Space adventure taking off
A Riwaka woman, a yeti, a frog and an alligator are hoping to take a children's show to the world stage, with its public debut early next month in Nelson.
Gerry Holmes created the fantastical world of the Crocodettes 2 1/2 years ago, and has spent the time since turning it into a show similar to children's television and live performance sensations the Wiggles.
It is a world set in Croco Galaxy, featuring a space explorer known as Pat the alligator, Frincess the frog, Herman the yeti and Gerry - the most human-like character on the planet - located "trillions of miles away from Earth".
But while the musical world of the Crocodettes is childlike, the project is a serious undertaking for Ms Holmes.
She has mortgaged her house to fund it and has so far spent $57,000 to get the Crocodettes up and running.
A 15-track compact disc has been created - with song titles such as the Jivey Jiggle and Bunny Hop Hoedown - outfits were made and a whole stage show prepared.
Local dancers from the Peta Spooner Academy of Dance have been hired to perform inside the suits and will become fulltime employees.
Younger Nelson dancers are being used to play the smaller parts, and will be included in at least some of the shows in a planned national tour that kicks off with a show at the Nelson School of Music on July 6.
Miss Holmes hopes the Crocodettes will go international, and that isn't the end of her ambitions - she has already written 26 episodes for a TV series she hopes to eventually make.
"The sky is the limit."
Several small shows performed to kindergarten children had gone down well, which boded well for the project's success, she said.