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Happy Playland - Series

Web (Full Length Episodes) – 2017

For their fourth web series, creative collective The Candle Wasters shifted from using the plays of Shakespeare as inspiration, to an original story. Set in a children's indoor adventure playground, Happy Playland is a "queer rom-com musical" where employees cope with crushes, anxiety and life as digital natives. Neenah Dekkers-Reihana and Dani Yourukova (who both acted in Candle Wasters web series Bright Summer Night) play young lovers Billie and Zara. Billie is an agitated actress, while Cris is a social justice warrior. When the playground faces closure, the pair face upheaval. 

Okay kids: here's how it is: it's a scary world out there, and soon you'll be leaving the safety of our happy playland and fending for yourselves in the land of grown-ups. You'll be moving out, getting that job, paying that rent. Start saving now! I got three jobs just to keep up with the things I need: new phone, haloumi in the fridge every night. You don't think about these things...
– Cris (Jen Smith) dressed in a Kiwi costume, provides instructions in the ways of Happy Playland (Episode Four)

Key Cast & Crew

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Thomas Coppell


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The Candle Wasters


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Jess Charlton


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Neenah Dekkers-Reihana

As: Billie Haare

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Robbie Nicol


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Minnie Grace

Writer, Producer (episode one, two, four, five, six, eight & nine)

See all 28 credits

Produced by


Tomorrow, Rain Ltd


Made with funding from Skip Ahead, a joint initiative between NZ On Air and YouTube


Song 'Stop and Think' composed by Maxwell Apse, performed by Dani Yourukova and Neenah Dekkers-Reihana with the Happy Playband (Maxwell Apse, Jacob Baxter, Dylan Kelly, Jen Smith and Sam Trist)