13 Aug 2012

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


Acclaimed production invited to Melbourne

Taki Rua’s acclaimed production of John Broughton’s Michael James Manaia will be part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October.

Michael James Manaia premiered at Downstage in 1991 and was swiftly recognised as a landmark work and went on to tour internationally.

Twenty-one years later, Taki Rua revived the play with a brand-new production, supported by Creative New Zealand. Their production, with Te Kohe Tuhaka in the title role, attracted rave reviews at this year’s New Zealand International Arts Festival. 

As a result, Taki Rua has been invited to participate in the Melbourne International Arts Festival, recognised as one of the major multi-arts festivals in the world. Creative New Zealand has provided support for this Melbourne season of Michael James Manaia, via the International Presentation Fund.

On Saturday 1 September Taki Rua is presenting two tour fundraiser performances of Michael James Manaia at Downstage (3pm & 7.30pm), to raise money towards freight, airfares and accommodation. Tickets are $30 ($25 concession) and are available from downstage.co.nz or 801-6946.

Michael James Manaia is a tour-de-force one man show. Telling the story of a Vietnam war veteran with both Maori and Pakeha ancestry, the play was received well by critics, with Te Kohe Tuhaka’s powerful and subtle performance drawing particular praise. Comments included:

'Thrillingly addictive viewing. Tuhaka's is a captivating, bold and fearless performance.’ – The New Zealand Herald
‘A confident, dynamic and fully charged performance that is as physical and energetic as you'll ever see.’ – The Dominion Post
‘(Michael James Mania) packs a mighty wallop.’ – Theatreview
‘Tuhaka offers us a superb, gutsy, unforgettable experience.’ – Capital Times

Mary Lou Jelbart, Artistic Director of Melbourne theatre venue, fortyfivedownstairs, says: “Michael James Manaia is one of the most truthfully written and powerfully performed theatre works I have seen in many years.   We are absolutely delighted to be presenting this outstanding production by Taki Rua at the prestigious Melbourne Festival.”

About the opportunity, Taki Rua Tumuaki/Artistic Director James Ashcroft says: “It is fantastic to have the quality of the production recognised internationally, and to have the opportunity to represent New Zealand at such a high-profile international festival. Touring a production – even a one-man show – is expensive. Our tour fundraiser performance will make a big difference to our company in terms of making the most of this exciting opportunity.”

For further information, please contact Esther Green, Operations Manager at Taki Rua: esther@takirua.co.nz