Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Where We Once Belonged

Media Release
The Lion Foundation season of

Where We Once Belonged

by Sia Figiel adapted for the stage by Dave Armstrong

Auckland Theatre Company’s adaptation and production of Sia Figiel’s ground breaking novel WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED won the “Absolutely Positively Outstanding New New Zealand Play of the Year” award at the 2008 Chapman Tripp theatre awards announced in Wellington on Saturday.

"It is a tremendous honor for WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED. I am just moved to tears that characters I conceived of more than a decade ago - characters that I struggled with and gave me so much pain in their realization - have made their way onto the international stage and impacted on people in the way I saw on the opening nights in Wellington and Auckland. It shows the universality of the human experience, in all its dynamism,” says the novel’s author Sia Figiel.

Auckland Theatre Company’s Literary Unit commissioned Dave Armstrong to adapt WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED in 2006.

“Sia Figiel's brilliant novel provided such a stunning story, characters and dialogue that adapting it for the stage was an absolute pleasure,” says playwright Dave Armstrong.

“The success of this play is testament to ATC Literary Unit’s excellent script development process. WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED had one two-day and one two-week workshop, as part of the Next Stage season, as part of its development, so was well 'road tested' before production,” says Armstrong.

The production’s cast and creative team were involved throughout the script development.

“The script of WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED was also greatly helped by the enormous vision and contribution of directors Colin McColl and Dave Fane, as well as the five fine Samoan actors, who added so much humour and authenticity.”

A sentiment echoed by Sia Figiel, “I am so so grateful to the outstanding talents of the actors Anapela Polotaivao, Robbie Magasiva, Joy Vaele, Goretti Chadwick and the completely fabulous Pua Magasiva!

“I guess it's when you grow up with the characters, you know them...and they played them with such truth and sincerity that I found myself laughing and crying and laughing again...almost as a flashback to my own childhood...that's how powerful those actors were,” says Figiel.

The Chapman Tripp awards are New Zealand’s only professional theatre awards. The awards champion excellence and new innovation in theatre.

“We're very proud of the part ATC played in creating WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED. From initially commissioning the adaptation to the play’s world premiere at the New Zealand International Arts Festival in Wellington,” says Auckland Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Colin McColl.

“Dave is one of our most prolific and talented playwrights and this award acknowledges that talent,”

Sia Figiel has dedicated the award to her late parents and her sons, adding "on behalf of all Pacific peoples living in Aotearoa and in the Islands...this is win is a bridge...a bridge of understanding between our peoples...yet, there is still so much that needs to be done...”

WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED was commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company and co-produced with New International Arts Festival. The production played a season in Wellington in March and Auckland in April.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election