Margaret Mahy Stories on Stage for School Holidays

Three quirky tales by much-loved children’s writer Margaret Mahy come to life on stage in Auckland for the July school holidays.

Auckland’s leading children’s theatre company, Tim Bray Productions presents The Great White Man-Eating Shark and Other Stories here at the PumpHouse Theatre, from Saturday 30th June to Saturday 21st July.

Adapted for the stage by Tim Bray with music by Takapuna composer Marshall Smith, this is the first time these three stories have been staged by the company and director Tim Bray says he is excited to bring this trio of tales to life.

“Along with many of New Zealand’s children, I’ve had a lifelong love of Margaret Mahy’s stories and we’ve adapted a number for the stage. Margaret Mahy stories have something very special about them with quirky characters who appeal to children’s imaginations.”

The title story, The Great White Man-Eating Shark tells the story of Norvin, a boy who loves swimming in the bay but wishes he could swim as fast as he can without other swimmers getting in his way. He finds a novel way to have the water all to himself. But is he alone?

Also featuring in the production is The Boy with Two Shadows: having your own shadow is one thing, but when you agree to look after a witch’s one then the troubles begin, along with Mahy’s The Boy who was Followed Home: ever been followed home by a hippo, or two? Imagine what Mum says when she finds them in your front garden!

A cast of four play 15 characters across the three stories with Dylan Underwood as Norvin and in the Boy roles. Erica Kröger, Kat Glass and Calum Hughes share the remaining characters with music performed live by Oliver Huang-Hsu.

“This is a tricky trio of stories to stage in one show,” Tim says. “And set designer Rachael Walker, costume designer Vicki Slow and lighting designer Steve Marshall are coming up with clever solutions to overcome the challenges.”

Children are encouraged to dress up as a character from the show for the onstage Costume Parade at the gala and every school holiday season performance.

From Saturday 30 June at 5pm and running until Saturday 21 July. Book your tickets here.

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