“and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.” 


“and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”

One of the most-read and famous children’s books of all time, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ will make its New Zealand debut in 2017. The Isaac Theatre Royal is very pleased to have secured the critically acclaimed stage conversion, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, for five shows in July. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show brings the incredible stories by genius of children’s literature, Eric Carle to life on stage. The show features a menagerie of 75 enchanting puppets and faithfully adapts four of Eric Carle’s beloved books: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mr Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

This Australian produced show is for new readers and first-time theatre-goers, while those who grew up with these books will delight in experiencing one of the most popular children’s books ever written. Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, directed by Naomi Edwards and with puppets created by New York’s Puppet Kitchen.  This is a timeless classic for all generations.

I hope the performances will be enjoyed by many and that the colourful characters will bring comfort and joy to all who see the stories that have been so carefully produced. It is uplifting to see such beautiful and cheerful works inspired by my characters! I am delighted by the puppets, and am honoured to work with the creative team – Thank you, for bringing my stories to life for the stage. I hope my books – and this show – will inspire you and your imagination.” Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a seminal children’s book, one that has introduced generations of children into the wonderful world of storytelling. And now, we have the opportunity to do the very same – to introduce a whole new generation to storytelling through theatre. For many, this will be their first experience and we want to make it a magical one. To faithfully take a book that means so much to so many people, and create a new interpretation for the stage is both a privilege and an honour.” Jonathan Rockefeller 

Producers Jonathan Rockefeller and Michael Sieders are both thrilled to be entrusted with transforming these beloved books into a theatrical event for children. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is an adventure in the world of Eric Carle, with audiences transported into a giant pop-up book filled with amazing characters, such as an 8ft red crocodile, a life size yellow cow, an underwater world filled with all types of sea creatures, a beautiful three metre butterfly and of course, the hero of the show, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch

July 25th & 26th


To Book: Ph 0800 TICKETEK

www.ticketek.co.nz or call in to the Box Office located in the ITR foyer

Show duration: 50 minutes



“Beautiful, rhythmic and faithful to the author’s works, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a triumph for first time theatregoers” 

“Simply put, the makers behind the first stage adaptation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar know and understand kids.”

– Time Out

Presented by JWR Productions Australia & Michael Sieders Presents, in association with the Isaac Theatre Royal

Created by Jonathan Rockefeller Director Naomi Edwards Producer Michael Sieders

Set Designer James Browne Puppets created by Puppet Kitchen Costume Designer Andrea Espinoza Lighting Designer Nicholas Rayment Composer / Sound Designer Nate Edmondson Composer Steven Baker

Tanya Jephson
| ITR Publicity
Ph 021 983 049

Show Images Available HERE


Eric Carle, Author and Illustrator

Acclaimed creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 127 million copies of his books have sold around the world. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, now-classic and favourite of millions of readers has been translated into 60 languages and sold over 38 million copies since it was first published in 1969.

Jonathan Rockefeller, Creator and Executive Producer

Jonathan’s raison d’être is to entertain and push boundaries, combining a career in film, theatre, puppetry, television, commercials and music video. Aside from the magical journey of creating The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, with Eric Carle Studio, Jonathan co-wrote and originally produced the puppet-parody show Thank you for being a friend, featuring Miami’s most famous broads (The Golden Girls) which has since been licensed for further productions worldwide.

Other recent projects include the documentary ROAD TO PRIDE ROCK:The Making of the Lion King and the screenplay Coming of Age developed with Screen New South Wales and the Dungog Film Festival’s In the Raw program. Accolades include Cannes Lion nomination in addition to multiple Clio and Media Federation Awards, High Commendations at Australian Cinematographer’s Guild [ASC], Best Television Current Affairs at the National Media Awards for the unvarnished documentary about life on the street in Boy from the Blue Room, and ‘Best Unproduced Screenplay’ at the MTV Awards for Satisfaction, a satirical tale of becoming an assistant on the world’s most expensive perfume commercial.

Naomi Edwards, Director

Naomi Edwards is a theatre director whose diverse practice covers opera, theatre, and theatre for and by young people, education and community arts. Her current projects include The Waiting Room exploring the history of IVF with playwright Kylie Trounson, in development with Melbourne Theatre Company, writing and directing a new opera for 3 – 8 year olds called When Moon Dust Falls, commissioned by Victorian Opera.

She was the first Artistic Director Residency with Patch Theatre Company. A recent recipient of the Gloria Dawn/Gloria Payten and Mike Walsh Fellowship, she participated in the Lincoln Centre’s Directors Lab in New York. Her recent production of Cautionary Tales for Children received a Helpmann nomination for Best Children’s Production.

Naomi is now the current Artistic Director of Adelaide based Patch Theatre Company, one of Australia’s most distinguished children’s theatre companies.

