24 Aug 2018
Following its highly successful premiere season in Auckland last year, a reworked production of Kororāreka - The Ballad of Maggie Flynn begins its seven stop North Island tour today.
This high energy production is part of the ten-year anniversary celebrations for Red Leap Theatre, the team behind some of New Zealand’s most original visual theatre works.
Delving into the lawless outpost of 1800s Russell, Kororāreka - The Ballad of Maggie Flynn introduces a fierce heroine created from the rich and vibrant true stories of New Zealand women. Red Leap Theatre prides itself in celebrating women’s stories and talent. This uniquely kiwi tale champions women from our past, rediscovering those too wild to be captured in our history books.
Maggie Flynn, a fiery and unforgettable Irish woman, leaves England a convict and arrives in New Zealand’s capital, Kororāreka, the captain of a whaling ship. Her fortune twists and turns, from trophy slave to wife of a great chief, to Madam of the notorious King Edward Hotel. One day culture and history collide, when Maggie must challenge the very world she sought to escape.
Led by the astute eye of Artistic Director Julie Nolan, Kororāreka combines the storytelling skill of playwright Paolo Rotondo and the theatrical flair of Red Leap (The Arrival, Dust Pilgrim). Best known to New Zealand audiences for his work on Shortland Street, Rotondo has had a successful career spanning theatre, film and television, as an actor, writer, director and producer.
He made his feature length directorial debut in 2014 with the poignant drama Orphans and Kingdoms, which scooped up several film festival awards. His writing successes include theatre works Little Che, and the highly-acclaimed Strange Resting Places (co-written with Rob Mokaraka).
“Starting with my mother, this story is a fictionalised homage to the strength, power, toughness, resilience and wit that exists in the character of the New Zealand woman. I do not believe that Kate Sheppard, Helen Clark, Lorde or Eleanor Catton, are exceptions to the rule, in fact they are a product of a long line of powerful women,” says Paolo Rotondo.
Red Leap co-founder Julie Nolan directs a cast of five wahine to spin this adventurous yarn, which includes Amber Curreen (Waru, Shortland Street), Alison Bruce (Hilary, The Events, Top of the Lake 1 and 2), Victoria Abbott (Othello and Much Ado About Nothing – Pop Up Globe, All Your Wants and Need Fulfilled Forever) and 2017 Toi Whakaari Graduates, Katrina George (Under the Mountain, ATC) and Te Puawaitanga Winterburn (He Kura E Huna Ana). “We are delighted to be taking this incredible kiwi story on tour as part of our 10th year birthday celebrations”, she says.
WELLINGTON 28-31 AUGUST
AUCKLAND – MANGERE 3 – 4 SEPTEMBER
AUCKLAND – ALBANY 7 SEPTEMBER
TAURANGA 11 – 12 SEPTEMBER
HAMILTON 14 – 15 SEPTEMBER
Visit the Red Leap Theatre website for more details.