Welcome to Arts Online

Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Back to the 'Jump link' navigation, at the top of the page


Written & Directed by Robert Gilbert. Huia and Johnny are “bored, bored, bored!” After being sent out to the garage to tidy it up, they somehow manage to create an amazing creature out of “nuts and bolts and stuff.” Their new friend, Frank, show Huia and Johnny the value of reusing, reducing and recycling rubbish. From the waste, they create a magic show and Frank’n’friends Great Magic Show is born. With a strong conservation message, this brand new production will educate and entertain in the best tradition and will undoubtedly delight audiences both young and young-at-heart. Duration: approximately 45 minutes including Q&A session. Key Competencies: Thinking; Using language, symbols, and texts; Managing self; Relating to others; Participating and contributing Curriculum links: Drama PK, DI, CI, UC; English Visual & Oral Language The cost for a performances is $4 per pupil, per performance. The maximum cost per family is $8. Teachers and parents are free. A flat fee may be negotiated for low-decile schools.

Artist Information

Aranui Theatre Company


Phone: 03 982 5510

Email: admin@aranuitheatre.co.nz


Aranui Theatre Company was established by Robert Gilbert, Head of Drama and Academy Director at Christchurch’s Aranui High School.

Over the years, Aranui High School’s drama productions have become synonymous with excellence and innovation, gaining wide acclaim. Aranui productions have won multiple awards and Robert has twice won the Best Director Award at the International Theatre Festival on Norfolk Island.

Aranui Theatre Company aims to provide a career pathway for top graduate students from the Aranui Theatre Academy. Robert Gilbert directs, tutors, and mentors his actors so that your school can be assured of the very highest possible standard of production.

In the last two years, Aranui Theatre Company has travelled over 50,000 kms visiting schools throughout the country, entertaining more than 45,000 school pupils. They have twice won Best Comedy at The NZTF Canterbury District Theatre Festival, and Best Production in 2009.

We know that this year’s plays will entertain and educate as they have been carefully crafted to complement the New Zealand Arts Curriculum. We owe special thanks to {The Play Press} and Playmarket who assisted us with OPHELIA THINKS HARDER.

Programme Information

Arts Practice Medium: Drama, Dance, Music

Topics or Genres of Expertise: Movement, Theatre, Comedy, Drama

Languages Spoken: English

Target Age Group: Junior Primary, Middle Primary, Senior Primary

Preferred Group Size: Large (20+)

Regions: National

Space and Resources Required: Almost any environment: classroom, library, school hall or community centre.

Indicative Costs:


Mode of Delivery: Performance

Cultural Context: European, European


Specialises in documentary style portraits, generally community-based projects. Exhibited widely in West Auckland and Edinburgh Scotland.
Currently working on picture story project on global democracy, travelled to Argentina to photograph and interview socialist activists.
Excellent communication skills, committed to social justice.
Have experience in running workshops for children, taught darkroom stills. Still using film (anologue), no digital experience.
Work part time at Corban Estate Art Centre as exhibition assistant.
Have an HND in Photography gained in Edinburgh Scotland.
Commissioned to produce portraits most recently by Waitakere City Council.Please visit this website for more details:http://www.ceac.org.nz/exhibitions/past_exhibitions/exhibitions_2006.aspx

Programme Information


"The staff and children of Maihiihi School wish to thank Aranui Theatre Company for their superb performance of 'Once Upon A Pie', which they performed at our school ... The troupe entertained, enthralled and excited our students, who became totally involved in the performance. Our students, who range from 5 - 13 years, and all enjoyed the performance. As a small rural school, we appreciated the fact that the performers came to our school, instead of us having to travel in to Hamilton, which is an hour away. Thank you for such a wonderful experience of theatre and entertainment." Teacher - Maihiihi School. "I had the opportunity to watch 'Once Upon A Pie' at Kaiapoi Borough School today. It was great to take a break from Reading Recovery and watch such an awesome show. The children loved it, as did the teachers, and we all laughed along. The cast performed brilliantly and it was great that they took the time at the end to let the children ask some questions and make comments - quite a few of them were interested in the costumes and where they came from etc.." Teacher - Kaiapoi Borough School. "... laughs abound where no laughs ever were ... ensemble work is totally assured and their relish of the roles infectious... freshness and sparkle still pumping from their wonderfully diverting performance" THEATREVIEW - read full review here. "I would like to thank you and your company for the excellent performance of 'Mr and Mrs the Scottish Play', our students LOVED it. You created a piece to entertain and educate/inspire for our young people and I would be interested in any other production that may tour in the future. Thank you for working so hard and making such a wonderful work." HOD Drama - Kaitaia College The two plays were very well received by the audience and I applaud your initiative in demystifyoing and making accessible the work of Shakespeare to a wider audience ... From start to finish, they conducted themselves with flair and professionalism." HOD English - Te Wharekura o Manurewa "Everybody here enjoyed the visit on Friday very much! The students are still buzzing out about it. The players were professional and fun." HOD English, Drama - Edgecumbe College "A more creative and imaginative production would be hard to find" - Adjudicator, NZTF South Island Festival, 2008 "Wow!!! That show was great. I wish I was in the show"; "I thought your play was brilliant and funny"; "Wow!! Your show was really fantastic with neat colours, voices and costumes"; "The show you performed was amazing" - students from New Brighton Catholic School "I've just seen Mr & Mrs The Scottish Play at SBHS! Now I feel like I'm typing with a scottish accent. I really enjoyed it. I'm sure the boys' drama teachers of the future will be chuffed that they remember people like Duncan Donuts" - Arts Co-ordinator, Southland Boys High "WOW! Thankyou so much the group were just amazing. Our kids sat enthralled through the whole performance. Just great." - Assistant Principal, Freeville Primary "Thank you very much for a 'WOW' performance!" - Teacher, Aranui Primary

Programme Materials Provided for Schools: No

Photos of Relevant Work by This Artist

Back to the 'Jump link' navigation, at the top of the page