Scroll for credits, pics, and episode summaries!
So You Think You Khandallah
6:30pm, 21 - 25 May 2019, at BATS Theatre
"You’ve got talent. Now let's see what we can do with it."
It's 1982 and we're gonna live forever, but first we have to go through the blood, sweat and tears of Khandallah Academy of Performing Arts. A totally improvised soap opera about fitting in, standing out, finding ourselves and following our dreams. From the creators of Deep Space Naenae, Lyall Baywatch, and Mirror Miramar comes a brand new serial - follow the ongoing story nightly or dip your toes in for just one episode!
Warning: May contain leg warmers and sudden dance breaks.
“Countless moments of improvisational gold” - Theatreview
“Impressively epic improv” - Theatreview
Part of the NZ International Comedy Festival
"Ad-hoc dance numbers, questionable duets, and all the soap opera nonsense one could ever want... So You Think You Khandallah is quality improv, and feels very genuine."- Wellingtonista
Christine Brooks (Peppermint Sparkle)
Matt Hutton (Quane Lively)
Sam Irwin (Albatross Adams)
Liam Kelly (Jack Traddles)
Jennifer O'Sullivan (Sheryl Farmers)
Matt Powell (Ruduolf Channing)
Dianne Pulham (Amelia Love)
Tara McEntee (Jasmine Cholmondley III)
Wiremu Tuhiwai (Chad Mikaere Michaels)
with live direction from Clare Kerrison (Tatum Channing) and Luke Rimmelzwaan (Dr Bruce Rizzleswizzle)
and support from Lyndon Hood (Audi Charade)
Director - Clare Kerrison
Producer - Jennifer O'Sullivan
Set Design & Construction - Jennifer O'Sullivan
Lighting Design/Operation - Darryn Woods
Graphic Design - Hadley Donaldson
Photography - Jason Aldous
Thank you to
NZ International Comedy Festival
The full Soap Factory ensemble
"Every year I look forward to improvising with the Soap Factory crew. Everyone is nice and joyful and talented and hilarious plus our creative producer Jennifer O'Sullivan makes putting on a large cast unscripted show look smooth and easy.
Of all our shows I think this is the one I've always secretly wanted to make. It combines several of my favourite things: character driven improv, 'coming of age' arts movies, and dance breaks. Fellow superfans of any (or all) of these things are welcome to enthuse with me in the Lumen bar after the show."
A bit about BATS Theatre
1 Kent Terrace
BATS is a not-for-profit pick ‘n’ mix of live performance, celebrating 30 years of offering up theatrical good times. We’re all about keeping tickets affordable, nurturing creative talent and supporting independent artists to get their work on stage.
Coming to shows at BATS makes you part of our vibrant passionate super-beautiful dynamic community. To find out more about our 30th anniversary and to help keep BATS flying high, visit bats.co.nz.
The Story So Far
Miss an episode? Stay up to date here!
Episode 1: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
Tuesday 21 May
It's New Zealand 1982 and the beginning of Term 2 at the Khandallah Academy of Performing Arts. Peppermint Sparkle is reliving her glorious past as a child star in the Buzzy Bee club but appears to be failing all her classes and lacking friends. Farmboy Quane will do anything for a friend but is roommate Albatross Adams taking advantage by making him wear purple lipstick? Sheryl Farmers is fed up with doing her best friend's homework and tries to get Jasmine to pull her weight. Meanwhile Amelia's hop hop moves impress Chad and Jack and an easy friendship is formed.
Jasmine drops Sheryl and convinces Quane to be her duo partner in exchange for a (very large) portable phone while Chad admits to Albatross that he and Jasmine used to be an item. Chad tries to reconnect with Jasmine at her party but is interrupted by a determined Sheryl who wants her friend back. At the academy, top dance student, Rudolf Channing, helps Peppermint to express her feelings and reconnect with her talent. Peppermint then nails Dr Rizzleswizzle's acting classic but headmistress Ms Tatum Channing is disappointed in her son's interference and even calls him by his (very long) full name.
We close tonight's episode with a big chorus number about friendship but questions remain unanswered. How will Quane react to being dumped as Jasmine's duo partner? Is Rudolph destined to dance only with himself? And who on earth is pregnant?
Episode 2: Acting for Myself
Wednesday 22 May
Olivia Newton-John's 'Let's Get Physical' is still in the music charts and it's another's week at the Khandallah Academy of Performing Arts.
It's warm up before dance class and Chad Mikaere Michaels is reeling over the possibility that he's going to be a father while Albatross Adams is complaining that Quane's late night harp playing disturbed his sleep. Behind the chainlink fence Rudolph tries a special cigarette and disappoints his mum yet again while later at the same fence Dr Rizzleswizzle has trouble remembering Sheryl's name or anything she might be good at. Jasmine Cholmondley III is determined to raise the impending baby herself (well the nanny will), pushing away Chad's desire to be involved.
