Meet the cast of Badjelly the Witch

We’re delighted to introduce the talented cast for Badjelly the Witch.


Jacob Dale
(Tim)
Jacob is a graduate of Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School and is a big fan of children’s theatre. His first performance ever was in a production of The Owl and the Pussycat and has since done numerous shows including The Great Piratical Rumbustification last year with Tim Bray Productions. He hopes you enjoy the show.


Jessica Hunt
(Rose)
Jessica holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts from NASDA and has completed the 80 week Meisner course under Michael Saccente.  She continues to study the technique in the Meisner Masterclass.

A trained singer, Jessica has also performed in several musicals – including Cats and Avenue Q in which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the NAPTA Awards. Voiceover is another love of Jessica’s, you may have heard her on radio ads and most recently the animated web series Rainbocorns.

This is Jessica’s first time working in a Tim Bray Production and she couldn’t be happier playing Rose in the classic story, Badjelly the Witch.

Tim Raby
(Badjelly the Witch, Prince, Mummy, T-Tree, Trouser Robber, Robin Interpreter, Apple Tree)
Tim has been working professionally on stage, and in television and film for over 30 years. Television shows like Spartacus, Shortland Street, Power Rangers, Xena, Legend of the Seeker and Hercules. Films such as Underworld, Wendy Wu, Not Only but Always, Desperate Remedies, End of the Golden Weather and The Piano.

And during the many stage productions from Pantomime to Shakespeare, he has been fortunate to have been involved with Tim Bray Productions, since it’s creation in 1991.

Donogh Rees
(Daddy, Binkle-bonk (and Silly Sausage), Ambulance Officer, Dinglemouse)
Donogh graduated from Theatre Corporate Drama School in 1978.
She has worked in the various disciplines of theatre and screen ever since.
Her most recent work in Auckland has been in Julius Caesar for the Pop Up Globe, Tennessee Williams Auto de Fey, The Lesson both at Basement Theatre and Not Psycho and Sister Anzac both in the Q Loft.


Dylan Underwood
(Squire, Mud-wiggle, Dulboot the Giant, T-Tree, Trouser Robber, Robin)
This is Dylan’s fourth show with Tim Bray Productions, previously being involved in the productions of Mrs. Wishy Washy, The Santa Claus Show 2017 and The Great White Man Eating Shark. Dylan graduated with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts majoring in Acting in 2016 from Unitec and has worked on a few community theatre and development shows since graduating, as well as making plenty of coffee for the bustling businessmen and women of Britomart of course, but is now excited to be bringing Badjelly the Witch to the stage!


Jeff Szusterman

(Narrator, Sun, T-Tree, Robin, Shark, M People, Jim the Eagle, Monster – Offstage)
Jeff is an award-winning actor, director, and teacher who has loved ‘Badjelly The Witch’ in a deep and abiding way since he was but a wee lad. ‘Badjelly’ is his first show with Tim Bray Productions. Jeff has extensive acting credits across over 20 years of professional theatre work. In Auckland, Jeff has acted and directed for Silo Theatre, The Basement, and Last Tapes Theatre. In Wellington, at Bats, Circa, and Downstage. In Portland, Oregon, and Lenox, Massachusetts, USA, too – where he lived for five years. Jeff is a director of AYA Drama School (aya.co.nz) one of Auckland’s foremost drama schools for young people aged 10-20 years, and he has also directed the Duffy Books-In-Homes Theatre show for the last six years. Jeff is a proud member of Equity New Zealand, the union dedicated to making performers’ lives better.


Charlotte Heath

(Cleaner, Lucy, T-Tree, Magician’s Assistant, Ambulance Officer, M People, Firewoman, Cloud)
Charlotte has spent her whole life playing dress ups and making up characters and stories and home made films. She has been lucky to have a great group of friends willing to participate.  She has been to drama classes since primary school and every party has been a themed event requiring full imaginative planning. Charlotte has attended Tim Bray Productions’s weekly Youth Theatre classes since Year Six and this is her first professional show.


