KKK still Kings [by Sharu Delilkan]
There was almost a carnival atmosphere when entering the Mangere Arts Centre, a setting befitting the Kila Kokonut Krew’s 10th year anniversary celebrations featuring the production that put the company on the map, Taro King.
Unfortunately I don’t have the benefit of being able to compare it with the first time it was staged. So all I can give is my reaction to what it was like seeing it with fresh eyes.
Just as when we saw Indian Ink Theatre Company’s first show Krishnan’s Dairy recently, after a decade, it was great to see where KKK started. And more importantly it was interesting to find out the impetus for playwright Vela Manusaute to write this iconic slice of Pacific Island life in Aotearoa.
For those of you who don’t know, Manusaute (who also plays Sammy) drew on what he felt and experienced working in an Otara supermarket way back in 1997.
Walking into the theatre and being greeted by DJ JXN (Glen Jackson) on stage drew me in immediately. I couldn’t help chuckling to myself when I read the words on his tee shirt ‘Shout Yr Maouf’. That definitely set the tone for what was to come. I found it even more interesting the way people tended to go up to DJ JXN and shake his hand on stage before taking their seats – something that would only happen in a South Auckland theatre – chur! And using him to do the ‘turn your cellphones off” and supermarket announcements was genius.
Janey Godley – Nobody spared [by Sharu Delilkan]
An impressive crowd was assembled in The Classic for Janey Godley’s entrance despite it being a cold and wet Monday evening.
However it was only when she got on stage that my husband realised that the woman who had been smoking right next to us was the one and only Godley. That basically sums Godley up – understated but with something to say. Further emphasised by the fact that she was outside 10 seconds after the show selling her autobiography, Handstands in the Dark.
Proudly Scottish, which some comedians would play more on, Godley is just naturally funny from the get-go.
Her off the cuff reaction to restless audience members who tried to light a candle at the table and who talk loudly to their friends, at the start of the show, make you a tad nervous to move in case you got picked on. But when the audience settled so did she.
1,000 Reasons to see 1,000 Hills
[by Sharu Delilkan]
It is always a privilege and an honour to witness the premier of an original piece of theatre. But to be among the first to experience the personal sharing of a true story is even more significant. Naturally the foyer of the Herald Theatre was buzzing with eager anticipation when I arrived.
However given the subject matter I must admit I had the sinking feeling, in the back of my mind, that the work may be morbid, depressing and shocking in the spirit of the film Hotel Rwanda.
But those apprehensions were very soon cast aside as we were greeted by the pulsating sound of African drums when we entered the theatre. The music literally reverberated through our bodies and set the ambience for the evening. As others made their way to their seats I looked around me and noticed a number of regular theatregoers, who would ordinarily appear rather formal in their seats, moving to hypnotic beat of the drums. There was no denying the infectious music, both lively and joyous, had a definite impact on the audience – and was a sign of what was ahead.