The New Adventures of Auntie McDuff’s Magical Trunk

Court One, Christchurch

06/07/2009 - 18/07/2009

Production Details

"A Play Full of Playing" 

Auntie McDuff’s Magical Trunk is back from a sell-out 2008 Kidsfest season, ready to take kids on a brand-new adventure.

Luke, Sebastian and Lucy are playing in old Auntie McDuff’s attic, and yet again, Luke can’t seem to amuse himself!  With the help of mad Auntie McDuff’s trunk, the three kids set off on an exciting adventure to help relieve Luke’s boredom.  In their search for the greatest toy in the world – building everything they need along the way – they discover the true sense of play.

Much like their characters in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF AUNTIE MCDUFF’S MAGICAL TRUNK, Daniel Bain, Monique Clark and Daniel Pengelly have collaborated to create this fun and quirky piece of children’s theatre.  At the helm is veteran comedian and director Patrick Duffy, who directed last year’s first successful installment (Auntie McDuff’s Magical Trunk.)

With all tickets only $7, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF AUNTIE MCDUFF’S MAGICAL TRUNK is sure to ignite that creative spark in us all these Winter School Holidays.

The Court Theatre, Monday 6 July – Saturday 18 July
Mon-Fri 11am & 1pm, Saturdays 11am
All tickets $7*

Book at The Court Theatre Box Office, 963 0870 or online at

*50c booking fee applies for online bookings.


Sebastain - Dan Pengelly
Luke - Dan Bain
Lucy - Monique Clark

Imagination to the fore

Review by Lindsay Clark 07th Jul 2009

Another highly successful collaboration between seasoned improviser and creative spirit Patrick Duffy and a trio of gleeful actors emerges from that junk trunk in Auntie’s attic.

There is a real recipe for success in the inventive play that follows when three ‘kids’ set out on a further quest, building scenarios from the bits and pieces in the said trunk and acting out the relevant roles as they emerge.

Court’s youngest audience is well served in another round of fantasy , none of it too far from their own familiar favourites.

Thus, the catch ’em sequence that opens proceedings is instantly recognisable and raises a good laugh. Luke slopes across the stage, a parody of boredom, interrupted by two lively mates, Lucy and Sebastian, who are absorbed in a great charade of princess cavorting on fiery steed. The audience and Luke both know which way of passing time makes for better fun.

So it is, that the trunk centre stage is opened again, its clever three way lid and colourful assortment of foam tubes offering limitless opportunities to assemble the requirements for an important journey – the self imposed quest to find the best toy of all.

In rapid succession we are treated to a helicopter, the dodo bird, a twitchy speedster, wacky seascapes complete with poetry spouting merman, a rocket ship escapade and the man in the moon himself. It is a combination Edward de Bono might boggle at, but in the fluid world of the imagination all whoops along, powered by the agile threesome.

Daniel Bain, Monique Clark and Daniel Pengelly look as if they enjoy every wacky moment and their clever contraptions are reminiscent of Mummenschanz puppets in their surreal possibilities.

No one is surprised when the greatest toy in the world turns out to be the imagination we have all been exercising.

The Court is not only preparing a future audience for the experience of live, collaborative staging but is even more importantly reinforcing the truth that it is in the imagination that the strength of theatre is most significant.
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