Aedan Burmester

(Squire, Pom-Pom, T-Tree, Tin Lion, Magician, M People, Cloud)
Aedan  discovered his love of theatre during a performing arts holiday programme when he was only 7. He has performed many roles since then, most notably Oliver in Oliver!, Edmund in Narnia, Jack in Into the Woods and earlier this year Horton the Elephant in Seussical. His favourite part thus far was the role of Leon in Medea, directed by Rachel House of Hunt for the Wilderpeople fame. Aedan is looking forward to performing for an entirely different audience in Badjelly! Oh, and he likes Marmite on toast – but only when his dad makes it for him.


Nick Garrett

(Musician/Musical Director)
Nick is a producer, director and composer from Auckland, New Zealand. He has been composing for film and TV for several years; racking up credits while making short films on the side. The latest short film, Coral, is playing at the NZFF in China. Nick loves any opportunities he can find that involve film or music, or both.

The actors’ contract fees  are kindly supported with funding by North & South Trust Ltd.

 

 

Pippi Longstocking lands in Takapuna…all the way from London!

Auckland’s leading theatre for children, Tim Bray Productions, presents Pippi Longstocking at The PumpHouse Theatre, Takapuna from 7-28 April. First staged by Tim Bray Productions in 2007, the story of Pippi Longstocking is one that has excited, amused and intrigued generations of children all over the world, so it’s only fitting that our own Pippi is flying in for the show all the way from London!

The irrepressible Pippi is being played by the talented Tineke Ann Robson, who first donned the flaming red hair and flamboyant stockings in 2013. Audiences were in awe of her acrobatics, comedic timing and infectious smile, so we are thrilled to have Tineke back for another show!

She has graced New Zealand stages and screens, notably as Ophelia in the popular TV series Spartacus, War of the Damned. Since her knock-out 2013 performance as Pippi, Tineke has been in London where she has worked on various films including playing an Auror in J.K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Tineke was looking for her next adventure when the Pippi Longstocking audition notice was sent to her by a friend, in what she called serendipitous timing.

In this classic children’s story, written by Astrid Lingdren, Pippi along with her best friends Tommy (Lucas Haugh) and Annika (Ailis Oliver-Kerby) outsmart bullies and have fun with her monkey Mr Nelson (Nik Edwards). Along the way Pippi is reunited with her father, the Cannibal King (Richard Leggott). The stories have been adapted for the stage by Tim Bray with music by Christine White, and live music will be performed by Leon Radojkovic.

“I am constantly wowed by Pippi. Her physical prowess is impressive, and she embodies spunk and enthusiasm for unconventional living with ease.”
“This is a thoroughly entertaining children’s show that I’ve really loved seeing; I encourage childless adult fans not to feel at all odd going along. It is a lovingly created tribute to Pippi, and any fan of any age will find it a pleasure. ” – Theatreview (2013)

Pippi Longstocking is at The PumpHouse Theatre Takapuna, Auckland in April opening with a Gala performance on Saturday 7 April at 5pm. Performance times from 9-13 April are 10:30am and 1pm daily; and from 14-28 April at 10:30am and 2pm (no shows on Sundays or Anzac Day).

A New Zealand Sign Language interpreted performance is on Thursday 12th April at 10.30am, with Audio Described performances with touch tours on Tuesday 10th April at 12pm and Saturday 21st April at 1pm.
Tickets for Pippi Longstocking are available by phoning (09) 489-8360 or online at here.

Check our more details about our fantastic cast below!

Lucas is an Auckland based actor and recent graduate from the Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts at Unitec (Majoring in Acting). His recent theatre credits include Buddy and Judge, Jury and Cookie Monster at Auckland Fringe, Auckland Summer Shakespeare’s As You Like It and a national tour of Saturday Night Fever. When not acting, he makes music with the band Galaxy Bear. Pippi Longstocking will be Lucas’ first show with Tim Bray Productions.

Lucas is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Ailis recently graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London) with a Master of Arts in Music Theatre. In London, Ailis originated the role of Bobbi Melrose in the new musical, Stage Door, written by Joshua Rosenblum and Joanne Lessner. Performance credits in the UK also include Hairspray, Jesus Christ Superstar and Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi.

Ailis holds a BA in Theatre Studies from the University of Otago, and has performance highlights in New Zealand include Hairspray, Mamma Mia, The Sound of Music, The Phantom of the Opera and Punk Rock.

Ailis has just finished a season at the Court Theatre in Chicago as Ensemble/ Understudy Roxie Hart. She cannot wait to jump into this production of Pippi Longstocking – a childhood favourite!

