The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland

05/12/2016 - 22/12/2016

Production Details

A magical Christmas story for the whole family comes to life on stage in December in time for the festive season. 

Auckland’s leading children’s theatre company, Tim Bray Productions, presents its annual festive show The Santa Claus Show at the PumpHouse Theatre, Takapuna from 5-22 December.

In this charming story with songs by Christine White, Santa helps reveal the pleasure of giving. 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 so she can learn for herself the true meaning of Christmas.

“Simple, beautiful storytelling, a world of magic with a splash of wonder – close your eyes and become a kid.” – Theatreview

The Santa Claus Show features Tim Raby as Santa’s double – his 12th year playing the role. New to the company in 2016 are:
Lucy Hill as Kelly
Richie Grzyb as Elfie and
Elizabeth Turner as Kelly’s friend Alana.
Children from the Tim Bray Productions’ Youth Theatre classes appear as Elfie’s elf helpers Twitty and Twiddly.

The Santa Claus Show is the fourth show in the Tim Bray Productions’ 2016 season. This year Tim Bray Productions celebrates its 25th anniversary with more than 20,000 people enjoying the shows every year.

This is the 15th production of The Santa Claus Show – the first was staged in 1991 when Tim Bray Productions first started. It was written by Tim Bray for his nieces Alana and Kelly who both gave birth to their first children this year and will be bringing the babies along to the show.

“The Santa Claus Show has been a very special part of my life,” Tim says. “And I love it that in our 25th anniversary year Alana and Kelly will be introducing it to their children and another generation will be coming along to share some Christmas magic.”

The Santa Claus Show is
at the PumpHouse Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland
from Monday 5 December to Thursday 22 December 2016
at 10.30am and 1pm daily (no shows on Sundays)
A special audio-described performances and touch tours for the visually-impaired on Thursday 8 December and Saturday 10 December at 12pm.
A New Zealand Sign Language performance is on Tuesday 6 December at 10.30am.
Book tickets by phoning (09) 489-8360 or online at 

Children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite Christmas character for the onstage costume parade at every performance. 

Santa Claus:  Himself
Santa Claus’ stunt double:  Tim Raby
Kelly:  Lucy Hill
Elfie:  Richie Grzyb
Alana / Lady Bug:  Elizabeth Turner
Kelly’s Dad:  Tim Raby
Jackson  / Nutcracker:  Ryan Wood
Mum / Ice Princess / Rudolph:  Jen Gregory-Lyon
Balloon Seller / Pip the Pirate:  Rebecca Ansell
Twitty – Mon/Wed/Fri:  Amelia Stanley
Twiddly – Mon/Wed/Fri:  Cayd McGregor
Twitty – Tues/Thurs/Sat:  Naomi Poynter
Twiddly – Tues/Thurs/Sat:  Oscar Brown
Musician:  Nick Garrett
(special performances)
New Zealand Sign Language Interpreter:  Melissa-Sue Sutton
Audio Described Performances:  Nicola Owen and Kevin Keys (from Audio Described Aotearoa

Director:  Tim Bray
Set Design:  John Parker
Lighting Design:  Steve Marshall
Costume Design:  Chantelle Gerrard
Vocal Coach:  Andy Manning
Choreography:  Linda McFetridge
Stage Manager:  Natasha Lay
Assistant Stage Manager:  Adam Burrell
Lighting / Sound Operator:  Josh Wilson
Set Construction:  Grant Reynolds
Props:  Nicole Arrow
Lighting Crew:  HLx Limited
Chaperone:  Alicia Lineham
Teachers’ Resource Guide:  Rosemary Tisdall, Getting Kids into Books
Publicist:  Sally Woodfield, SWPR 
Photography:  David Rowland, One-Image Photography
Illustration:  James Stewart
Print Design:  Stefania Sarnecki-Capper, Red Design  

Theatre , Family , Children’s ,

Beautifully told morality tale

Review by Patrick Kelly 11th Dec 2016

The Santa Claus Show and Tim Bray are the gifts that keep on giving. What Tim Bray is to Children’s Theatre, the All Blacks are to Rugby: one of New Zealand’s national treasures.

Tim’s commitment to introducing school children across all of Auckland to New Zealand written children’s stories, engaging them through his stage adaptations, has been truly a tremendous gift. His spirit of giving is renowned throughout the Auckland Theatre scene. He has helped develop some of New Zealand’s best known actors, often giving young graduates their first roles in professional theatre. And this production is no exception. Someone please give this man a knighthood.

Am I biased? Yes a little, I had the honour of working on this show some 8 years ago.  So I’ve brought along my 3 children (William 6, Sophia 7 and Charlotte 9) and their grandma (age undisclosed) who haven’t seen The Santa Claus Show before, to help me with this independent review.

William’s review:
Liked: Elfie (Richie Grzy) he was really funny.
Disliked: How greedy Kelly was (Lucy Hill).
What was cool? How Kelly gave away her presents in the end.

Sophia’s review:
Liked: How Alana (Elizabeth Turner) wanted to give away her balloon.
Disliked: That the little boy had nothing for Christmas.
What was cool? That Santa was magic (Santa’s stunt double: Tim Raby)

Charlotte’s review:
Liked: The moral of the story.
Disliked: Nothing everything was so cool.
What was cool? Well everything! Especially all the Toys.

Grandma’s review:
Liked: Rudolph (Jen Gregory-Lyon) really great physical character work!
Disliked: Adults playing children.
What was cool? How generous the children were after the show, giving balloons to those who missed out.

But what is magic about this show is that Tim refreshes the show every year. With new music arrangements, costumes (though some are still from the original production in 1991!), actors (though Tim Raby is still from the original production in 1991!) and new toy characters.

This beautifully told morality story holds true to some important Kiwi values. Little girls Kelly (6) and Alana (3) – originally based on his little nieces who are now fully grown expectant mothers – are eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival. Kelly greedily has made an incredibly long list of toys which she sends to the North Pole. Elfie arranges for Kelly to visit Santa’s workshop and help Santa on his sleigh magical ride and along the way teaches her about the importance of generosity and giving.

Congratulations to Tim Bray Productions as The Santa Claus Show celebrates its 15th anniversary season at the Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna and 25 years as New Zealand’s very own The Mousetrap (i.e. probably New Zealand’s longest running production) returning year after year to give Auckland audiences its very own Christmas gift. A truly remarkable achievement, from a truly gifted man. I raise a glass of cordial and toast to Tim Bray a national treasure.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council