Back at the dorm, Albatross catches Amelia Love stealing make up but his normal blackmail tactics don't appear to phase her at all. Jack Traddles is devastated that Rude is being sent to Moscow and tearfully offers his puffer vest as a goodbye present. Peppermint isn't having it however, and based on the effectiveness of last year's Springbok Tour protests, she organises a rally which culminates in a dance off between Rudolph and his mum.
At Sheryl's urging, Jasmine finally lets Chad know she needs him and the three friends agree to a co-parenting three-way. Albatross and Quane bury their differences by recognising their similarities, Amelia frightens a Rizzleswizzle-like ghost while raiding the kitchen, and Tatum Channing acknowledges her son's need for a rebellious phase. We finish with Rude discovering Jack's guitar pick, and an epic ensemble chorus about Acting for Yourself.
Are Alby and Quane related? Is the school haunted? And what does it mean when Sheryl puts a "horse's head" in Amelia's bed?
Episode 3: I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Thursday 23 May
"I Come From a Land Downunder' by Men at Work has shot up the music charts as we look in on the students of KAPA who've committed themselves to a career in the arts.
Jasmine confesses to putting the horse's heads in everyone's bed and commits to becoming a better person. Quane just wants someone to commit to being his dance partner and Peppermint commits to method acting as a horse for the entire week. In the dorms, Sheryl and Chad get physical to fix the weak link in their thruple and in the rehearsal room Shakespeare heats up the space between Jack and Rude.
Amelia and Alby trap the Rizzleswizzle ghost but accidentally touch him prompting the Doc to panic that he's neither a ghost nor a teacher. Sheryl gets reassurance from Ms Channing that she's more than just an heiress and we flashback to the vocal heights of her audition. Meanwhile, a lonely Quane talks to his horse's head which turns out to be Peppermint in an Oscar worthy performance. Both are so happy that they resolve to be dance partners. Ms Channing almost ruins her son's new relationship but Rude wins Jack back with full ensemble body poetry.
Has Jasmine really turned over a new leaf or is it just the morning sickness talking? What is Bruce Rizzleswizzle if he isn't a teacher or a ghost? And what's the big secret about Quane's Dad?
Episode 4: We are Family
Friday 24 May
'I love Rock & Roll' by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts has leapt up the NZ Top 40 as the dramas also escalate at the Khandallah Academy of Performing Arts.
Quane has lost his latest dance partner but appears to have found his Dad. If only he could actually find him, as Dr Rizzleswizzle has disappeared and Amelia is feeling guilty about causing her top cheerleader to lose teacher status. Alby reveals some shocking secrets to Jasmine including the loss of her entire fortune if she has the baby. And oh, Sheryl is now pregnant too but she's worried she can't afford a baby as well as an arts career.
Quane finally gets to meet his Dad but has to share him with the other two ginger-bearded boys, Alby and Jack, because that's how evidence of paternity works in the 80s. Meanwhile, Ms Tatum Channing shakes hands with her son's boyfriend to welcome him to the family but immediately loses teacher status for touching a student! This prompts the Academy to be taken over by Tatum's lifelong nemesis, Audi Charade.
Doc and his three sons go fishing while Audi Charade teaches experimental theatre to the increasingly disconnected thruple. Chad is ready to run from double fatherhood rather than choose between baby mothers but after all that experimental running Jasmine and Amelia beg Ms Channing to take back control. We finish on a poignant chorus number about family and a bold challenge issued by Rudolph Channing.
Can Rude out dance Audi and win back the Academy for his Mum?
Will Jasmine, Sheryl and Chad be re-united as a functioning thruple?
Where will Amelia steal her next meal from?
Find out in the thrilling season finale of So You Think You Khandallah!
The Finale: Don't Stop Believing
Saturday 25 May
Split Enz's hit single 'Six months in a Leaky Boat' is still in the NZ Top 40 as we catch up with the students of the Khandallah Academy of Performing Arts, six months after the epic dance battle for control of the Academy.
Dance battle winner Audi Charade's constant experimental mime classes are sapping the students' happiness and Ms Tatum Channing has been relegated to tea lady. Loser Rude Channing is exiled to Invercargill, where he bumps into ex-teacher Bruce Rizzleswizzle and some emo make up. The pair eventually find some arts council money to tour a new show 'Cats and Dogs' and begin to make their way back to Wellington.
