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The Mooncake and the Kūmara


Wed 21 Oct 2015, 7:30pm
Thu 22 Oct 2015, 7:30pm

Where: Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Gate 2B, Knighton Rd, University of Waikato, Hamilton, Waikato

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $25.00
  • General Admission: $45.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: Elephant Publicity

The Mooncake and the Kūmara, a moving story about a mixed-up, Māori-Chinese love affair that sprouts among rows of potatoes that not only made its world premiere at the Auckland Arts Festival 2015 but sold out 3 weeks prior to Opening Night. Now with the help of PANNZ Touring and Creative NZ it will travel around New Zealand to Palmerston North, Nelson, Hamilton and Tauranga this October

Nearly ninety years ago on a New Zealand market garden, two families, one Māori and the other Chinese, became part of a romance that would uproot their lives over generations.
Layered with myth and fable, The Mooncake and the Kūmara tells that story, one intertwined with history, duty, secrets and the delicate balance needed to grow families.

Told in a rich mixture of English, Māori and Cantonese, The Mooncake and the Kūmara is the debut, award-winning play by Māori-Chinese playwright Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen. Loosely based on the story of her grandparents’ relationship, the play started life as a ten minute entry, co-written with Te Puea Hansen’s cousin Kiel McNaughton (Shortland Street, Auckland Daze), in Short + Sweet Festival Auckland 2010 where it won Best Drama.

Uniquely it is one of the very few stories of Māori-Chinese families that have been told. Beginning in the mid-1800s, Chinese men came to New Zealand to work in gold fields, leaving their wives and children in China. They then moved to market gardening. At the peak in the 1960s, Chinese market gardeners produced 80 per cent of the country's green leaf vegetables. In 2002 the Government issued a formal apology to Chinese New Zealanders for a poll tax which had been imposed on Chinese immigrants for more than 60 years.

Touring with The Mooncake and the Kūmara will be talented cast of six; Jeremy Randerson, (Home By Christmas, The Blue Rose), Waimihi Hotere (Everything is Ka Pai), Yoson An (Ghost Bride, HBO Asia – Grace, Flat3 and the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Awhina-Rose Henare Ashby (Troilus and Cressida, Party with the Aunties), Charles Chan (Ghost Bride, and the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Chye-Ling Huang (Lantern and Just Above the Clouds).

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