Just in time for KidsFest, The Court Theatre is putting on a magical production full of froggy, fairy-tale fun!

The Princess and the Frog (and the Robber!) is a brand-new adaptation of the classic kids story, full of puppetry, physical comedy and theatrical magic, perfect for little ones aged 5 – 8. 

“I thought ‘what if The Princess and the Frog turned into Home Alone?’ and the idea just clicked!” says writer Jeff Clark.

Clark, a Court Jester audiences will know from Scared Scriptless and The Early Early Late Show, wanted to put a new twist on the familiar fairy-tale, with his princess and frog banding together to defeat a sneaky robber trying to break into the castle!

“In the original story the Princess and the Frog never actually became friends; now they have to learn to work together to defend the palace. I don't think the original has a grumpy fish, a homemade bouncy castle or a chase scene, either!”

The Court’s Associate Director Dan Bain (A Paintbox of Clowns; Cinderella in Space) is directing this family-friendly comedy, saying “I’m really excited by the script – there’s a lot of fun and shenanigans that come with the addition of the robber, while still remaining faithful to the story that people know and love.”

Kids – and grown-ups – can expect to fall in love with the team’s puppet frog, which will be operated by actor Trubie-Dylan Smith, most recently seen in the Anthony Harper Summer Theatre season of King Arthur.

“The puppet frog is exciting, because we can get it to do things that an actor can’t – we can throw the frog in the air, hide it in small spaces and do a lot of different things that just aren’t possible with an actor,” explains Bain.

Audiences can also expect plenty of fun from characters Princess Lillian (played by Court Youth Company member Jorja Farrant making her professional debut), the naughty robber (played by Connie O'Callaghan following her tour with New Zealand Playhouse) and Clark’s script, full of audience participation!

“I made sure that the audience have lots of chances to get involved and help save the day,” says Clark. “That’s the magic of theatre. Watching television and movies, you just sit there, but with theatre, you’re part of the show.”

The Princess and the Frog (and the Robber!) promises to be big on the fun factor for Canterbury’s little ones, but there’s plenty of excitement for older kids at the theatre these school holidays, too!

Bain has also organised a KidsFest production of family-friendly comedy show The Early Early Late Show on the 7th July at 4pm, ideal for 7 – 12-year olds.

“Both productions will have an enormous amount of energy, which will be really fun... plus, it’s going to rain, so you may as well come to the theatre,” Bain laughs.

The Princess and the Frog (and the Robber!) will be running at The Court Theatre from the 10 – 20 July 2019, with a relaxed performance on Saturday 20th July at 11am. Relaxed performances are special shows for those with sensory needs. Lighting and sound are adjusted, capacity is reduced to allow for freer movement and there is a “chill-out” area in the foyer. You can find out more and book tickets here

The Early Early Late Show’s KidsFest performance runs on the 7th July at 4pm, with the show running the first Sunday of every month. You can find out more and book tickets here.