Richard trained in the UK and worked in commercial and repertory theatre between 1990 and 2001. Roles include the lead in Candide directed by John Doyle, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors at York Theater Royal, Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey directed by Tim Carroll and World premiers of Charlottes Web and Withnail and I in which he played Templeton and Marwood ( I ) respectively.

In 2001 he moved to Barcelona accumulating 23 film and tv credits including The Chief Magistrate in Perfume, the story of a murderer and most recently William in The Bookshop directed by Isabel Coixet. Here in New Zealand roles include: the funeral director in Ash vs Evil Dead, Rev. Co’burn in Westside.

We are thrilled to have Richard in the cast!

Nik was very busy in Tim Bray Productions The Santa Claus Show last year – he performed as a Dad, an Elf, a Rubik’s Cube and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

He loves to perform – whether it be acting, dancing, singing, playing ukulele or balancing on his hands.

Nik also has a passion for working with young people – he teaches acting workshops with Tim Bray Productions Youth Theatre and works as an Educator at MOTAT.

Nik’s favourite thing to eat is a Granny Smith apple, he enjoys speaking French and he once lived on a Cruise Ship for 6 months.

No Tim Bray Productions theatre show would be complete without an unforgettable musical accompaniment and we are very excited to have the talented Leon Radojkovic on the team, performing the titles by Christine White, and also creating incidental music throughout the show. Leon  is an Auckland-based composer who makes music for theatre, film, dingy bars, and for fun.

Leon is the creator and composer of Live Live Cinema: which has toured a triplicate of productions since 2011 in NZ, Australia, the UK and Europe. Leon has worked with Silo as composer and musical director on numerous productions including Brel, Boys Will Be Boys and most recently Peter and the Wolf. 

Leon was also Musical Director for Auckland Theatre Company’s acclaimed seasons of Jesus Christ Superstar and Amadeus. Leon can also be found fronting the experimental group Fortress Europe.

You can Gift a Seat to a child in need

Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you know that here at Tim Bray Productions we produce 4 children’s theatre shows at The PumpHouse Theatre in Takapuna. What you may not know, is that Tim Bray Productions is a registered charitable trust, working towards our purpose of creating top-quality New Zealand theatre accessible to all children and young people, inspiring in them a love of the performing arts both as audience and active members.

Our outreach programme, Gift a Seat, allows us to provide free tickets to children from low decile schools, Make-A-Wish New Zealand, Kelston Deaf Education Centre to our NZ Sign Language Interpreted performances, and blind and sight-impaired children from BLENNZ to our Audio Described performances. I can’t quite explain how rewarding it is being able to be a part of these life-changing days at the theatre for the children, and some of the responses that we get really re-affirm the passion that we have for this cause.

Debbie Hoskins, Make-A-Wish Co-coordinator told us:

I have to tell you about one of the families who are coming to Mrs Wishy-Washy. Little Zinzan is the wish child but he is very unwell.  He is the cutest wee chap you could hope to meet….so sad. He has a 6yr old sister called Rhianna who is obviously very worried about what’s about to happen to her little brother. The family is going through an extremely tough time and this is just so lovely. So thank you to all you wonderful people…. What you do makes such a huge difference

And we received this touching letter from West Harbour School;

“For many of our students at our Decile 2 school the likelihood of attending a live theatre show is very limited. The smiles and laughter the audience shared throughout the performance was priceless, as were the learning experience…your very generous support of our precious children makes a real and positive difference in their young lives.”

Last year with the help of our amazing audience, we were able to gift over 1,000 free tickets for children to attend one of our four productions under the Gift a Seat banner, but the demand for these tickets is very high, and we would always love to be able to give away more!

If you would like to support Gift a Seat, you can click here to donate a seat at the theatre for a deserving child.

 

Zach ‘Hit the Stage’… and TV!

For some people confidence comes naturally and for others, it is learnt. For Zach Dignan, it was as though it was inside him all along, just waiting to be brought out with the help of Tim Bray Productions’ holiday programme, Hit the Stage! Zach’s Oma encouraged him to join the programme because although Zac had participated in band performances, he still wanted to be more confident and outgoing. Zach had a keen interest in all things acting, and he went out on a limb to take part.