The Puppet Kitchen, Puppets

Puppet Kitchen is a full-service puppet design, build, and performance studio in New York’s East Village, founded in 2008 by Emily DeCola, Michael Schupbach and Eric Wright. The PK trio brings a multidisciplinary, “soup-to-nuts” approach to everything we do.

As designers, directors, performers, and builders, the Puppet Kitchen blends style with engineering to create dynamic visual stories.  Our fluency in many puppetry styles, including marionettes, TV-style, direct manipulation, shadows, and toy theatre, allows us to create just the right puppet approach to every project.  Our work has been featured in a variety of media: theatre, TV, advertising, web, opera and dance, to name a few.

Some of our favourite collaborative partners and clients include The Public Theatre, H&M, The Disney Channel, Twisted Pixel Games, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City Opera, Mills Entertainment, Folkmanis Puppets, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, The Bronx Zoo, Disney Theme Parks, PBS, TheaterWorks USA, The HERE Theatre, CollegeHumor.com, Leslie Feist, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Dance Theatre Workshop.

Our original production series PK Presents creates original programming for all ages with puppetry and music.  Our repertoire ranges from What Are You Eating? a show about food politics for adults to Four Seasons in Buenos Dairies, a goofy but sincere bovine “Bonnie & Clyde” caper for young audiences based on Astor Piazzolla’s tangos, to the upcoming Pet vs Man — an improvised debate show pitting pet owners against puppet versions of their household companions.

Michael Sieders, Producer

Michael is a graduate from the University of Western Sydney’s Theatre Theory and Practice degree in 2002. Michael has worked on various theatre and film productions as a production manager, writer, producer and director. Michael has also held the position of the Operations Manager for the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

Michael’s most recent theatre credits include Associate Producer S-27  by Sarah Grochala (Griffin Independent 2010), Producer Fool for Love by Sam Shepard (B Sharp 2010), Producer The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Griffin Independent 2011), Producer The Coming World  by Christopher Shinn (Darlinghurst Theatre Company 2011), Producer Porn. Cake by Vanessa Bates (Griffin Independent 2012), Producer Songs for the Fallen by Sheridan Harbridge (Rock Surfers Theatre Comapny 2012, The Reginald Season 2013 and Brisbane Festival 2013). In 2014 Michael produced the World Premiere production of Every Second by Vanessa Bates as part of Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s 2014 season in their new space, The Eternity Playhouse.

Michael has also produced four tours for Critical Stages as their NSW producer from 2011 – 2013, and two national tours as producer for Performing Lines.

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Dazzling international cast announced

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Coming to the Isaac Theatre Royal this May

Any dream will do …

A stellar international cast is today announced to perform one of the most enduring shows of all time, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT when it tours New Zealand, starting in Auckland at Easter.

Winner of one of South Africa’s most prestigious theatre awards, a Naledi award, Earl Gregory will play the lead role of Joseph, reprising a role that thrust him on to the world stage almost a decade ago. Since then he has been in demand by producers around the globe. His other credits include playing Seaweed in Hairspray, directed by Broadway’s Matt Lenz; touring Asia as Chad in High School Musical; Dreamgirls directed by Broadway’s Robert Longbottom; Rum Tum Tugger in Cats and as Anthony in Sweeney Todd.

Earl says he is beyond thrilled to be coming to New Zealand and to be playing the role that thrust him into international stardom.

Making a triumphant return to New Zealand in the role of Pharaoh is Jonathan Roxmouth who dazzled audiences some nine years ago as Danny Zuko in the international touring cast of Grease the Musical.

His interpretation of Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar earned him the Fleur Du Cap Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Then came his big break – Pieter Toerien and The Really Useful Group’s record-breaking return production of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.

Jonathan played the Phantom himself and was catapulted into a new phase of his career. He garnered the Fleur Du Cap and Naledi Awarda for Best Performance in a Musical as well as the Artes Legends Award then toured with the production to Asia, making history as the youngest English-speaking Phantom yet and winning the Broadway World Award for his performance.

Joining them on stage are actors from a league of nations and backgrounds, from pop stars to TV action heroes; this cast is one of the most thrilling to be welcomed on to our shores.

With past credits including The Lion King, German-trained Calvyn Grandling plays Levi while Kenneth Meyer, playing Reuben, is fresh from a tour of the musical blockbuster Jersey Boys in the lead role of Bob Gaudio.

Playing The Narrator is Belgium-born Louise Duhain who comes to us from Legally Blonde, while in the role of Dan is Richard Gau whose credits include Dirty Dancing and Singin’ in the Rain.

Dean Roberts, who plays Jacob, is also no stranger to New Zealand having been here before with the stage hit We Will Rock You. He has since toured with High School Musical, Cabaret, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, The Rocky Horror Show, Fame and Sister Act.

A graduate of the Broadway Dance Center and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York City, Sonwabiso Sakuba – playing Benjamin – has worked with some of the world’s greatest choreographers and danced for international hip hop rapper Cam’ron.

