The Complete History of the Royal New Zealand Navy Abridged is a rip-roaring, fastpaced comedic show that shows people our navy is "pretty amazing", according to creative director for Operation Neptune, Mark Hadlow.

He said it let heartland New Zealand know "we have the best small-nation navy in the world".

The show is packed with songs, jokes and sketches based on history, that bring a colour and vivid understanding of the navy.

"It's a great way to educate, in an amiable way, the courage, commitment and comradeship that is prevalent in the men and women who go about their lawful duties every day around the world in the Royal New Zealand Navy," he said.


Written by the celebrated New Zealand playwright Gregory Cooper, the show is a naval romp through the decades, from the arrival of Captain Cook in 1769 through to protecting trades routes off the Horn of Africa in 2015.

He said the show was both poignant and funny and people would leave having been both entertained and informed.

"We got a standing ovation in Gisborne. The show was absolutely fantastic. If people leave the show thinking, 'Wow, I didn't know the navy did that', we have done our job.

"The show is about painting a picture about what we do from coastal water protection, assisting the police and fisheries. There is an awful lot the navy do that people don't know about and we are showing that the navy is as vital as the army and airforce," he said.

"For some reason we get a lot of navy personnel from Rotorua and other landlocked areas. This is our way of putting support back into heartland New Zealand."

Operation Neptune is a series of commemorative events the Royal New Zealand Navy is
celebrating for its 75th anniversary. It is named after the naval ship, HMNZS Neptune, that was sunk by mines in the Mediterranean on December 19, 1941, resulting in 150 deaths.

At a glance
- What: The Complete History of the Royal New Zealand Navy Abridged
- Where: Rotorua Civic Theatre
- When: Tonight and tomorrow 7pm-8.30pm
- Tickets: 0800 111 999