Sister Anzac was just part of the Going West Festival, and at Te Pou Theatre - the new home for Maori theatre. I spent quite a whack of time there earlier this year, being one of many people painting walls, cleaning... doing whatever it took to open this beautiful new space.
I love Te Pou. It reminds me of theatres of my early days... Theatre Corporate, Taki Rua. Raw spaces where magical stuff happens. Actor's spaces. Places where you can feel the energy, enthusiasm, sheer hard graft, passion, grit and determination to make it happen.
And then it opened and the theatre started happening.
Audiences are building big time, and they are coming to see plays with Te Reo Maori in them, without necessarily knowing Te Reo Maori, and it takes me back to the touring days of Hone Kouka's Waiora... The thing is - and we all know this - you don't need to speak Te Reo to understand the emotions behind, the content being spoken. It sure makes you want to learn Te Reo Maori if you don't already, but this is what theatre is all about.
And nothing is more New Zealand than a Maori play. And we need more stagings. Yay to Te Pou.