The Meteor hosts two contrasting shows this month – a classic kids performance and an up and coming band promising a multi-media extravaganza.
Children’s tale The Prince and the Pea was originally written by Geoff Houtman in 1993, and returns to the Meteor this month for school holidays, adapted by The Meteor stalwart Benny Marama and Electra Theatre Company.
The updated version of The Prince and the Pea was previously staged in 2016 as a fundraiser for The Meteor Theatre’s rebuild.
Theatre Manager Deborah Nudds remembers The Prince and the Pea from 20 years ago: “I went to see my friends perform, even though I didn’t have kids at the time. It was hilarious for adults too and has stayed with me all these years.”
The tale and production centre on a mysterious young man who washes ashore in the kingdom of Monteblat claiming to the long-lost Prince Ruprecht of Tilted Towers. There, he meets a villainous bodyguard, a mad queen and her beautiful-yet-stubborn daughter Princess Marmalade with whom he falls madly in love with. However, before they can be together, there are a few crazy tests which he must pass to prove he is the prince he claims to be.
“When Debs first approached me to adapt this in 2016, it was slightly intimidating,” Mr Marama says. “Four years on though, I’d like to think I’m a better writer this time around and revisiting this play has been a tonne of fun.
“I remember worrying about a few jokes that may have pushed the boundaries a bit. “However, the adults found it hilarious and it went right over the heads of the kids in the audience so we’re safe!”
Joining him this season is actor and singer Courteney Mayall, who will be co-directing the show.
“I’ve been performing onstage for more than a decade and this is the first time I’ve ever directed anything, so I’m up for the challenge,” says Mrs Mayall. “It’s exciting to be able to both act and direct in this show.”
With theatre stalwart Jono Freebairn and newcomer Creed Fletcher rounding out the cast, The Prince and the Pea is a show for kids those adults who are still a kid at heart.
The Prince and the Pea runs from 15 July to 20 July, and there are two shows daily – 10.30am and 1pm.
From a different part of the live entertainment spectrum is The Carnivorous Plant Society, taking to The Meteor stage on July 5 at 7:30pm. A multimedia production, audiences can expect a truly unique experience. Band leader/multi-instrumentalist/genius Finn Scholes has penned custom-made animation as a backdrop to this highly acclaimed band’s performance of Mexican fantasy music, performed on a plethora of instruments by Finn and his sister Tam Scholes, Alistair Deverick and Oliver Emmitt.
This will be the second Meteor gig for Finn Scholes, who was enlisted by NZ r’n’b band Hopetoun Brown for a show in April last year. One of the country’s most talented and multi-skilled musicians Scholes has performed with countless top acts including Neil Finn, Katchafire, Avalanche City, and Tiny Ruins. Tam is considered as one of New Zealand’s most original guitar players, while Deverick who has produced the bands recordings. Emmit is returning from Amsterdam specifically to perform in the tour.