April 04, 2005

'Niu Sila' at Downstage

This evening I went to an excellent play: Niu Sila. It's by Oscar Kightley and Dave Armstrong, and it's fantastic! It sold out at the AK05 festival recently. If you live in Wellington, you have until Saturday to go see it at Downstage – it comes with the highest of recommendations. Call them now and see what seats they have left – don’t read any further. Go see it!

It’s about the friendship and alienation of two boys who grew up next door to each other – one Pacific Islander, one palangi (pakeha/ white). Ioane and Peter are best mates and the portrayals of their shared cultural experiences are hilarious and touching. As the boys become teenagers, they drift apart and follow the stereotypical paths, with Peter working in a government department writing policy on biculturalism and Ioane developing a drinking problem and leaving a wake of fatherless children. Twenty years later, they bump into each other in a pub, Peter on a work outing placing a Melbourne Cup bet and Ioane hanging at the TAB for something to do. Ioane’s resentful attitude leads to a confrontation and Ioane recognises he has to take responsibility for his actions.

Dave Fane and Damon Andrews were both fantastic, and with each playing a slew of characters, Andrews is the ideal foil to Fane’s magnetism and humour. Issues of race - made funny! Brilliant.

I was actually buzzing when I came out afterwards. Ups to Gibby for the suggestion!


Anonymous morphess said...

Sounds excellent - The Herald gave it a cracking write-up too.

2:45 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Yeah, the way it deals with race and cultural issues is really entertaining. I guess it's maybe serving some social purpose - raising awareness or something - but when it comes down to it, it's great theatre.

3:15 AM  
Blogger The Saturnyne said...

Heyyy! yerr back! Love me some theare... Will Shakespeare is always a fave... haven't been in ages... ages and ages!


3:44 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

It was the first play I went to since.. oh, Bad Manor at Fringe in late February. That wasn't so long ago.

Clearly you should get out more ;) Doesn't Harle Syke have a Repertory?

6:14 AM  
Blogger Pix said...

Yay, I have something to say! A girl at work is trying to convince me to go, and I think you have sold me. There was a thing on morning report about it, the guy who also does Brotown yeah?

12:41 PM  
Blogger no milk said...

nice review. i am working on one as well for a show i went to recently. i hope it will be in this week.

great to see you again!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Tyryn, call them right away, cos it's been pretty popular! Yeah, Oscar Kightley also does the Naked Samoans and Brotown.

I want to see it again.

Cheers No Milk!

9:49 PM  
Blogger The Saturnyne said...

Ha! Harle Syke is so small that i don't even know what a reper-thingy IS! There is a very small theatre in Burnley (the small town) next door, but that's rubbish... even if it did put PJ Harvey on there when she was touring her first album. She was ace, btw.

Nah, the only theatrics we get here are the neighbours beating each other to death and stuff... and teenagers abusing themselves and each other...

On the other hand, the city of Manchester is less than an hour away, and there's often millions of gigs and other things to go to.

=) if one can pull oneself out of bed...


4:18 AM  

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