Holiday Magic from Margaret Mahy

Don’t miss the magic of three quirky Margaret Mahy tales brought to life by leading children’s theatre company, Tim Bray Productions, this July school holidays.

Titled The Great White Man-Eating Shark and Other Stories, this delightfully silly play will entertain young and old at The PumpHouse Theatre in Takapuna these school holidays, until 21 July. The charming production has been adapted for the stage by writer and director Tim Bray QSM, with music by Takapuna composer Marshall Smith.  It’s the first time these three stories have been put together in this way and being a Margaret Mahy fan himself, Tim Bray is excited to be bringing them to the theatre. 

“Along with many of New Zealand’s children, I’ve had a lifelong love of Margaret Mahy’s stories and we’ve adapted a number for the stage,” says Bray. “Margaret Mahy stories have something very special about them with quirky characters who appeal to children’s imaginations.”

The Great White Man-Eating Shark is the first to hit the stage and tells the funny story of Norvin, a boy who loves swimming in the bay but wishes he could swim as fast as he can without other swimmers getting in his way. He finds a novel way to have the water all to himself. But is he alone?

Next up is The Boy with Two Shadows: having your own shadow is one thing, but when you agree to look after a witch’s one then the troubles begin. Rounding out the trio is The Boy who was Followed Home. Ever been followed home by a hippo, or two? Imagine what Mum says when she finds them in your front garden!

Bray has assembled a talented cast  of four local actors who do some amusing multi-tasking playing 15 characters between them. Dylan Underwood returns to Tim Bray Productions for the third time, and takes on Norvin and the Boy roles for this show. He is joined by Erica Kröger, Kat Glass and Calum Hughes, with music performed live by Oliver Huang-Hsu.

“This is a tricky trio of stories to stage in one show,” Tim says. “And set designer Rachael Walker, costume designer Vicki Slow and lighting designer Steve Marshall are coming up with clever solutions to overcome the challenges.”

The Great White Man-Eating Shark and Other Stories is the second of four shows in the Tim Bray Productions’ 2018 season and following the Auckland season, it will be performed in Whangarei, Kerikeri and Kaitaia.

The Great White Man-Eating Shark and Other Stories opened at the PumpHouse Theatre in Takapuna, with a Gala Performance on Saturday 30 June and runs until Saturday 21 July. Performance times from 2-6 July are 10:30am and 1pm daily; and from 7-21 July at 10:30am and 2pm (no shows on Sundays). New Zealand Sign Language interpreted performances are on Saturday 30 June at 5pm and Tuesday 3 July at 10.30am, with audio described performances with touch tour performances on Tuesday 3 July 12pm and Saturday 7 July 1pm.

Children are encouraged to dress up as a character from the show for the onstage Costume Parade at the gala and every school holiday season performance.

These July school holidays from Monday 9th to Friday 13th, your children can also Hit the Stage! with Tim Bray Productions in a five-day creative escape. They will each have the opportunity to explore their performance skills, build confidence, and create a unique piece of theatre, ready to ‘Hit the Stage!’ at the end of the week with a free entry performance for family and friends.

There is also a half day or full-day Theatre Workshop tailored to The Great White Man-Eating Shark and Other Stories show. Tutors will lead the students in fun drama activities and games, and there is a craft activity for those staying for the afternoon. Both the half and full day workshops also include a ticket to see the current show live on stage and a chance to tour backstage and meet the cast. Each child will also have a photo opportunity with the cast and crew and receive a copy of our official poster, signed by the cast, to take home as a memento. 

For more info and to book, check out


Issue 89 July 2018