The Santa Claus Show (2012)

The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland

03/12/2012 - 22/12/2012

Production Details

Click Here to Book Tickets

Delighting children at Christmas for many years, The Santa Claus Show continues to bring magic and meaning to this special time of the year.

Kelly and Alana are best friends and decide to write to Santa Claus. But Kelly sends the longest list of things that a child wants for Christmas that Santa has ever seen. Santa flies Kelly to the North Pole where she learns for herself the true meaning of Christmas.

Make The Santa Claus Show part of your family’s Christmas traditions.

Book your company’s staff function, school or early childhood centre in for a joyous end of year treat. You could even have your own exclusive performance and we offer generous group discounts. Have a picnic by Lake Pupuke after the show, or enjoy catering from the cafe next door.

Click here – Review of The Santa Claus Show 2011 – Theatreview 

Previous reviews:

“Too busy shopping to get into the Christmas spirit? Catching The Santa Claus Show, a magical story of how a little girl learns the pleasure of giving, could be the answer.” NZ Herald

“Ho ho ho! It’s the eighth Christmas season of The Santa Claus Show! It’s my second time seeing it, and my son’s third. Far from getting stale in fact it’s as fresh, alive and joyful as ever, and a growing tradition for many – one family attended for the fourth time.” Nik Smythe, Theatreview, 2009

“Bray’s modern day Kiwi Christmas pageant is resplendent with quirky characters, candid quips, quick changes, crazy costumes, as well as more serious social questions for consideration. All in all a merry little Christmas cracker.” Nik Smythe, Theatreview, 2007

The Santa Claus Show 2012
3 Dec 2012 – 22 Dec 2012

The PumpHouse Theatre  

Term Times shows for Educational Groups from Monday 3 December, 2012
10.30am & 1pm daily

We offer:

Generous discounts for school and early childhood centre groups
Free Teachers’ Resource Guide packed with cross-curricula classroom activities
One free teacher’s ticket per 20 children
If you are a school or and early childhood centre click here for more information
Public welcome at these shows

Public season Monday 3rd – Saturday 22 December 
10.30am & 1pm daily (except Sundays)

New Zealand Sign Language interpreted shows for deaf and hearing impaired children and/or family members – sessions TBC
Bring a picnic to enjoy on the lakeside of Lake Pupuke
Free carparking – see directions below
Bring your coffee group friends for a shared outing and receive group discounts

Gala Performance: Saturday 8 December 5pm

Small post-show function with drinks and nibbles provided, giveaways for children, as well as lucky prize draws. A chance to meet the cast and crew after the show

Notes: All children who are walking require their own ticket as part of the PumpHouse Theatre policy. Only babes in arms can be granted free entry.

Length: The show is 70 minutes long with no interval. It is recommended for children aged 3 to 10 years of age. 

There is a free carpark next to the PumpHouse Theatre which is accessed down the driveway off Manurere Ave. If this is full, there is another free car park accessed via a driveway into Killarney Park opposite Takapuna Primary School and Auburn Street.

Jon Tamihere-Kemeys: Santa Claus
Pipiajna Tui Jane: Kelly
Kayne Peters: Elfie  
Meg Andrews: Alana

Musician: Kristie Addison.

Set Design by John Parker
Costume Design by Chantelle Gerrard
Lighting Design by Michael Craven

Santa’s timely antidote to commercial hype

Review by Vanessa Byrnes 09th Dec 2012

This show is fast becoming a Kiwi classic. Now in its eleventh season – which alone says something of its enduring appeal – The Santa Claus Show 2012 is a lively take on the real spirit of Christmas, delivered in a dynamic way. It feels as fresh as the first performance.

The familiar premise is one that kids will easily relate to: Kelly and Alana are best friends and decide to write to Santa Claus about what they most want for Christmas. But Kelly sends the longest list of things that Santa has ever seen, so Elfie the Elf intervenes. Something must be put right here; the real meaning of Christmas has gone astray in our money-fuelled lives. So Santa flies Kelly to the North Pole where she learns for herself the true meaning of Christmas.

The central protagonist is not always likeable, which rings of truth and kids will understand why. It’s pitched at the right level to include both ‘little’ and ‘big’ humour.

A cast of nine drives things along well, helped all the while by Christine White’s witty musical score. ‘All the things I need’ is a clever song to get us on board.

Kayne Peters brings joyous glee to the Elf character and pushes things along nicely with his sense of fun, while Pipiajna Tui Jane is spot on as Kelly, the slightly spoilt child who has a lesson to learn. Jon Tamihere-Kemeys portrays Dad and Santa with fitting amounts of impatience and robust joy, respectively.

The supporting cast are all in there with gusto, including a couple of impish twin Elves  (Jennifer and Daniel Lee) who – at Saturday’s show – upstaged the action with their antics.

There are a variety of performance tricks to tell this story and these keep the drama alive. Mime, shadow puppetry, song, dance, popular culture (‘Gangnam Style’ slips in) and a good dose of panto (“he’s behind you!”) drive things along nicely. Like a story made up just for you, it’s hard to know what will appear next.

This is the show’s real appeal. Within a fairly predictable storyline – arguably important for kids to stay engaged – there is a highly inventive and equally vital way of exacting it. As one of my daughters said, “It was very entertaining and lots of unexpected things happened.”

John Parker’s set provides a clever solution to transforming the Pumphouse stage from a suburban Auckland bedroom to the North Pole and many other places along the way. Michael Craven’s fabulous lighting design brings a touch of spectacle to the drama. The production elements are uniformly well realised.

Tim Bray Productions are known for being entertaining and professionally focused at children and families. His shows carry a lot of care and respect for how kids engage with theatre, and I take my (Santa) hat off to him for overtly catering to this audience. This show is fitting for kids 8 years and under and it’s crafted with this demographic firmly in mind.

Don’t expect a religious message; there isn’t one. Ultimately this is a good antidote to the commercial hype being thrust upon us all at in December. The message is simple: giving is better than receiving. It’s highly recommended before the final-week mayhem of Christmas hits, if only to ease the stress of the season and remind the little ones what is most important at this time of year.


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