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Once Were Warriors - The Language of Passion

Once Were Warriors - The Language of Passion

In Once Were Warriors the stage musical drama theatregoers can expect a production that marries the reality of contemporary urban life with the power and energy of musical drama and kapa haka.

Once Were Warriors the stage musical drama contains two narratives: the domestic story of the Heke family's living in and struggling to get out of their abject social conditions, and a mythic narrative that draws in the warrior ancestry that Jake has lost contact with as a counter point.

Once Were Warriors director Jim Moriarty has great praise for Riwia Brown's adaptation of Alan Duff's landmark novel as means of accomplishing this. A key difference to the book is the absence of swearing.

"Riwia's script is so strong it doesn't require f's and c's, it is as powerful as it needs to be without street language."

"It's a bit like Shakespeare," says Moriarty, "insults in Te Reo or Maori far outweigh street language and expletives. The insult questions a person's mana or lineage rather than just being offensive."

"This is Once Were Warriors," says Moriarty, "and we need to bring the that history into the show, we have to understand what Jake has lost contact with and why. That's crucial otherwise we loose the real power and impact of this story."

Once Were Warriors the musical drama will have its world premiere in Christchurch on 2nd March. It plays at the Theatre Royal until10 March. The Dunedin season is at the Regent Theatre from 16 to 19 March. The show then returns to Christchurch from 24 March. The Auckland season is from 10 to 28 April at the St James Theatre, then Wellington's Opera House hosts the show from 3 to 22 May. Bookings at Ticketek are open now.

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