John the Walrus

John the Walrus

The Abel Tasman Show


18 Rankers Reviews

4 Face-to-Face

5 Cultural Experiences

3 Abel Tasman

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John the Walrus and Hiko


A little theatre in a garden

Flexible show times to suit your travel needs.

Bookings essential - All enquiry and bookings by email -

Note from Rankers:
John the Walrus is the father of Rankers part owner Cymen Crick. To uphold its transparency and ethical responsibilities, John's reviews have been independently checked by an external auditor, not involved with Rankers.


Feature Value Info


South IslandNelson RegionAbel Tasman


  • Cultural Experiences


Showing 8 reviews of 18.

Aniquah Stevenson's avatar

Aniquah Stevenson

Ranking: 10/10

As John Crick speaks he embodies each of his characters, summoning them up through voice and song. Weaving together prolific tales of New Zealand history and culture with beauty, care and integrity. Very powerful to listen to. Hope Kauri Jack is someday recorded or performed for others to enjoy the deep history and detail of his work. Best wishes John!

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Rob Knowles's avatar

Rob Knowles

Ranking: 10/10

John looks like a character from one of his stories, he invokes the times gone by and conjures up images and visions that take the audience on a journey and reconnects with our post colonial mythology. A mesmerising performance.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

John the Walrus - The Abel Tasman Show responds:

Cheers Rob, so glad you could get along to the show then offer this lovely review. "Looks like a character from one of his stories..." Wow, so you mean I resemble the fine-featured long-finned eel?

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Kristina Jensen's avatar

Kristina Jensen

Ranking: 10/10

Here's our review for John Crick's awesome one man show, Kauri Jack.
We're scoring it 10 out of 10. He performed this show at the Mussel Inn in Takaka, Golden Bay on June 13th, 2019.
We found John's performance very moving, a coming-to-life of New Zealand's history. John's delivery had the audience completely mesmerized. Kauri Jack is part poem, part oratory, weaving through the lives of 'Aotearoa ghosts' that John has discovered in his research into New Zealand history and his own personal roots.
He brings each person to life in a unique and celebratory way, with his voice rising and falling for dramatic effect, using just the minimal amount of words and phrases. Many of his speech patterns come from the past, creating an atmosphere of suspense and longing, especially where the characters have journeyed far from home and experienced great challenges. We were both reminded of Homer's Ulysses, a true epic.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

John the Walrus - The Abel Tasman Show responds:

Hello there folks, wonderful to have you at the performance, and that's a mighty generous review. I'm very grateful.
The link you mention with Homer's Ulysses/Odyssey gives me great joy and knocks off my holy socks.
You see, long-ago, climbing at Aoraki/Mt Cook in a summer of endless storms, my copy of The Odyssey (given to me by my mentor when I left home), was our only book. Under a few salubrious bivvy-rocks (and in a hut or two), I read all of it aloud to my fellow-troglodytes. It's a fond memory. I'm so glad that happened way back...But now, right out of the blue, the Ulysses comment here joins this gnarly old wandering, yarn-spinning Walrus with his young self, setting out ~ the insight you've offered is a great gift and I deeply thank you.

Deb Bray's avatar

Deb Bray

Ranking: 8/10

A thoroughly enjoyable show that served both to entertain and to educate. I loved John's unconventional style and the way he blended storytelling, singing and puppetry with the delivery of important environmental messages. The show was varied, light-hearted, engaging and well worth seeing. I give it a big thumbs up. Thanks John.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

John the Walrus - The Abel Tasman Show responds:

Hi there Deb, thank you for this lovely review. Sure love playing, creating with our mighty heritage. Can't believe my luck, the chance to be here to give it a crack.
Glad it got the thumbs-up with you!
Cheers and thanks, John the Walrus.

