rom left are Michaela Sheehan, Robin Ringwood, Alice the Camel (Cherie and Ella Sivignon), Anzac Jamieson, Nick Gastrell and Amy Van Tromp from Sinbad the Sailor (Retired). Photo: Sam Collins Photography.

Swashbuckling Sinbad sequel to premiere


A family pantomime full of villains, slapstick comedy, music, terrible puns – and even a dancing camel – is coming to the Theatre Royal this week.

Sinbad the Sailor (Retired) is the latest work from writer and director Alli Campbell, who was inspired by the thought – ‘what happens to heroes when they retire?’

Sinbad was a seafaring adventurer of renown in his youth and Alli picks up the hero’s story long after he’s tied up at the wharf.

The Nelson Repertory Theatre show has been described as a “funny, energetic and  heartwarming yarn” which begins with the retired hero sitting in his palace, nursing aching knees and a sore back.

He believes his days of adventure are behind him. That is, until he gets a cry for help from an old friend, Betsy High Boots – the Pirate Queen.

He is determined to put his ailments and fears to one side and rise to the occasion – but not without the help of his allies and some encouragement from the audience.

For Alli, who moved to New Zealand in 2009, the show is in part a nod to her Scottish roots.

“As long as I can remember, I have been going to a pantomime at Christmas,” she says.

“It is a UK tradition and one I’ve always loved.”

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Nelson Repertory Theatre had to cancel two productions this year and are determined that this time they can bring fun and laughter back to Nelson.

Sinbad the Sailor (Retired) is on at the Theatre Royal from November 26 – 28. Tickets are available from or the theatre box office.