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Finding the line between mystery and knowledge

MEDIA RELEASE
14 November 2019

In good time for the silly season, Otago Museum is opening its first ever planetarium Christmas show — an in-house production, Christmas Mysteries.

The show features three festive mysteries: the astronomy behind the Christmas star; the disappearance of the Beagle 2 lander on Christmas Day; and the logistics of getting Santa and his sleigh all the way around the world in just one night.

Created entirely by Otago Museum staff, and narrated by well-known children’s entertainer Suzy Cato, Christmas Mysteries is expected to appeal to families and people who revel in all things Christmas.

The show celebrates Christmas traditions, rather than debunking them. A fine balance has been maintained between preserving the seasonal mystery for those who love it (particularly fans of Santa!) and explaining the science for those who need to know how things work.

The script has been researched and written by Isobel Andrewartha, Otago Museum Project Officer, Taoka Online Project. Isobel is a self-confessed Christmas-aholic, who has already finished her Christmas shopping for 2018. She says, “When I was offered the opportunity to write this show, I thought Christmas really had come early. We’ve aimed to bring a balance between festive traditions and some out-of-this-world science.”

Andrew Charlton, Otago Museum’s Developer, Systems and Interactive Media, has produced visuals for several of Otago Museum’s in-house productions, including the recent and very well received collaboration with Anthonie Tonnon.



Full Dome Producer Oana Jones leads the Museum team, and the original soundscape, which is punctuated with some classic Christmas carols, has been written and performed by Dylan Storey of Huntaway Sound who has worked with the Museum on previous productions including Mārama ā-Whetū.

Christmas Mysteries
1 – 24 December | Perpetual Guardian Planetarium
Tickets available from the Museum Shop or otagomuseum.nz/christmasmysteries
Join narrator Suzy Cato in the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium as we explore some of the most intriguing Christmas mysteries! What could the science of astronomy tell us about the Star of Bethlehem? Where did the Mars lander disappear to on Christmas Day? And just how can Santa manage to reach all those good children in one night?
Come on an out-of-this-world look at our favourite holiday.


Creative team
Written by Isobel Andrewartha
Narrated by Suzy Cato
Visuals by Andrew Charlton
Music by Huntaway Sound
Produced by Oana Jones
ends

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