Straight from the Heart [by Sharu Delilkan]
A Heart’s Path, written by Suli Moa, is the young playwright’s second Tongan play in less than two years.
I’m glad to see that talents like Moa are not a flash in the pan. I have to say congratulations bro for consistently making new works – may this be a sign of more to come.
The theatre was packed with people shortly after the 8 pm start time and you could feel the anticipation. What happened next would only happen in South Auckland – which is why I love coming to Mangere Arts Centre. One of the venue’s staff members Chris Molloy stood in front of the crowd on stage and bellowed “If there’s a seat next to you where you are please squash in because there are more people coming”. Needless to say when the show started the theatre was bursting at the seams.
In a full house with plenty of Tongan community support the show certainly and literally started with a bang and the audience knew this was not going to be a traditional PI offering.
A Heart’s Path is a tale of reality, where we as people have a choice to value the importance of its akonaki (life lessons). The paths of the three siblings Mafu, Mele and Kepu, each tell a separate tale allowing you to draw your own conclusions, right or wrong.
Milk and Honey Dreams [by James Wenley]
The End of the Golden Weather has got to be one of the great New Zealand stories. As a play, it’s endured far beyond its intended lifespan. Playwright Bruce Mason wrote it partly as a platform for himself, performing the work solo across NZ in the decades for a staggering 986 performances, until his death in 1982.
But the Golden Weather was to continue. The play not only continued its solo tradition with a select few actors being entrusted with the play, but has been adapted for many actors – Raymond Hawthorne did a company version in the 80s, and Ian Mune directed the film in 1991.
Auckland Theatre Company’s production, part of the Real NZ Festival and just in time for the Rugby World Cup influx, is an ensemble version for 9 actors, which has its roots in similar productions Murray Lynch directed in 1987 and 1990. Interestingly, both Lynch and ATC’s artist director Colin McColl stage-managed the play for Bruce Mason himself early in their careers. This play looms large in our theatre history.