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Something Rotten? No, Something Sensational!

Written by Christine McCurdy
on July 11, 2024

Welcome to the Renaissance, and welcome to The Ryman Healthcare Return Season of the joyful musical extravaganza Something Rotten! at the Court Theatre. 

Back at The Court due to phenomenal demand, this show directed by Benjamin Kilby-Henson, is a pleasure to watch from start to finish.  

The curtain rises on Elizabethan England in the year 1595 and we are introduced to the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel, playwrights who are down on their luck and desperate to create a hit play that will outshine the writings of the bard himself, William Shakespeare. 

1E9A1764_Web_blogIn an effort to foresee what will be Shakespeare’s next big hit, Nick consults the soothsayer Nostradamus who predicts that it will be a musical, telling the skeptical Nick that it will feature, "bright lights, stage fights and a dazzling chorus, you wanna be great, then you gotta create a musical!” 

It is just possible that the future may have been slightly misinterpreted by our soothsayer, but in any case, what follows is the world’s very first musical, Omelette, a hilarious and visually spectacular mashup of clever references, laughs, and unforgettable musical numbers.  


Omelette - the world's first musical!

Meanwhile, Nick’s wife Bea has disguised herself as a man to try and keep the family finances afloat and Nigel has fallen in love with Portia, a puritan’s daughter, triggering a series of events that include him writing a play that is famously credited to Shakespeare.

Shakespeare himself is a larger-than-life character, played to great comic effect by Matu Ngaropo amidst a backdrop of swooning admirers. But there is a sneaky secret to his success that he goes to great lengths to keep concealed. As he humblebrags in one of the show’s funniest numbers, “It's so incredibly hard, so inconceivably, unbelievably hard, it's hard to be the bard.” 1E9A0497_Web_blog

Shakespeare holds court with his many admirers

The costumes are gorgeous riot of colour, popping against an Elizabethan set design of black and white. The cast are truly excellent, with impeccable comic timing. They look like they are having the time of their lives singing, dancing and tapping their way through the show to seamlessly create an uproarious, high-energy spectacle.  

Whether you are a musical fan or not, this is a brilliantly executed production that will leave you smiling, laughing, and humming its catchy tunes long after you leave the theatre. It’s The Court’s last year in The Shed before they relocate to their new home in the city, so treat yourself to this show before the season finishes – you won’t regret it. 


The Ryman Healthcare Return Season of Something Rotten! is playing at the Court Theatre from now until 21 July 2024. Check ticket availability and book a performance by visiting their website 

At Ryman our partnership with The Court Theatre goes beyond simply supporting the arts; it is about fostering a sense of joy and celebration within our community.   

We often hear from our residents, team members and friends of Ryman how much they cherish the arts, and that the theatre holds a special place in their hearts.  

Together with The Court Theatre we will continue to bring these memorable experiences to life.  

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 45 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 13,900 residents and the company employs 6,800 team members.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Group Corporate Affairs Manager Silke Marsh on +64 27 294 3609 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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