Weird and wonderful
The Glow Show is back for another year with a colourful and innovative glow-in-the-dark stage show featuring giant puppets and plenty of fun.
This year, the Wonderland Glow Show is a “Kiwi-fied” version of Alice in Wonderland.
Nearly 50 masterfully crafted characters, made by Glow Show creator Sarah Burren, will transport the audience into a weird and wonderful world of dancing flamingos, wriggly caterpillars and eye-bogglingly big flowers.
“Children love the show because it works on so many levels,” Burren says.
“There are incredible oversized animals and bugs providing the magic of the ultraviolet.
“It's like a huge storybook on stage.”
There are dancing flamingos, an eight-metre caterpillar and giant flowers.
The first performance, at 10am, is for children up to five and runs for 40 minutes. This is made up of 25 minutes of puppetry and for the final 15 minutes, children can meet the puppets.
The second show starts at 11.30am and is for kids aged six to 12. This show runs for 55 minutes with a storyline more suitable for older children.
The show is underpinned by original music by Jason Smith, whose credits include World of Wearable Arts and animated hits such as Bluey.
The Glow Show educates and entertains by promoting literacy and te reo Maori and celebrates the exquisite art of ultraviolet puppetry.
The last shows have been about Maori myths and legends so this year organisers decided to travel down a fairytale rabbit hole instead.
There are plenty of twists and turns involved.
Instead of Alice, Wonderland Glow Show follows Dallas, a little bloke who wakes up and discovers wonderful creatures everywhere.
Over 60,000 children, educators and whanau have seen The Glow Show around New Zealand.
The Glow Show was launched in 2017 by creative director Burren, after she dreamt up the concept over several years.
“I did a fashion degree then went to London and worked at the BBC as a costume designer. I have been making clothes for myself from a very young age.”
Burren was based in London and Toronto for 15 years, where she designed and made costumes for numerous TV and theatre shows, including Basil Brush's morning attire.
She worked across Europe and North America, making couture garments for a range of celebrities including Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson in the mid 1980s.
In 1995 she returned to Auckland and has designed costumes for theatre, TV, and film, including more than 50 children's shows.
Wonderland Glow Show, War Memorial Theatre, August 10 – 11. A “Kiwified” interpretation of the classic Alice in Wonderland tale for tamariki, educators and whanau. Tickets+bfee: $12.50 ages 0 – 5, $14.50 ages 6 – 12, adults at children's prices from ticketek.co.nz or Gisborne i-SITE.