Posted on April 8, 2015
Kiwi Moon – A giveaway
On Monday morning I woke to a tiny creature yelling at me: “We gonsee da Moon Mama. Da Moon an dat keewee”. I can blame Capital E for my early morning wake-up call. I gratefully took tickets from them to their latest production – a stage version of Gavin Bishop’s picture book Kiwi Moon. I had made the error of telling my toddler the night before that we’d be going to see a show that was about the Moon and kiwi (I made big assumptions based on the title I confess).
We dropped into Nanna’s on the way so that Eddie could tell her all about the show and the kiwi and the Moon. “I gonsee dat show Nanna. Dat keewee and dat Moon Nanna”. We also wanted to soak up some of those daylight saving hours that meant the day stretched ahead with migraine-inducing clarity. Nanna was intrigued by the idea of taking a toddler to a show and we all wondered if the two-year-old could handle it.
Well, handle it he did. But with commentary the whole way through:
“IT DARK MAMA! NO LIGHT MAMA”
“DAT KEEWEE MAMA! DAT KEEWEE MAMA!”
“WHAT DAT MAMA?”
“DAT WEKA DEDDY?”
All the way through!
Luckily our kid wasn’t the only one providing a full narrative for the entire show.
And what a show it was. It was, as our youngun’ would say: “Jus luffly!”
The general premise is that a beautiful wee kiwi is born (with a funny Monty Python-style stuck in the egg entrance) and he isn’t like the other kiwi. He’s white. And kiwi obviously need to be brown to blend in. So he asks te Marama (the Moon) if she is his mother as they look so alike. The subtext is your standard kid-fare: ‘it’s OK to be different’ but the message here is gentle and subtle. That you can be a hero without looking like one. That mamas are always there for you but you are strong enough to stand on your own two feet as well. That brave acts are possible even when we don’t feel brave. That loss is a part of life and we are stronger than we think. And that weka are pricks (actually maybe that one is about bullying being bad).
The performers were skilful puppeteers and they had beautiful singing voices. I was particularly taken with te Marama who my son really did see as the Moon even though she was a performer wearing a beautiful white korowai (cloak) and wasn’t Moon-shaped. He now points to the Moon and says “te Mama?” which is pretty cute. She really did have the mana of the Moon and a lovely sort of lilting voice that was still really commanding. Her continued refrain through the show of “be mindful of the land we share” was lovely.
The small one loved the huhu grubs. The cute little huhu sung a funny little Country and Western styled ditty: You Who! You’ll never catch a huhu! While singing this they popped up and down in front of the kiwi. This was the absolute height of comedy for the two year-old. He rocked back and forth on his chair, screeching with laughter. He then had a moment with another toddler where they both just pointed at each other then the stage, then each other, as if to say “are you getting this? Holy shit this is gold!’
The show includes a few (maybe) dark themes – but they’re handled gently.
Eddie announced that he was “BIT SKED” of the dog. He sat on my lap: a ball of nervous energy. I got a bit teary over the injured mama kiwi but cracked up laughing when the little girl in front of us loudly announced “SHE DEAD”. I hope the play has a longer life than the mama kiwi so when Eddie is a bit older I can take him along and initiate a conversation about umm…death. It’s a very smart play that gives older children a lot of credit – that they’re actually compassionate little beings who can understand more than they’re given credit for. I noticed a little boy of maybe five or six hold his mum’s hand and lean into her during the sad part. It made my ovaries ache a bit.
So really, as sceptical as I was about the ages two to seven tag – I think it’s fair. My kid loved the songs and puppets and could (kind of) follow the storyline. He was enthralled from start to finish (impressive given it’s 45 minutes long).
There you have it – my scrambled thoughts on a lovely wee show that we all really enjoyed (my husband said it was the best show he’d seen, and the baby only crapped himself once).
Capital E have very kindly given me a double pass to give away! So comment below to be in to win and I’ll draw a name tomorrow after the witching hour (maybe 8pm?) I’ll email the winner and announce it here as well. Obviously you’ll need to be in Wellington because that’s where the show is!
Book tickets to Kiwi Moon here.
- Dates Sat 4 – 18 April
- Where Hannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington
- Times 11am, Mon-Sat (2pm performance on Sat 4 April)
- Age 2-7 year olds
- Price $12.50 per person; $44 for groups of 4; $10 per person for groups of 10 or more; under twos go free