May 2, 2019

Conversations with Dead Relatives

Do you know your whakapapa? You may think you do, but you do you really?

Imagine being mocked by an ancestor for losing connection with your roots, for mixing up your memories. Was that story about this uncle or that one?

I'd expected crying, sad stories about how much you miss your grandmother. This was so much more, it was story telling at it's best. Finding how my story intertwines with yours - whether it's by location or, if we go far enough back, our shared ancestors.

Interesting points were made about the intersection of Māori and Pakeha culture. How it's our joint history, and there were forces keeping couples apart on both sides. A point was made that a picture of a Māori ancestor was missing her moko but it also could have been the technology. Let's be honest, we'd be more comfortable if the technology was at fault.

It's not clear if the stories that make up this play are factual or, if they are, if these people are related. Regardless they tell the history of the people of New Zealand, back to their homelands.

It was a little hard to focus on the performance as the person next to me was manspreading so I was forced to nestle close to my companion. Perhaps he was made too comfortable by the warm welcome we recieved to the theatre; they even had a tin of homemade baking, a lovely touch.

Performances: 1-11 May (times vary)
Tickets: $35

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