September 23, 2022
Puppets bring Whale Rider to life
A stage adaptation of Witi Ihimaera’s novel The Whale Rider is coming to Auckland, with a two-week season at the Pumphouse Theatre in Takapuna starting with a gala performance tomorrow evening.
The Tim Bray Theatre Company adaptation, aimed at children aged 5 to 10, was first performed at the International Board on Books for Young People World Congress in 2016 and the Capital E Festival in Wellington in 2017.
Actor Awatea Timoti says the retelling of the Paikea legend includes live music and Japanese-style bunraku puppets.
“It’s the same story line but it’s completely different. You’re right there in the theatre and we’re using puppets to portray the story. It’s like a different take on it and it’s right there in your face and you get to see everything, feel everything, all the lights and that,” he says.
There will be performances at the PumpHouse at 10.30 am and 1pm through the school holidays, and then the production will have short runs at the Due Drop Events Centre in Manukau, Te Oro in Glen Innes, Playhouse Theatre in Glen Eden and Māngere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku.