The White Tree

By Peter Wilson

Narration Cathryn Robinson

Director Jacqueline Coats

Composer Liam Reid

Puppet Creator Sue Hill

Animation and Projection Jason Longstaff

Set Designer Tolis Papazoglou

 

New Zealand stories not to be forgotten for children and their families

 

The White Tree has been there as long as anyone can remember.  It is a place where creatures make their homes, the birds in nests hidden amongst the leaves, or in the hollows where the roots dive deep into the earth.  It is a place where children come to play and climb amidst its branches.

It is in this place that the White Tree remembers the story of the precious huia, the little yellow-eyed hoiho and the lumbering great green kakapo.  It remembers times of flood and times of fire. Stories of sadness, stories of hope.

But now the White Tree is in danger from the greatest threat of all.  Who can help save the White Tree?

The White Tree is a beautiful piece of theatre created by Little Dog Barking for the whole family.


Age group: Most suitable for children 6–12 years old

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Circle of Life

Devised by Peter Wilson and Kenny King

Composer (Part One) Liam Reid

Performed by Kenny King

The beat of a heart, the warmth of a breath, the feel of a touch...

 

Circle of Life weaves the tale of two puppets, told using the ancient art form of puppetry following their journeys through Birth, Life and ultimately death.

These inanimate objects come to life as we suspend our disbelief and are taken on a journey, where the end is the beginning and the beginning is the end


Age group: Adult

Turn on the Light

Written by Peter Wilson and Kenny King

Meet Kenny, he is the caregiver for Tim. It’s bed time, but Tim is convinced there is a monster under his bed. Kenny tells him there are no such things as monsters under the bed. Tim isn’t sure, and wants to have a look. In an attempt to get Tim into bed, Kenny lends a hand, only to find the cat hiding under the bed.

“There is no monster only a cat, now turn the light off and go to sleep,” says Kenny.

“Leave the light on and tell me a story.”

The story finished – the lights go out. “No! Turn the light on,” says Tim. “I am afraid of the dark! ”

And so begins a lights on, lights off, lights on, lights off …

Tim finally falls asleep.

From out of the shadows comes Frog, Spider, Cat and Mouse. They are creatures of the night and not afraid of the dark at all. Whether Tim is dreaming or not, we don’t know. All we know is that he understands from meeting them that there is nothing to be afraid of in the dark.

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The Pond

Written by Peter Wilson

Songs by Shona McNeil

The Pond is a magical journey through the eyes of the creatures and plants that live in and around the pond and whose daily lives depend on the importance of water for their survival. The play begins with rain, rain that makes the puddles, the rivers, and the ponds. One by one, the creatures and plants that live in and around the pond are introduced. But something is wrong, the water in the pond is growing foul and dirty. Something has to be done.

Twinkle

Written by Peter Wilson

Music by Stephen Gallagher and Caitlin Morris.

Twinkle spends a lot of time on her own. She gets given a new smart phone, but when that breaks down she becomes very bored. Twinkle turns to her favourite toy called Dino and when no one is looking Twinkle talks to Dino about her dreams. Like all young girls, Twinkle runs, jumps and skips, but she always does it by herself with Dino watching her. Twinkle spends a lot of time alone thinking, and oh boy does she have an imagination.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

A book that is so well loved by young children and now a magical stage play that deals so powerfully with childhood and age, with memory and with relationships. A play that uses the magic of storytelling, puppetry and live performance. A wonderful work for both children and adults.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is just four years old, he lives next door to a rest home for old people. He knows all the residents very well but his favourite person is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper because she has four names, just like him.

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Paper Shaper

Short and simple, yet rich with emotion and humour, PAPER SHAPER is the antithesis of big-brand kids’ entertainment such as Hi-5 or The Wiggles. With utmost care and skill the company weaves together a magical world that will introduce children to the true beauty that theatre is capable of expressing.

The story springs straight from the realms of imagination and curiosity that children inhabit. What happens to that little man on the side of the rubbish bin when no-one is looking? He creates a whole universe out of people’s paper, with a paper sun, paper trees, paper flowers and paper butterflies. When a long-faced but cheerful man visits the Paper Shaper’s park for a picnic, the two start out as opponents, but soon become playmates and finally, friends.

This tale, devised by director Peter Wilson and puppet designer Tim Denton, with music by Gareth Farr, needs no dialogue to communicate to its junior audience. The combination of maskwork and puppetry opens up some wonderful possibilities for visual storytelling, deftly performed by Kenny King and Peter Wilson

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Duck Death & the Tulip

By Wolf Erlbruch, Adapted by Peter Wilson | Directed by Nina Nawalowalo and Music composed by Gareth Farr
Kind permission of Gecko Press

Duck, Death and the Tulip is a strangely heartwarming story. A duck strikes up an unlikely friendship with Death. Simple, unusual, warm and witty. The superb use of masks, puppets and objects, allows the play to deal with a difficult subject in a way that is elegant, straightforward and thought provoking.

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Black Dog

Directed by Peter Wilson, designed by Tolis Papazoglou, puppet design and construction by Sharon Johnson and music by Liam Reid. Based on the book by Pamela Allen.

Black Dog and Christina lived together in a little cottage on the edge of a forest. They had been friends for a very long time, they played together, they swam together, they ran barefoot through the forest. Then, suddenly, one cold day in winter, everything began to change… Even the very young know the pain of love. In this hauntingly beautiful story we share Black Dog’s pain as he waits and waits for the return of Christina’s love.

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