The Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch

04/07/2012 - 14/07/2012

Fortune Theatre Studio, Dunedin

20/07/2013 - 27/07/2013

Production Details

Fun Is the New Boring At The Court Theatre  

Kids these school holidays will finally get an answer to the age-old question in The Court Theatre’s new family show: WHY ARE MY PARENTS SO BORING?  

Writer and director Dan Bain, creator of A PAINTBOX OF CLOWNS and HANSEL AND GRETEL (and director of The Court’s last holiday hit RAPUNZEL), has filled his latest show with mime and physical comedy in a play that unfolds in the style of a silent movie.  

WHY ARE MY PARENTS SO BORING follows the hilarious consequences when a mischievous youngster (Laura Daniel) sets out to teach her parents (David Ladderman and Kathleen Burns) to have fun while she is at home during the school holidays.  

Bain describes WHY ARE MY PARENTS SO BORING as “a play about playing – taking ordinary or boring things and turning them into something magical through the power of imagination.” 

WHY ARE MY PARENTS SO BORING runs for a limited season from 4 – 14 July
with shows at 11am & 1pm weekdays and 11am Saturdays.
Recommended for ages 3+,
all tickets $9. 

Venue:  The Court Theatre, Bernard St, Addington (off Hagley Park end of Lincoln Rd)
Performance Dates:  4-14 July 2012
Performance Times:  11am & 1pm weekdays; 11am only Saturdays. No show Sundays.
Ticket Prices:  All tickets $9
Bookings:  The Court Theatre Box Office, ph: 963 0870, online www.courttheatre.org.nz 


Theatreview New Zealand says the piece is “…an original story with depth and heart, and the interactions with the audience are genuine and story-driven. Highly recommended.”

The Ashburton Guardian says WHY ARE MY PARENTS SO BORING? is “…expertly performed, visually engaging and filled with child-friendly humour, emotion and wisdom.”

Fortune Theatre Studio, 20 – 28 July 
Two performances daily: 11am and 1pm (no performance Monday, 22 July)
All tickets $8
Book now at Fortune Theatre (03) 477 8323 or online www.fortunetheatre.co.nz

Cast:  Kathleen Burns, Laura Daniel and David Ladderman-or Dan Bain in the Fortune season (2013) 

Delight, horror and empathy

Review by Kimberley Buchan 20th Jul 2013

This week Dunedin is enjoying the Chocolate Carnival where Cadbury sponsors events such as chocolate art competitions, racing Jaffas and a piece of theatre written and directed by Dan Bain. It asks the eternal question: Why Are My Parents So Boring? The answer is not, as you may think, is not because they are paying taxes, working a ‘forty’ hour week or cleaning up after children.

The show is in the style of a silent movie and is jam packed full of the clowning aspects of this genre. The energy and overblown facial expressions of all three actors are received well by the sizable first audience. The actors have good timing and are able to handle any small mishap with seamless wit. The formulaic structure of this style of play would benefit from the use of the rule of threes. 

Dan Bain not only wrote and directed the play but he performs in it as well, as one of the parents who are slightly disturbed by the fact that there is a child in their midst. The high point of his performance would be when he is clinging to the table as his orderly world is starting to crumble around him.

Bain is joined on stage by Laura Daniel and Kathleen Burns. Daniel performs as the swirl of colour and dynamism that is the child and Burns performs as the second half of the parenting duo. Both women are exuberantly expressive and interact effectively with the audience.

Why Are My Parents So Boring? has the audience squirming in delight, gasping in horror and sighing in empathy. The audience proves to be as entertaining as the play as they enthusiastically yell out from the cue cards that pop up all over the set. They even add their own helpful insights like “it fell down”, and ideas as to where the actors may be hiding.

Make sure you bring a child with you when you go to see this play. Be quick as it is only on for a week.


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Highly recommended original story with depth and heart

Review by Erin Harrington 06th Jul 2012

Mum (Kathleen Burns) and Dad (David Ladderman) are boring and stuffy – they wear grey three piece suits and bowler hats, and they don’t seem to have much time for fun or spontaneity. Enter their daughter (Laura Daniel), who is excited about the promise of school holidays.

The girl is energetic, mischievous and brightly clothed, and she literally runs circles around her parents – but they are more interested in reading the financial pages of the newspaper than they are in playing. Instead, they offer her the television, but that’s boring too.

The girl’s increasingly grandiose attempts at getting her parents to play with her land her on the naughty step, and when they leave her by herself she feels so rejected that she sees no option but to run away from home.

When her parents return they are distraught. So, with the help of some very unusual technology, they head off to find her and to show her that they don’t have to be so boring after all. The consequences are hilarious and delightful. 

The show is billed as “a play about playing”, and its emphasis on imagination and creative play is refreshing. The performers give their roles a distinct sense of character and all three develop a warm rapport with the audience. There is no dialogue and it took a short while for the audience to learn the play’s visual language, but after that there were very few wiggly bums and an awful lot of engaged children kneeling on their seats for a closer view.  

The show’s visual design is clear and attractive, and the inventive sound design displays a quirky attention to detail. The show shares a set with The Motor Camp, and while the playing spaces are mostly clearly delineated, the play’s final sequence makes good use of the set’s sense of outdoor adventure. The parents’ stuffy costumes are wonderfully tongue in cheek, and the daughter’s bright and stripy outfit was greatly envied by many of the young girls in the audience.

I am a huge fan of writer-director Dan Bain’s silent children’s shows. This is his third, after A Paintbox of Clowns and Hansel and Gretel, and they all rely on mime and physical comedy to tell a story.

Why Are My Parents So Boring? doesn’t condescend to its target audience with trite characters and toilet humour. Instead, it gives them the benefit of the doubt by treating them as intelligent viewers who can recognise character and story without things being spelled out, and this really pays off. There are a few token “it’s behind you!” moments, but the play (thankfully!) does not rely on them – instead, it offers an original story with depth and heart, and the interactions with the audience are genuine and story-driven. Highly recommended. 


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