Mary Rinaldi

Swimming With Whales in Tonga - get us to Nelson Fringe!

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Off the back of a very successful debut season at the Hamilton Fringe Festival, Skeleton Crew is taking their quirky black comedy show, Swimming With Whales in Tonga, to the Nelson Fringe in early May. The show received rave reviews and audience members that returned for repeat viewings.

"The collective energy and timing of this new Auckland-based theatre group, Skeleton Crew, and the witty script make for a really funny and thought-provoking entertainment." - Gail Pittaway, Theatreview

"Swimming with Whales in Tonga is a truly efficient piece of theatre, from before the audience enter through to the final exit it packs colourful characters, sharp exchanges, several twists and even an act structure into fifty highly entertaining minutes." - Ross MacLeod, independent reviewer

Show blurb:

Behind closed doors a group of analysts monitor the hopes and dreams of the world's population. Buried in bureaucracy, it's just another day at the office until a notification pops up on a familiar face. As they argue about protocol and best practice, time is quickly running out…

The awesome team at the Nelson Fringe Festival is doing everything they can to support us out-of-towners, including FREE accommodation! But we need to pay for our own travel, a few consumable props (muffins, muffins, muffins) and due to the way the festival is organised and funded, we don't receive any income from ticket sales, so we are hoping to raise a little money on top of what we need for travel expenses to help us pay for food and other little expenses that crop up when we're on tour. There are six of us in the cast and we need to get our set down there by van, so with petrol, ferry and flights, the costs have been mounting up.

Skeleton Crew is a group of professional emerging actors based in Auckland. We spent 5 months devising this awesome original show and we want theatre and art lovers in other parts of the country to get to see some high quality, original theatre from a group of passionate artists. The opportunity to tour to Nelson is one we are very excited about, the team down there has put on an amazing programme that we are thrilled to be part of. There will be countless opportunities for networking with other artists from the Nelson/Tasman area as well as other parts of New Zealand. They even have acts coming in from Australia and Canada.

So, whether you saw the show in Hamilton and reckon Nelsonians need to experience its awesomeness, or whether you wish you could see the show but can't make it, or if you're just an all-round lovely person who wants to support us, please consider giving us a boost. We've worked so hard creating this original piece of work and we think as many people as possible should get the chance to go Swimming With Whales in Tonga (not literally, sorry, we can't afford that... but seeing the show is the next best thing!) :)

Check out the Nelson Fringe website here (includes links to our previous reviews).

The Skeleton Crew / Swimming With Whales in Tonga team:

Director - Cherie Moore
Producer/Actor/Deviser - Mary Rinaldi
Writer/Actor/Deviser - Hadley R. Taylor
Actor/Deviser - Andrew Craik
Actor/Deviser - Simone Walker
Actor/Deviser - Emily Campbell
Actor/Deviser - Mel Odedra


  • Success at the Fringe!


    Well, we made it! Thanks to you guys who donated! Skeleton Crew had an incredible time performing down in Nelson, we played to a chocka full house, and to top it off we were honoured to receive the Fringe award for Best Script! The whole Nelson Fringe Festival was an absolute cracker, so thanks to the team down there who put it all together as well. Next stop for Swimming With Whales...... Hopefully Auckland!

    Success at the Fringe!
  • Nearly there but not quite!


    Thank you so so much to those of you who have donated so generously to this project so far, we have reached 75% today! With only 3 days left to raise the remaining 25%, we are hoping to reach out to other supporters who may be able to get us over that line. This show has been so much fun to put together, and bringing it to as many people as possible is really our raison d'être. If you would be willing to share this campaign with your own networks we would be so grateful! If we don’t reach our target, we get nothing, so we’re pulling out all the stops! You are all wonderful, thanks for your support. Cheers, Skeleton Crew xxxooo

    Nearly there but not quite!
  • Video update!