yet learnt how to be self-conscious.

So if you believe there is value in the fanciful, the silly, the magical, then come and join us. Bring your kids! We’ll be here. Because magic matters. 

Nelson Arts Festival 2018

Recommended for ages 4+ years. 
All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

“Plays out in a terrifically unexpected way….Highly recommended for big kids and little kids alike.” THEATREVIEW, CHRISTCHURCH 2016

“Gleeful physical comedy… The entire audience appears to be having a ball” THEATREVIEW, SOUTHLAND FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS 2017

Thu 11 & Fri 12 Oct,
FULL $15 | UNDER 19 $9 | FAMILY* $40
*Family ticket is for 4 people, max. 2 adults
Plus TicketDirect Service Fee
Book Now! 

Arts On Tour NZ (AOTNZ) Itinerary 2018


Thursday 1 November 6pm Ashburton
Ashburton Trust Event Centre 
Open Hat

Friday 2 November 5pm Fairlie
Mackenzie Community Theatre
$7per child, $10 adult,
$40 family(2 adults plus any number of children)
Book: Heartlands Fairlie

Sunday 4 November 2pm Oamaru
Oamaru Opera House
$7.50-$10 Book: Oamaru Opera House

Monday 5 November 4pm Bannockburn
Bannockburn Hall
All tickets $5
All i-Sites in Central Otago

Tuesday 6 November 4pm Arrowtown 
Athenaeum Hall, Arrowtown
Child $5, Adult $10
Book: Eventfinda

Friday 9 November 11am Invercargill
ILT Stadium
$2 Book: TicketDirect

Saturday 10 November 2.30pm Hawea 
Lake Hawea Community Centre 
Adult $25, Children $10
Book:  Sailz, OCD Café (cash only)
Mitre 10 Wanaka and door sales

Friday 16 November 1.30pm Kakaramea
Kakaramea Hall
Free Book:

Sunday 18 November 2pm Putaruru
The Plaza Theatre
Adults $15, Children $10
Book:  The Plaza and Eventfinda  

Tuesday 20 November 4.30pm Hamilton
The Meteor Theatre
$10 Book: 

Wednesday 21 November 12.15pm Onewhero
Onewhero School Hall
$3 Book: Contact your school office or 09 232 8805 or Text 027 232 8805

Thursday 22 November 1pm Whitianga
Whitianga Town Hall (private schools matinee)

Friday 23 November 3.30pm Tauranga
The Historic Village Hall
$15 per child Book:  Baycourt Box Office or

Monday 26 November 11am Waipawa
Central Hawkes Bay Theatre
$10 includes drink Book: 

Saturday 1 December 5pm Hokitika
Old Lodge Theatre
$10 Book: Hokitika’s Regent Theatre 

Technical operator: Amber Molloy

Theatre , Magic/Illusion , Family , Children’s ,

40 mins

Subversive thrill in magical messiness

Review by Sue Wards 11th Nov 2018

The Messy Magic Adventure, brought to Lake Hawea by Arts on Tour NZ, has attracted an excited crowd of mainly primary school aged children on Saturday afternoon (November 10), and that crowd leaves after the show in a collective state of blissed-out silliness and magic-induced mayhem – thanks to Lizzie Tollemache and David Ladderman of Rollicking Entertainment.

The pair play two cleaners, Spray and Wipe, who have been hired for their most exciting job ever: cleaning a magician’s house. Of course the naughty one accidentally (on purpose) lets the magic out of its box, creating even greater opportunities to make a great big magical mess. 

It’s hard to think of a better scenario for a bunch of four to 12-year-olds. The audience warm up at the beginning kicks off the giggles, belly-laughs, and gasps that barely let up for the 40 minute show.  

Physical comedy, magic tricks, fart jokes and sprays of water keep the kids more than happy: they are clustering at the front row, some are standing on their seats, and one four-year-old’s exaggerated double-take at a particularly clever trick is priceless.

But there’s plenty to keep the adults in the audience happy too: some of the tricks are genuinely perplexing, there are puns aplenty, and it’s simply a pleasure to watch two skilled performers having fun and managing a young crowd with ease.

There’s an added subversive thrill for both parents and children in watching the sensible parent figure, Spray (whose job for the first half of the show is keeping the order and stopping Wipe from making a mess), let the magic go to her head and make some magical messiness of her own as she cries “I’ve never had fun before!” 

Among the confetti, magical loo paper, and all that “sheet hitting the fan”, if there’s any message at all it’s that one: “Remember to have fun.”


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A masterclass in entertainment

Review by Hannah Kennedy 10th Nov 2018

Do you believe in magic?

Disclaimer: I’m a massive fan of Rollicking Entertainment, the powerhouse team behind this and several other excellent pieces of theatre. I’ve even seen Messy Magic Adventure before, a couple of years ago, so I know roughly what to expect.

Spray and Wipe are cleaners who are tasked with cleaning a magician’s house. A big inviting magic box sits on stage and mustn’t be opened – what will happen if they do? Is there such thing as magic? Will it escape? What could possibly go wrong? Packed with slapstick and tricks, and a few well timed jokes for the adults, this is a great piece of entertaining theatre. I know I am in for a good time.

