Reviews Article

Reviews Article

“A Must See!!! Fantastic Family Day Out!!” – 6 May 2017
Have just spent the day at ‘Whoa! Studios’ with 2 x 5-year-old boys and a 3-year-old girl. We all had an amazing day. The stage show ‘Gloomio’ was great, as was the food in the restaurant. And the playground kept the kids entertained for ages. Highly recommend, and will definitely return here 🙂 – 5 Stars

“Lunch and playtime” – 13 Mar 2017
We went to check out this relatively new attraction. The play area is small but really well done and different. The Whoa Web is superb fun! Probably suits 5-10-year-olds best but the 20-month-old we had along had a great time. We were also interested in the cafe, which didn’t disappoint! At weekends they have a show as well but we didn’t plan for that with the little one. – 5 Stars

“Awesome child-friendly foodies heaven” – 11 Mar 2017
Whoa Studios has nailed child-friendly with sophisticated adult friendly food and service. Our grandchildren were delighted with the playground and we loved the beautifully crafted food. The service was delightful and I was amazed by the care taken to make this a great family venue. – 5 Stars

“After 8.5 years of being too overwhelmed by the darkness, crowds, and noise of theater shows, Livvy overcame the difficulties today. A huge thank you to Whoa Studios for a fantastic show. The Doods Dance Show was fantastic!!!! If you are in Auckland YOU HAVE TO GO!!!!!!!!”


Esther Shimmin (Mother)

“Whoa! Studios really was a pleasure to visit. Whoa! is refreshingly different. I enjoyed everything but from the perspective of a parent looking to return. Really good food, drink and snacks were wonderful. 
The crochet climbing net was fantastic and kept the little beasts occupied for hours. The show appealed at all age levels too. Great stuff!”

Huon Butterworth (Father)

“Both my kids really love it, and both participated in the show. Even Miss 6 who is usually very reserved…Thank you for the amazing work you guys do.”

Edna Yong (Mother)

“OMG! You so have to go to see A Very Gloomy Holidays! at Whoa Studios!!!! … the set, show and characters are fantastic! Great for kids of all ages – live action, video and characters like the cool Buzz and the gorgeous Jazz. You and your kids will love it!!! I do!!! It’s like being on set in Hollywood!!! in Henderson!!!”
Suzy Cato (Mum and TV presenter of Suzy’s World and You and Me)

The girls loved the show it was great to see it all come to life 🙂
It’s quite magical experience walking through the studio doors at Whoa studios It certainly woke the inner child within me. I can’t wait to get back and check out another show not to mention the fabulous Restaurant.
Shelton Woolright (I Am Giant, X Factor)

Whoa! Studios is just MARVELOUS. Everyone go!”
Grae Burton (Dad and Producer)

“Go West for lots of fun at Whoa! A Very Gloomy Holidays! combines state-of-the-art 3D mapping and projection technology with puppetry, video and digital effects with live performers, slapstick, puns and catchy songs… staged on a real-life film set.”
Dionne Christian, NZ Herald

“This morning I got a personal guided tour through this amazing place. Was trying to be professional and keep my inner muppet loving 5-year-old quiet, but I’m pretty sure Producer Adam Fresco could see how wide-eyed childish I was becoming with each incredible concept that laid on me. It opens in December and is guaranteed to blow the minds of children of all ages. Part amusement park, part theatre, part Wonka chocolate factory, with full world-class facilities and production studios. What a truly mind-blowing way to start my day! :)”

From Steve Austin, who recently toured Whoa!…

“Highly recommended. A Very Gloomy Holidays! is an outstanding show with an amazing set and characters. Very similar to a themed show you would see in Disneyland here in our own backyard.”Stephen Dallow (Drama Tutor, Auckland)

Stephen Dallow (Drama Tutor, Auckland)




School holidays start THIS FRIDAY and Whoa! Studios is gearing up for a big couple of weeks. Our operating hours are extending on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday until 6pm!

So if you’re stuck wondering “What should we do these school holidays with the kids?” Whoa! Studios is the place to be. Our latest show premiered this month – ‘Gloomio the Great’ – this is our latest addition to the Custard’s World universe. ‘Gloomio the Great’ is showing Wednesday to Friday at 11:00am and Saturday & Sunday at 11:00am & 2:00pm. Be sure to purchase your tickets online to ensure the lowest price available.

Gloomio The Great! features our puppet heroes: Custard; his BFF (best feathered friend!) Kea; inventor, Brianna; class joker, Buzz; and his cute little sister, Jazz.

Their happy hometown of Doodle is under threat, from the smile-stealing, would-be Super-Villain, Dr Gloom! Assisted by genius, young inventor Agar, and his bumbling assistant, Colin, Dr Gloom is plotting to steal the entire town’s smiles by putting on a magic show!

