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Te Arawua (The Trench)

When:

Sat 13 Nov 2010, 7:30pm
Sun 14 Nov 2010, 7:30pm

Where: Gaslight Theatre, 8 Alpha St, Cambridge, Waipa

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General admission: $21.00 ($20.00 + $1.00 fees)
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Elephant Publicity

Travel back in time to France, as four unlikely comrades find themselves holed up in no man’s land in a quest to survive the ravages of World War One. Language barriers are the least of their worries in Jarod Rawiri’s directorial debut of the NZ premiere of Te Arawua (The Trench).

Celandine, a young French woman desperate to be with her love, flees the safety of the walls to search for Jean, a French soldier. She instead finds Tawera, a lost and confused Maori trench man desperate to dig his way to the enemy and end this stalemate once and for all. Tawera calms the distressed Celandine with tales of his homeland Aotearoa until Kiwi solider William, in desperate need of a sanctuary, arrives. Tawera and William have a standoff unsure of allegiances, as the voice of Jean can be heard… Outside of the trench, calling for help…

Te Awarua is a tri-lingual affair as Te Reo, English and French will all be used throughout the production with each cast member being bi-lingual. The play will refrain from having subtitles, however, relying on physicality and intent to tell this explosive story. This further breaks down language barriers for theatre audiences, especially with New Zealand’s official language – Maori – something SmackBang is continuing to champion to bring Te Reo into mainstream culture. In fact, 70% of the dialogue in the show is Maori.

Penned by Chapman Tripp award winner Albert Belz, the man behind Whero’s New Net and previous SmackBang production Raising The Titanics, The Arawua marks the first time Jarod Rawiri takes to the directorial chair after appearances on stage in The Arrival, which has been performed as part of Auckland Festival 2009 and toured overseas, Maui and Silo Theatre works The Cut and Lobby Hero. Rawiri also stars in the upcoming New Zealand feature film Matariki released mid November.

Three Shortland Street cast members, past and present, join Rawiri to bring this powerful drama to life; Te Kohe Tuhaka (Tawera) many may remember as “Kingi” from Shortland Street and “Zave” from Go Girls but is no stranger to theatre, having taken to the stage alongside Rawiri in Maui, as a number of characters in 2008’s Paua and the 2004 ATC production of Goldie.

Gerald Urquhart (William), who currently plays “Dr. Luke Durville”, has an equally as strong a presence in the theatre world with directorial turns in short works for Asian Tales: Naitve Alienz and the inaugural Short+Sweet Theatre festival earlier this year, while Virgnie Le Brun, who played the popular “Dr Gabrielle Jacobs”, returns to the stage for the first time since 1996 production The Giraffe, Pelly and Me.