There are two main differences this time though. First, I now have my own daughter who, at age 1, is admittedly a bit young to appreciate it (it’s fine, it’s all part of the indoctrination process). Second, and this is a biggie, unlike the more intimate theatre they were in last time, this show is performed in front of two thousand 5-7 year olds. That’s not a typo, not even an over-optimistic estimate.  

Do you have any idea what a stadium full of excited children sounds like?  

It would be a challenge to daunt even the most seasoned professional but Lizzie Tollemache and David Ladderman take it all in their stride. They keep the room enthralled, navigating the challenges of such a large crowd with ease. The kids are riveted, shouting out, squealing with delight, laughing and applauding in all the right places. Their attention is kept right to the end and you can see the joy on their faces. Hats off to these two for a masterclass in entertainment.

It is a beautiful experience as an adult to watch kids discovering the wonder and, yes, the absolute magic of live theatre. The sound of two thousand children gasping in wonder as these magicians pull of yet another trick gives me shivers and warms my heart. I do believe in magic, and now thanks to the Messy Magic Adventure, hopefully so do our Southland kids. 


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Young audience absolutely entranced

Review by Gail Tresidder 11th Oct 2018

As if by magic, today it is raining after school holidays full of sunshine: perfect timing for this full house of excited children and their slightly jaded parents.  It’s the first performance of this year’s Nelson Arts Festival and a rollicking start to what looks like an exciting and stimulating line-up in the fortnight ahead.

Lizzie/Spray and David/Wipe are a smooth team with plenty of kids’-level jokes and double-entendres to amuse grown-ups and children alike. Smelly bottoms, stinky grown-ups and good old chestnuts, loud farting et al have this full house audience laughing along. 

Everybody is having fun. Acrobatic stunts are made to look easy, juggling with brooms likewise.  Absolutely ghastly puns and misquotes of advertisements currently on the box are a delight and the old custard pie in the face gag is received with rapture.  

The sleight of hand, slick timing with recorded sounds: fabulous. Sold out today, sold out tomorrow also, it is no surprise that this couple fill the auditorium wherever they perform – and how lovely to see a young audience absolutely entranced with live theatre.


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Captivated child makes for Mother’s Day magic

Review by Sarah McCarthy 15th May 2017

A packed house waits eagerly for The Messy Magic Show to start at Invercargill’s Centrestage Theatre.

My son, 5, has plenty of questions about the objects on stage: a box, a silky red curtain, a ladder, some dusters. What could possibly be in the box? But then the show begins and he is transfixed. 

Spray and Wipe, Rollicking Entertainment’s Lizzie Tollemache and David Ladderman, have been charged with the task of tidying a magician’s house. But who wants to just do the dusting when there’s magic in the air? 

Tollemache and Ladderman appear to be genuinely having the time of their lives. Plenty of subtle, cheeky wordplay gives the grown-ups laughs of their own, but the broad, gleeful physical comedy is infectious and the entire audience appears to be having a ball. Magic tricks astound and delight, as they should, and the genuine connection between the work onstage and the audience is palpable. 

It is a relief and a joy to be at a show where children are so welcome, catered for and, most importantly, not just shown some half-hearted kiddy fodder. Tollemache and Ladderman are two hugely talented professionals who approach their children’s show with the same passion and focus as any of their other ‘grown-up’ performances.

I have to admit that I only really see half of The Messy Magic Show. For most of the time my eyes are on my son, who is laughing like I’ve never heard him laugh before. Big, glorious belly laughs wrack his whole body. He is so captivated by what is on stage he never has time to wriggle or flip his seat up and down. He simply laughs, and squeals, and sometimes stands to get a better look at the madcap antics on the stage.

He comes home and invents magic tricks and makes himself disappear from behind a blanket for almost an hour before we can convince him to get in the bath. Then he goes to bed dreaming of one day becoming a magician.  

This, for me, on Mother’s Day, is magic.


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Very well-conceived and cleverly structured

Review by John Smythe 18th Apr 2017

It’s a clever conceit that the two cleanersSpray (Lizzie Tollemache) and Wipe (David Ladderman) – who arrive to clean a magician’s house finish up making much more of a mess than there was when they arrived. What’s more, it turns out that house – spoken for by a speaking magic book – is looking for a new Messy Magician.

Let’s not jump to conclusions, however. For a start, Spray doesn’t believe in magic. For a second, Wipe especially is pretty incompetent and forever being told off and corrected by Spray, who is very concerned for their reputation in the small and competitive cleaning community …

Of course that’s all a set up; a sneaky way of lowering our expectations so the only way is up. And it’s a great starting point for clownish comedy.  

They start with simple gags, tricks and physical theatre and work up to more and more impressive illusions. The large box upstage centre is endowed with great mystery and status, enhanced by the performers’ great skill in getting the audience vocally and – in a couple of cases physically – involved.

In direct counterpoint to the apparent chaos, The Messy Magic Adventure is a very well-conceived and cleverly structured show that clearly appeals to all ages, including parents and grandparents. 


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