A rollercoaster ride of magical mishaps, pantomime-style family fun, and slapstick silliness, Gloomio The Great! features original music and songs, 3D projections, video, state-of-the-art lighting and sound.

Performer’s Diary – Steph Sharp

Performer’s Diary – Steph Sharp

Your Name:

Stephanie Sharp

A Little Bit About Me:

I’m 23 years old and was born and raised in Auckland. I have been acting since a young age and am trained for both screen and musical theatre with experience in both. I am also a qualified makeup artist & hairstylist, specialising in wigs and makeup for theatre.

The Character I Play and Why I Love Playing Them:

I play ‘Tam the Elf’ in ‘A Very Gloomy Holiday’. I’ve always loved Christmas – it’s my favorite time of year – so obviously, playing a Christmas elf is a lot of fun. I love that Tam is bubbly, carefree & enthusiastic. She acts upon impulse rather than strategy or logic, so she is a lot like me in many ways.


Rehearsals are a lot of fun. It’s great being able to work with a group of such talented, wonderful friends and in such a collaborative environment. New ideas or ways of approaching certain things are always welcomed and encouraged. It’s also been awesome for me to watch the puppeteers at work as that’s something I have no previous experience in. ”

Performer’s Diary – Adam Fresco

Performer’s Diary – Adam Fresco

Your Name:

Why do you have to start with the difficult questions? Hang on while I check my driving license… Ah, here we are, my name is “NZ Driving License”… Oh no, wrong bit, sorry… It’s “Adam Fresco”…

A Little Bit About Me:

I was born in London, UK. My father was a famous sports photographer (Monte Fresco MBE). After working in professional British Theatres directing, producing, writing and acting, I wound up working for ITV Television, where for ten years I directed, wrote and produced everything from kids shows, to short films and documentaries. Ten years ago, I came to New Zealand, where I was Director of  South Seas Film and Television School, and became a movie critic for New Zealand’s number one online film site,, and writer for The Ugly Shakespeare Company – both of which I still do, even today as Producer for Whoa! Studios live and recorded productions. I even found time recently to gain a Masters in Creative Writing from The University of Auckland, and working as part of the wonderful team at Whoa! Studios gives me the opportunity to write, direct, perform and produce for stage and screen. Every day is a new adventure, with fresh things to learn, new people to meet and unique challenges to get excited about!

The Characters I Play and What I Love About Playing Them:

COLIN: As he’s a character I created, Colin was a great chance to play myself – only exaggerated. At least I think he’s a magnified version of me – other people just think he is me! Which is odd, because Colin is bald, overweight, wears glasses, is a bit dim and loves to keep things clean and tidy! And I certainly don’t keep my desk or bedroom tidy… Anyway, Colin was lots of fun to write, and loads of fun to play. He’s very silly, often in trouble with his Boss, Dr. Gloom, but always eager to please and happy to help. Even though Dr Gloom thinks of him more as a hindrance!

DOODLE TV ANNOUNCER: Playing the TV Announcer was a pure joy as he’s very, very over the top, like the kind of guys they used to get to voice Hollywood movie trailers. It’s a great chance to over-act, over-enunciate, and generally overdo it. We had a lot of fun creating the opening titles of Buzz’s favorite TV show – ‘Space Aliens From Outer-Space!’ – for the show, and it was a blast being able to pretend I was voicing a real old-fashioned Hollywood B-movie trailer.


Rehearsals have been a joy. That’s largely because we have such a wonderful cast, crew and supportive colleagues here at Whoa! Studios. Everyone mucks in, and there’s a real collaborative sense of working together to produce something special. In my role I get to wear many hats (often quite literally!), not just as an actor, but as the writer of the script, based on the ideas and input of the whole team, as Director of the show, as Producer, and as the person in charge of making sure there’s milk in the office fridge! That’s part of what makes Whoa! Studios such a magical place to work – everyone has a hand in every aspect of production, and every idea is listened to. So, whilst I’d love to tell you how hard it is, how tough, demanding and grueling – I can’t. Because, more often than not, the sound coming out of rehearsals for our first CUSTARD’S WORLD show has been laughter. Oh, and singing. And then laughing again!

Kick Arts Interview

Kick Arts Interview

“On Sunday 8th January, Whoa! Studios actors Rebekah Head, who plays Jazz, and Paul Lewis, who plays Custard, in A VERY GLOOMY HOLIDAYS! were interviewed live on Kick Arts, Planet FM.

Listen to the whole show here!

You can hear highlights from the interview below!

You can book tickets for the show at

Live shows run every Wednesday and Thursday at 11am, and every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2pm throughout January! All seats just $25 including same-day park access for kids (special limited time offer, as seats are usually $39 / $29)”

CUSTARD (played by Paul Lewis)

JAZZ (played by Rebekah Head)

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