The Northern Advocate
December 20, 2009

Scandalous show pulled from Christmas stage

Andre Hueber

A play depicting Santa raping a reindeer has been pulled from a Whangarei stage for fear of shocking seasonal sensibilities.

Professional theatre company Pohutukawa had already booked the Old Library for its performance of the Reindeer Monologues.

"It's a Christmas show but we chose not to put it on because it's scandalous," producer Jarrod Martin said.

"We didn't want people feeling like we'd pulled the rug out from under them, or getting the idea that it was a family affair only to find out what Santa had been up to."

Reindeer Monologues, by American playwright Jeff Goode, includes eight monologues, each of which represent a different attitude to rape.

"It doesn't make a joke out of rape. Rape is no laughing matter - at one stage we were sitting around crying," Mr Martin said.

During a rehearsal, the eight-member cast realised the play was gritty and people might come along with the wrong expectations. The show will now be performed next year from March 23 to April 3 at the Old Library.

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said he was "struggling to find the link between rape and Santa - it's tenuous".

"At Christmas it's a dark issue to be raising and you walk a fine line by bringing humour to the serious issue of rape.

There's a danger you trivialise the issue." Mr McCoskrie said portraying sexual violence in a humorous way minimised its effect.

"The play needs to be reviewed by the chief censor so a warning can be put on for families."