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Joanna Santa Barbara's avatar

Joanna Santa Barbara

Ranking: 8/10

Things I loved:
o John’s voice, both speaking and singing.
o His deep and passionate love of nature in his area and in other areas.
o His puppetry, both puppets, voices and scripts. The kea father-son duo was marvellous.
o His costumes.
o His presence on stage.
o His courage to be unique.
Things I think could be better:
I think John’s artistic drive to pare back to the bare essence of his performance may go too far at times. I’d have liked more explanations and lead-ins of places, creatures and scenarios, and to have had them linked up more. Particularly if presenting the Abel-Tasman ecosystem in another place unfamiliar with place names and creatures, the audience may need a reasonable amount of orienting.
Thanks, John, for sharing your unique gift. It was a pleasure.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

John the Walrus - The Abel Tasman Show responds:

Hi there Joanna, thanks for this really well-considered review. Glad you found a lot to love!
I appreciate your courage and thought in offering the suggestions/constructive criticism.
You mention "...the artistic drive...the bare essence..." Ah, well, Joanna you have to know, the barding rules, all the rhythm and song, the life force, playfulness and celebration of it. I've found it, it's the way I want to go, and reckon I'll keep things cranking, long as I can.
But the info/explanations/links you seek are likely to come with a programme. Not enough time to create it for you here, busy as I was with the storytelling course, close to the time of this show.
Thanks again for the feedback, Joanna ~ John the Walrus.

Su Bagnall's avatar

Su Bagnall

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

John's Show "Eco Rock" is a delight for everyone! A great personality and stage delivery...all about us (ie. New Zealand's flora and fauna). Wonderful evening's performance at the Riverside Community Centre in Motueka. Score 10/10!! Thanks John!

Reviewed over 3 years ago

John the Walrus - The Abel Tasman Show responds:

Hey, Su, great you could get along, the other night, and do The Eco Rock! Beaut review, many thanks, from John the Walrus.

Award-2-24px Congratulations John the Walrus - The Abel Tasman Show

Rankers TravellerVoted Awards 2012 Cultural Experiences Finalist

Nick Duval-Smith's avatar

Nick Duval-Smith

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

[please note: I wrote this before having ever met John]

I saw John Crick (John the Walrus) perform Ancestor Voices at the Nelson Fringe Festival (30-04-17), and he was superb. What a great and unique performer. I've never seen anything quite like him. He creates a beautiful combination of gesture, spoken word and song, very slow and sparse yet rich in image. Can't wait to get my family along to one of his shows!

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

John the Walrus - The Abel Tasman Show responds:

"Ancestor Voices" was a big, gnarly, daunting show to create. Performing it was like crossing rough country in a mighty storm. And there WAS a great storm hitting, too, come show-time ~ rain hammering hell out of the old building's iron roof. Big, exciting atmosphere. I was saying to myself, "Flow, Johnny-Boy, don't fall!" Well, things did flow. Just a slip or two.
Pretty soon after, your review appeared, Nick. Came as a beautiful validation, right out of the blue. What a thrill to have it. Thank you so much. There was a lot going on for me, upon the boards that night, and I hope there will be some more adventures with this show.

Hazel Twissell's avatar

Hazel Twissell

Ranking: 9/10

John "the Walrus" Crick, a bristly, salty sea dog, captivates his audience from the very start with his haunting introduction, taking us back in time with a mixture of song and spoken word.
We are transported to different parts of our coast as he becomes many real characters from our past along the way, including a runaway who sailed here when he was nine, early Maori encounters and a boat that sailed itself.
The Enchanted Coast explored in his stories are from our very own region; from Farewell Spit down to D'Urville Island.
The performance was very much in the style of the old story-tellers where history is passed on through song, verse and echo (and the audience got involved with this one) and flashes of quirky humour.
The transitions to each new character were aided by subtle lighting, a song to sweep us across the map to a new location, and the occasional changing of hats. His beautiful, mellifluous voice ebbed and flowed like the sea, and we were pulled along with him as he brought to life the spirit of each of his characters.
This was a real treat for our first night at the Fringe. John has certainly enhanced my appreciation for this wonderful region I now call my home.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

John the Walrus - The Abel Tasman Show responds:

Wonderful to have this review, and many thanks for it Hazel.
Very satisfying to create and deliver a full show on the characters of our Abel Tasman National Park. And glad to hear it's helped enhance your appreciation of the area.
Now you've got a good old singing map to help you explore over there...Stay in tune and all the best from John the Walrus Crick