Capital E, Wellington

07/03/2012 - 09/03/2012

New Zealand International Arts Festival 2012

Production Details


“White is an utter delight no matter what your age.” The Times (UK)  

Playful, highly visual and charming, White is the latest production from award-winning Scottish company Catherine Wheels, specialists in innovative theatre for children and young people.

Especially designed for the very young, White invites the audience to enter a dazzling all-white landscape. In a clearing in the woods, Cotton and Wrinkle work hard to keep everything pristine. But colour keeps appearing. At first, they try to stop it but slowly and surely the stage is flooded with colour.

One of the themes is a gentle metaphor for inclusion and acceptance of difference. “Cotton and Wrinkle are discombobulated by the arrival of glowing pinks and oranges, but soon embrace the pleasure of variety. This is a beautifully acted and neatly thought-out show, as cleverly executed as a conjuring trick – and a reminder why this Scottish company is an innovator in children’s theatre,” wrote The Guardian.

Catherine Wheels brought the critically acclaimed Lifeboat to the 2002 New Zealand Festival of the Arts. The Dominion Post called that production “a stimulating and imaginative introduction to the theatre for today’s young’’. Formed in 1999, the company has won numerous awards for its innovative productions and regularly tours internationally.

White promises to be a delightful first theatre experience for the very young – and one that their caregivers will also enjoy.

White is at Capital E from
7 to 9 March 2012
GA adult tickets $25, GA child tickets $15 available from Ticketek.



Catherine Wheels was formed in 1999 by director Gill Robertson. The first production, Martha, has performed in theatres throughout the UK, Ireland and North America, including the New Victory Theatre in New York. Lifeboat which was first performed in 2002 and won the Barclays Stage Award for Best Show for Children and Young People, has performed at the New Victory Theatre, the New Zealand International Arts Festival, as well as being the first production by a Scottish children’s theatre company at the Sydney Opera House.

Hansel & Gretel was developed by the company from Gill Robertson and the National Theatre of Scotland’s Home East Lothian, which won Best Show for Children and Young People at the 2006 Critics Awards for Theatre inScotland. It was the 2008 Christmas show at the Barbican inLondon, and in 2009 was redesigned to be part of the Scottish Festival at the New Victory Theatre in New York, and was nominated for two Broadway Drama Desk Awards.

These successes, along with Pobby and Dingan, The Book of Beasts, Something Wicked This Way Comes (with the National Theatre of Scotland), Cyrano, The Snow Baby, The Lion of Kabul and The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk, have established Catherine Wheels as the leading producer of theatre for children and young people in Scotland



Andy Manley Creator
Ian Cameron
Tim Licata
Gill Robertson Director
Shona Reppe Designer
Danny Krass Composer
Craig Fleming Production manager
Suzie Normand Stage manager
Paul Fitzpatrick Producer
Louise Gilmour Wills Projects manager
Kenny McGlashan Education manager

45 mins

A simple yet profound celebration of diversity

Review by John Smythe 07th Mar 2012

Perfectly pitched for pre-schoolers and new entrants, White absorbs all ages, not least because the stage illusions – seamlessly achieved with no ballyhoo – will intrigue anyone with an enquiring mind.

All is white in this world, where Cotton (Tim Licata) knits tiny egg-caps while Wrinkle (Ian Cameron) sleeps in their tepee. Their daily routine is devoted to maintaining the pristine whiteness of their world through tidying and titivation – until the much anticipated eggs arrive.

A wondrous combination of sound (composer, Danny Krass) and magic sees egg after egg land in their aprons, to be lovingly coddled and housed in an eclectic array of pristine white bird feeders …

The slightest intrusion of colour is quickly consigned to the rubbish bin. Cotton betrays a liking for things coloured but is quickly brought to heel by the stern authority of Wrinkle.

Even so (I reveal this so parents and caregivers will know what is in store for the little ones), one red egg is secretly housed … And that night all hues imbue the atmosphere, until morning. Eventually, of course, a multi-coloured world prevails – and how it is done is a mystery to me – with Cotton and Wrinkle both confessing they have loved colours all along. 

Gently played out without the slightest hint of ‘playing down’, White reveals itself as a simple yet profound celebration of diversity. 


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