Journey back to childhood with Winnie the Pooh

Author: Katrina O’Connor

Published: 21st September 2023

Link: Stuff

I had the pleasure of attending the live show of Winnie the Pooh KIDS performed by the Nelson Youth Theatre, and it was a delightful journey back into childhood. The cast, led by Lariana Fifita as Winnie the Pooh, delivered a charming and heart-warming performance that captivated the audience.

The story was wonderfully woven together by the colourful narrators with their charismatic one liners. This was complemented by the lively musical numbers, which were performed with enthusiasm by the cast and had the audience out of their seats and joining in.

Tigger’s (Reuben Hart) boundless energy and enthusiasm were perfectly embodied, and he had the audience bouncing along with him. Eeyore (Samantha Thomson), the perpetually gloomy donkey, was a contrast to the more upbeat characters but equally well done. Indie Clark portrayed Rabbit’s bossy and sometimes uptight personality with great comedic timing and a commanding stage presence.

Eden Hart captured Piglet’s timid yet kind-hearted personality and Isla Hopkins brought Owl’s wisdom and pompousness to the forefront. The dynamic duo of Kanga (Daisy Filby) and Roo (MacKenzie Browne) were portrayed with sweet warmth. The group of cute bees added a delightful element to the production, enhancing the Hundred Acre Wood atmosphere and adding to the whimsy of the show.

The show’s pacing and length were well suited for little ones, keeping their attention throughout. This 45 minute show was easy going and the cast were very encouraging and interactive with the audience.

I whole-heartedly recommend taking the whole family, including little ones to this show as it is perfect and engaging for children and families.

REVIEW: Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS

Author: John van Gosliga

Published: 20 September 2023

Link: Nelson App

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS, by Nelson Youth Theatre Company at the Theatre Royal, 20 September 2023.

Winnie the Pooh has been brought to the Stage in a delightful premiere by the Nelson Youth Theatre Company.

This is A.A Milne’s classic story about Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and friends, and is a must see for families with young children.

The audience tonight laughed and clapped at the enthusiastic acting and singing and I was amazed at the large cast that entertained us all so effortlessly.

The bright, colourful costumes and great makeup added to the excitement and you could tell the actors were having a great time acting and singing through the various songs.

I thought the sound was clear but some of the singing and dictation was a little quiet in parts.

The enthusiasm of Tigger, played by Reuben Hart, was very entertaining and Eeyore’s subdued demeanor added to the humour of this character played by Samantha Robin.

The projected backdrop added nicely to the atmosphere and the various narrators added their own touch to the show and kept the pace moving along nicely.

Winnie the Pooh is 45 minutes long, but it felt like only 20 minutes had gone by when the curtain went down.

I am sure that this may be the first time on stage for some of the actors but the smiles and animated faces made me think that they were having fun just being on stage and having the chance to perform to a live audience.

Lariana Fifita played Winnie the Pooh for tonight’s opening and stayed in character the whole time and got the audience up on their feet with the final singalong.

I congratulate Jamie Gornall, who is both director and musical director, and the large team who have bought the classic story to life.

Winnie the Pooh is on at the Theatre Royal until 23 September.