Five days might seem a short time to you or I, but for a young person, it only takes five days to change the way they see the world. For Zach, those days meant a growing passion and confidence for the stage. “I think I learned a lot and I am now a lot more confident.” Zach explains, “ I have done many more acts on stage after going to the programme because I learnt more about acting and being confident on stage.”

To top of Zach’s programme experience, he was given the opportunity to audition for a TV piece where he could be interviewing famous New Zealand politicians. In the past this may not have been an easy feat for Zach but he leapt into the experience and got the part! “We weren’t expecting to get in the cast but we did and I was kind of surprised seeing as there were so many children at the audition.” He says, “I think the programme really helped me because if I hadn’t gone to the programmes I probably would have been scared to talk or say the wrong thing.” You can watch the video here.

It’s fair to say that a short five days has turned into much more, and this is not an uncommon story that we hear. So often all it takes for young people to come out of their shell is a little encouragement, a little skilled guidance and a lot of fun – and who knows where it could take them! When asked what Zach would say to other young people considering a five day Hit The Stage! course, his response was a definitive “do it, it’s worth it” and we can’t argue with that!

For more information on Hit the Stage! and for bookings click here.

Behind the curtain

If you have ever come to one of our shows, you would have enjoyed watching our talented actors and musicians, seen the work of our fantastic set designer and the smiling faces of kids in the audience, but what you don’t see is what goes on behind the curtain!

They say that time is the most valuable commodity, and although we are a small team here at Tim Bray Productions, every season we are fortunate to have the support and help of generous volunteers who donate their time to us to get each show up and running! Our volunteers help with everything from mail outs, to postering, to ushering the shows and we don’t know what we would do without them!

Last week and this week we had an amazing team of volunteers helping us prepare our quarterly newsletter and one volunteer, Joy, says that volunteering helps her gain first-hand experience, and she loves knowing how much value her time adds for others. Our ushers come from varied backgrounds and say that they choose to volunteer as ushers to learn about New Zealand culture, gain work experience and of course to see the happy children!

In perfect timing, the 5th of December is the United Nations International Volunteer Day, with the 2017 theme of “Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.” in recognition of the positive solidarity of volunteers around the world. We are always on the hunt for more volunteers, so if you are interested in celebrating international volunteer with with us, making some new friends, learning about classic New Zealand stories and helping put smiles on little faces by ushering for TBP, head here and let us know!

– Bridget

The verdict is in…

Mrs Wishy-Washy is a hit! Of course, we are down at the theatre every day with the giggling children and smiling faces so we knew that already, but in case you needed any more convincing the reviews have started to roll in!

Zanna Gillespie from the New Zealand Herald says of the “delightful children’s musical“, “Hayley Dallimore is the fabulously camp Mrs Wishy-Washy, a farm wife with an exaggerated Kiwi accent who delights in keeping her home – and animals – clean, neat and tidy. The mud-loving Cow (Tim Raby), Pig (Dylan Underwood) and Duck (Katie Burson) make for an hysterical trio wreaking havoc at the Wishy-Washy farm with Mud, Bubbles and Water, played excellently for laughs by a very limber Amber Liberte.

While all six cast members have great comedic timing, enjoyed by the adults in the audience as well as the children, the standout performance comes from Zak Enayat as Mr Wishy-Washy. A scene in which he plants corn for his wife has no dialogue and is made up entirely of a bouncy strut, a head jiggle, some large hand gestures and flamboyant facial expressions. It brings the house down.

A big part of the shows for us is making sure that kids can get involved and feel like they are part of the story, and Caroline Botting from Stuff.co.nz noted; “It was great to see how the kids were wowed by the small things, including the real bubbles that fell from the ceiling during bath time, and the moment the audience was asked to participate in singing Mrs Wishy-Washy happy birthday. I was also very impressed with the musical accompaniment performed by one-man-band, musician Rupert Grobben.

This is another great Tim Bray show and I’d thoroughly recommend it for a great afternoon out with the kids. The only request for the next one – more songs and dances please.

One thing we can definitely promise is there will always be song and dance! We are thrilled to hear wonderful feedback like this from reviewers, as well as the touching emails that we have been getting from parents and teachers, but the party isn’t over yet! With another week of school holidays left, you still have time to join the action and head down for a show or book the kids in for our ever-popular Theatre Workshops, full of games, activities and exclusive behind the scene access!

-Bridget