Vinnie Septic and the Princesses

Shed 6, Queens Wharf, Wellington

21/03/2011 - 26/03/2011

Production Details

Meet Vinnie Septic and his princess siblings, Jacinta and Mutt, for a fable about what not to be when you grow up.

From their ramshackle family caravan, complete with a treasure trove of eccentric furnishings, Vinnie is determined to stage a rock show full of lessons from the school of hard knocks. It’s not going to be easy – his brother is threatening to take up the bagpipes, his sister is a violin virtuoso who wants to be a diva, and Vinnie’s hand is looking decidedly green.

In between family feuding they’ll play you beautiful harmonies on life lessons learnt the hard way. Just don’t be surprised when you laugh rather than cry. Described as “the best thing since Flight of the Conchords” and “seriously talented”, the Festival is proud to present a new delightfully unwholesome musical show from the wonderful Lonesome Buckwhips team. 

The show comprises of scripted dialogue with live music, combined with elements of character comedy, slapstick, theatre/cabaret, and gory special effects to create a wicked, interactive, sensory and innovative show.

Vinnie Septic and the Princesses, Buckwhip Enterprises
Shed 6, Queens Wharf
Mon 21 – Fri 25 March, 10am, 11.30am and 1.15pm as available, call Capital E to confirm on 913 3740  
Saturday 26 March, 11.30pm
Bookings: Capital E 04 913 3740
Tickets: $16.50 each or $33.00 each for 3 shows   

Ben Hutchison – Vinnie Septic
Miriama Ketu – Jacinta
Barnaby Fredric – Mutt  

Design: Brian King 

A cleverly conceived blend of grossness and innocence

Review by John Smythe 21st Mar 2011


Apparently guitar-player Vinnie (Ben Hutchison) was born without blood but is hooked up to a green bag drip that feeds him the juices of healthy green veggies, except he keeps adding bad stuff in the hope of transforming into the ‘Incredible Vulk’. Graham Henry even appears in fantasy video, extolling Vinnie’s potential as an All Black.

Jacinta (Miriama Ketu), the self-styled princess who plays a mean fiddle and a guitar, treasures the pelts of a possum and cat that have paid the ultimate price for crossing her. Her dream of rock diva fame – more famous even than Taylor Swift! – generates an on-screen endorsement from Antonia Prebble.*

Keyboard-player Mutt (Barnaby Fredric), who apparently has skills as a doctor, fancies joining the Scottish Marching Band of D J Forsythe – a Scottie Dog puppet, who may or may not have stolen Mutt’s chocolate milk – except bossy Jacinta won’t let him. He feels as if he has no friends, uses two Barbie Dolls to illustrate his fantasy of gaining a Best Friend, and pays D J $5 to fill the bill.
As with their Lonesome Buckwhips forbears (whence hail Ben and Miriama), their stories and character traits emerge between original songs delivered with great wit and musical skill. And Vinnie’s quest to hulk himself up builds to a literally disarming crisis where the alienated Mutt is recalled to work his doctorial magic and Jacinta promises to be a nicer person.

The hour-long show is a cleverly conceived blend of pre-pubescent gross-out humour and pre-school innocence which, at its premiere, a packed Shed 6 instantly ‘got’ and relished at every level. A couple of times their enthusiastic shouting threatened to derail the scripted stuff but the cast coped admirably. (It would be interesting to know how these moments play out in future performances.)

Brian King’s black & white drawn backdrop set features a caravan with what I took to be a church door and window, but of course they are Jacinta’s way of turning her caravan – and the high-security fridge (you have to be there) – into a castle.

P.S. What with Goldilocks and the Three Bears in Christchurch, and The Motor Camp, Campground Chaos and now Vinnie Septic and the Princessesin Wellington, all within eight weeks, this is beginning to look like ‘the year of the caravan’.  
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Interesting choice. Not likely to be known to primary and intermediate school audiences for Outrageous Fortune, older children may recognise her from her stints on What Now and The Tribe (both ending in 2003), otherwise there were her 6 eps of Power Rangers Mystic Force (2006) – but did that screen in NZ. Or does she have teen magazine media cred?)
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