After a hiatus of almost four years, children’s holiday shows are back at The Court Theatre, starting with a hilarious version of Cinderella!
Stuck at home doing the chores, Cinderella wishes she could join her stepsisters Beryl and Cheryl at the Prince’s ball. With a little help from her Fairy Godmother, her wishes come true – Cinderella is off to dance the night away… but she must be home by midnight!
So far, so familiar – but it wouldn’t be a modern fairy tale without a few twists along the way, and some distinctly 2023 Aotearoa-adjacent references. This modern take on Cinderella, written by Gregory Cooper (Rumpelstiltskin, MAMIL, That Bloody Woman) and directed by Kathleen Burns, will serve up dance moves, double entendres and boisterous laughs amongst the sequins and soot.
Burns is well-known to Court Theatre audiences, having recently completed a swathe of shows at as improv artist, director and actor, most recently with back-to-back stints in RENT and Sense and Sensibility. Creating the characters we know and love are Rebekah Head, Cameron Douglas and Cameron Clayton who have each recently appeared onstage at The Court as castmates of Burns. Here they are ramping up the humour for a much younger audience, and one with no mercy! “Kids are the most sincere audience you will ever have” says Burns, because “they tell you honestly if they like something or not!”
Burns, who last directed a children’s show (The Littlest Ninja) in 2018, is thrilled to bringing back the laughs for the littlies. She is a passionate advocate for children’s shows because “these kids are the audiences of tomorrow.” Indeed, Cinderella is a perfect introduction to theatre (and just plain fun) for children as young as four. Cooper has updated his play with topical references and subtle side jokes that ensure the adults have plenty to laugh at too.
The magic of live theatre for the children is, Burns says, that “there is an immediacy and sense of play. There are times in the show where the actors talk directly to the audience, so the audience is in the story. What happens in that moment, happens there alone. There’s the sense that anything could happen, at any time.”
Burns is also adamant that children’s shows should be relevant (and funny) for today’s kids. This Cinderella isn’t “a hangover of an old story where the ultimate goal is to be a bride. It’s to be herself, to dance, to find joy and be friends with someone who gets her – and the prince wants the same” she says.
“At its heart is a story about hope - that even in hard times, a chance can arise that can change everything if we are brave enough to recognise it and to go with it. It’s Cinderella’s choice as to what she does with that chance.”
For your chance to enjoy a magical and hilarious show with the young ones in your life, get your tickets to either an 11am or 1 pm show between 11 April – 22 April 2023. There is also a Relaxed Performance on 11am 14 April.