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Pirates, aliens, singing and dancing – your tamariki will be having so much fun, they won’t even notice they’re learning about space, the planets and Matariki! With easily-relatable themes of sibling rivalry and the importance of whānau, ‘Matariki and the Space Pirates’ is a rollicking space adventure to be enjoyed at any time of the year. Warning: contains bouncing!


Rangi loves pirates. Stella loves aliens. When Mum and Dad go out for the night, they have no idea the kids will turn their bed into a pirate spaceship and take their babysitter on a wild ride through the night sky in search of extra-terrestrial life. Will the kids fall victim to the dangers of outer space? Can Matariki and her children help them home, or will they be lost in the void for all eternity? And will they ever stop arguing?


This production is best suited to whole school or middle-senior syndicate. Please note, music rights for public performance are not included and schools should hold the standard One Music Schools licence (most schools already have this.) 


Mum and Dad are going out for the night, leaving Luna the babysitter in charge of Rangi, Stella and baby Celeste. While Rangi is obsessed with pirates, Stella wants to play spaceships and search for aliens. When an argument erupts, Luna suggests they compromise and play ‘space pirates.’ The kids agree, turning their parents’ bed into a pirate spaceship powered by bouncing (expressly forbidden!) The bouncing works and they find themselves in space. 



The children meet the planets: siblings who are arguing just like themselves, while boasting about their attributes. When the planets leave, Rangi reveals that he is unsure of the pirate spaceship’s coordinates, and that they are lost in space. 


Interspersed with choreographed dances (see videos) and poems/actions performed by stage-side dance groups, the main characters go on to meet Tama Nui Te Rā (the Sun) and Te Marama (the Moon) – more siblings arguing. They also encounter space junk, a black hole, ‘brainy philosopher dudes’, ghost pirates lost in space, and – to Stella’s delight – aliens! Although the aliens seem keen to learn Te Reo Māori, it soon transpires they have dangerous intentions, and the children must escape. They meet stars Puanga and Matariki, arguing about who is the star of the year. We learn the pūrākau explaining the origins of Matariki, and meet the brothers and sisters of the Matariki star cluster, who introduce themselves one by one, while also – you guessed it! – arguing. We learn more about the purpose of Matariki and reflect on the importance of whānau. 


Stella, Rangi and the Matariki siblings are reconciled, and the children realise that to navigate home, all they need to do is follow the stars… More bouncing ensues, and they make it home in time to sing a lullaby in Te Reo Māori to their baby sister. When Mum and Dad arrive home, all is quiet. Luna insists the evening has passed uneventfully, and that the children have not broken the rules and bounced on their bed. She leaves… and Mum and Dad race to bounce on the bed themselves.   

Matariki and the Space Pirates School Production

  • Peke (Te Nūtube: Atareta Milne & Te Haakura Ihimaera-Manley); The Wreck of the Diddley (Fatcat & Fishface); Pūkeko (Aro); Taniwha in the Sun (Duan & Only/Aunty Bea); Tahi Rua Toru Whā (Anika Moa); Korimako (Aro); Kōtuku (Aro); SINGING: Tīrama Tīrama Ngā Whetū (Loopy Tunes) 

  • Dance Groups: 1-7, each divided equally into Pirates and Aliens (tamariki should invent a name to introduce themselves, e.g. Captain Wigglesworth / Madam Swashbuckler etc for pirates, Happyhoppy / Wigglewoggle etc for aliens.) Dance groups also perform poems and actions stage-side as directed.

    Main Characters: 

    Luna (babysitter)



    Matariki (f)

    Other Characters:

    Whetū/Stars (male+female): Puanga(f); Tupuānuku(f); Tupuārangi(m); Waitī(f); Waitā(m); Waipunarangi(f); Ururangi(m); Pōhutukawa(f); Hiwa-i-te-rangi(f)



    Planets: Mercury; Venus; Earth; Mars; Jupiter; Saturn; Uranus; Neptune; Pluto

    Tama Nui Te Rā/Sun

    Te Marama/Moon

    Ghost Pirates: 1 & 2

    Alien Chiefs: Boingboing; Hoopla-hoopla

    Black Hole

    Space Junk

    Brainy Philosopher Dudes: 1 & 2


    Director’s note: 

    If space permits, we suggest keeping all tamariki up- and side-stage during the show for quicker turn-arounds and so they can perform poems and actions throughout the show as directed. If this is not practical, a smaller group of children could remain onstage.   

    Music for performances may be streamed directly from our website, but we recommend avoiding any internet connection problems by downloading the songs on Spotify or similar (search for the song titles or artists’ names). 

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