Meanwhile Albatross is feeling a traitor's guilt and vows to help get rid of Audi by acting as a double agent. In the thruple, Chad has all the right answers to be a perfect Dad and finally manages to satisfy a hormonal Jasmine. Sheryl gets some good advice from former child star Peppermint on how to raise a baby as well as have a career in the arts and Peppermint unites the students to create an anti-Audi protest. In the meantime Amelia gets a job and actually begins to pay for her meals.
'Cats and Dogs' finally arrives in Khandallah but Audi shows up to shut the whole thing down. It looks like it'll be a dance battle reprise with the protest team joining Rude on the dance floor and almost gaining the upper hand. At the crucial moment Tatum pointe-steps in for an epic pas de deux that reduces Audi to his knees and makes him pause long enough to discover he is Rude's father and repent his time as nemesis.
So the academy is back in Tatum's hands, Jack and Rude are beautifully reunited, Quane gets to hear his Dad giving the dog monologue of love and the full ensemble joins in for a big finale finish.
Thanks everyone who joined us for this five night journey - we hope you had as much fun as we did! Keep an eye out for Soap Factory's next offering...
Cast & Crew
The staff and students of Khandallah Academy of Performing Arts
Played by Christine Brooks
Peppermint has star quality and she knows it! She’s been honing her integrated voice and interpretive dance routines since she was a child star and has been described as “unexpected”, “committed” and “unique” in reviews. She’s happy to sign autographs after performances
Played by Sam Irwin
Having recently dropped out of Khandallah Carpentry College, Albatross Adams is now majoring in General Performance Studies to try and find his way/place in universe. But why is he *really* here?
Rudolf "Rude" Channing
Played by Matt Powell
It's embarrassing when you accidentally call your teacher “mum”, but even more embarrassing when it's the truth. Rude's been dancing since before he could walk, but he has some big shoes to fill. Will he ever be more than just a great set of calves and a perfect turn-out?
Jasmine Cholmondley the Third
Played by Tara McEntee
Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Jasmine has always had the best of everything. She knows that the world is hers to conquer (with a little help from Daddy), and she’s starting with stardom. It doesn’t matter if she can’t sing, dance, or act, people will pay to come see that BRAND that is Jazzy C... she hopes.
Played by Jennifer O'Sullivan
Sheryl Farmers is a small town girl with a big town voice, or at least she would be if she weren't the heir to the massive Farmers department store fortune. Will she find her place in the spotlight or will the harsh realities of the stage spoil the dream?
Chad Mikaere Michaels
Played by Wiremu Tuhiwai
Chad was raised on the mediocre streets of Khandallah, and he's now been a part of every KAPA production in recent years. Happy to assist front, up, down, side of and backstage to make everyone onstage look absolutely amazing. But what happens if he stumbles into centre stage?
Played by Matt Hutton
Quane Lively was raised on a small dairy farm, and he's going to milk every opportunity he can get his hands on to reach for the stars. To Quane, being fabulous is all about getting up at 5am to work your butt off - will it pay off in the high stakes world of the stage?
Played by Dianne Pulham
Having always dreamed of going to dance school and making it as a hip hop dancer, Amelia Love was devastated to fail her audition. To save face, and with nothing better to do, Amelia has been sneaking into dance classes anyway... Will she be found out or will she steal the spotlight?
Played by Liam Kelly
Jack Traddles is a music major with a heart of gold. He moved from Christchurch to learn and live KAPA 24/7. His curious nature has led him halfway across the country but will it find him the family he dreams of?
Tatum Channing (Live Director)
Played by Clare Kerrison
A former solid gold dancer and international jazz dance star, Tatum Channing is the founder of the Khandallah Academy of Performing Arts (KAPA). She expects everyone to want to be the best and to work as hard as she does. Especially her offspring. Can anyone live up to her expectations?
Dr Bruce Rizzleswizzle (Live Director)
Played by Luke Rimmelzwaan
Once the Dean of Performing Arts at Woolloomooloo University in Australia, Bruce has migrated to teach music and theatre at KAPA. Is he running from something in Australia or running to something in Khandallah? Surely it has nothing to do with the one man theatre tours he did before he became one of most respected arts academics in the southern hemisphere?
John B. Tufnel, Esq. (Lighting Improvisor)
Played by Darryn Woods
John's desperation to make it in the Performing Arts is exceeded only by the severity of his allergic reaction to artificial light. Will he ever find a way to come out of the darkness? Does anyone else even know he is there, or is his presence in the background the real explanation for the building's "ghost"?
Audi Charade (Live Director Understudy)
Played by Lyndon Hood
Two years ago recognisable thespian Audi Charade abruptly withdrew from the international understudy circuit. Now, old friend Tatum Channing has asked him to visit KAPA and share his skills with the next generation. Will he uncover their unique inner artist? Will he even show up? He's not returning calls.