James Cundall, CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and producer of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT says “I am thrilled to be able to bring a cast of this calibre to New Zealand, in a show that is such a favourite across all ages.  Over the years we have built a reputation in New Zealand as producers of top quality international musical theatre with shows such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Cats, The Sound of Music and Singin’ in the Rain.  I’m sure JOSEPH will achieve the same high standards and level of enjoyment that our audiences have come to expect of our international productions.”

This lavish international production will open at The Civic in Auckland at Easter, Saturday, 15 April. It will then move to Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal, opening on Thursday 4th May and the Opera House in Wellington on Wednesday 17 May.

A joyous retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph, his 11 scheming brothers and his coat of many colours, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a kaleidoscope of catchy songs and colourful dance numbers – Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door to Me and Go Go Go Joseph – parodying various musical styles from rock ‘n’ roll to country and western, French ballad, calypso and jazz.

This new production of JOSEPH is completely reimagined with a contemporary twist, and exudes as much fun, cheek, exuberance, colour, music, dance, high energy, wit, gags, quirkiness and dazzle as ever. It is an irresistible family musical.

Tickets for these strictly limited seasons are selling quickly so theatregoers are urged to act without delay to avoid disappointment.

A record-breaking musical, that has enjoyed three West End productions, one on Broadway, and continues to tour the US and UK, JOSEPH launched the careers of both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and was the beginning of what went on to become one of the most successful musical theatre partnerships of all time. A box-office hit, seen by some 30 million people, it also boasts multiple Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk award nominations including best musical, best original score and best choreography.

The ultimate feel-good show, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT will once again see New Zealand audiences cheering the music of Lloyd Webber.

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is licensed by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group and presented in New Zealand by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Atkins Enterprises, in association with Pieter Toerien Productions.

“The best kind of feel-good show, warm hearted and irresistible” – The Sunday Times, UK

“A brilliant celebration of words, music and colour” – The Sunday Times, UK

“Joseph is still the wittiest of Lloyd Webber’s extravaganzas” – Orlando Sentinel, US

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat has you floating on a rainbow-hued cloud and hunting around for the nearest dance floor” – Financial Mail, South Africa

“Dazzling Joseph… brilliant production”  The Star, South Africa

“Joseph is an absolute blast” – Financial Mail, South Africa

See show details

Christchurch excellence recognised at EVANZ Awards

On Wednesday night at the celebratory Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ) Awards Dinner, the Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch won the Evanz Medium Venue Award, being commended on their perseverance, initiative and tenacity over the past year, and also received the ultimate accolade winning the Ticket Direct Supreme Venue of the Year Award.

This year the Contribution to Industry Award, recognising dedication and success within the industry, went to Neil Cox, Chief Executive of the Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch. Over the past 5 years, Neil has made a significant contribution well beyond resurrecting the Isaac Theatre Royal back to world-class standards after the catastrophic earthquake. Soon after Neil has brought the Theatre back to its rightful place as one of the best performing arts centres in the country.

VBase General Manager Darren Burden was also recognised winning the Ticketek Venue Executive of the Year and the Priava Supreme Venue Person of the Year Awards, with VBase also winning the Tompkins Wake Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Out of the nine awards presented on the night, Christchurch’s leading entertainment and hospitality industry venues and respective leaders dominated the 2016 EVANZ Awards demonstrating excellence in innovation, business growth and customer service.

Neil Cox, Chief Executive of the Isaac Theatre Royal said, “after so many accolades and awards for the building itself following the massive rebuild, and then to also win the Champion Canterbury Supreme Business Award in September, this for us is the absolute icing on the cake! Recognition from your own industry peers is just magnificent. The whole ITR team are all so proud and personally I feel so honoured”.

EVANZ is a professional organisation providing leadership and builds excellence for entertainment venues in New Zealand. EVANZ facilitates the collective sharing of information, enhancement of skills and development of best practice in the entertainment venues. 

All entries received show the great wealth of talent and dedication within the events, entertainment and venue industries.

The EVANZ Venue Award Winners for 2016 are:

EVANZ Contribution to Industry Award 
RECIPIENT: Neil Cox, Chief Executive, Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch 

Evanz Medium Venue (1001-4999 Seats)
WINNER: Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch 

Ticket Direct Supreme Venue Ticket Direct Supreme Venue of the Year Award (highest scoring nomination across the 3 venue awards – large, medium and small)
WINNER: Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch 


Tompkins Wake Lawyers Excellence in Customer Service
WINNER: Vbase, Christchurch

Ticketek Venue Executive of the Year
WINNER: Darren Burden, General Manager, Vbase, Christchurch 

Priava Supreme Venue Person of the Year Priava Supreme Venue Person of the Year (highest scoring nomination across the 3 people awards)
WINNER: Darren Burden, General Manager, Vbase, Christchurch

The full list of awards finalists can be viewed here