“Awhi Tapu’s revelations of small-town violence and arson generated such heat in this small theatre space that it threatened to consume the audience. With this play Albert Belz flew straight into the top echelon of Maori playwrights.” – Salient
At the foot of the Urewera ranges lies Awhi Tapu – a desolate forestry ghost town; with the forestry industry closed down most of the inhabitants have left. Wendyl, Sonny, Casper and Girl Girl have only each other and their fertile imaginations to rely on.
This is a story of loss, belonging, but most of all, friendship; it heralds a new wave of writing around Maori issues and characters; direct, unsentimental and challenging.
“Replete with classic bro-style humour, Albert Belz’s script is a most effective emulsifier combining the various elements of the work, resulting in a sense of cohesiveness, effectively following the Maori traditions of acknowledging all the elements and their deities, as well as their own cultural heritage and ancestry. Thus, as directed by Leo Gene Peters, the performance, technical operations, set and props are incorporated to such a degree that every part of the production, from the cast to Rose Kirkup’s set and costume design, Nathan McKendry’s lights and Thomas Press’s sound et al, naturally merge to form an organic, connected entity.”
– Nik Smythe
Wendyl James Tito / Sonny Tola Newberry / Casper Matariki Whatarau / Girl Girl Kura Forrester
Written by Albert Belz / Director Leo Gene Peters / Set & Costume Design Rose Kirkup / Lighting Design Nathan McKendry / Sound Design Thomas Press / Stage Manager Sarah Adams / Production Manager Pat McIntosh
TAPAC, Western Springs
22nd June – 2nd July 2011
13th – 30th July 2011
© 2022 Rose Kirkup.