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Taro King Comes To Bats - October 20th to 23rd

August 2004

Taro King

Hot off the plate from the 36th Auckland International Film festival, Vela Manusaute is ready to take ‘Taro King’ to the Theatre capital of New Zealand, Wellington.

TARO KING is a play set in a Supermarket in Otara, Auckland. We hear the struggle of a man called Filipo (Samoan born but was raised here in NZ), who cuts taro for a living, searches and dreams about the land of milk and honey that his father has promised him. The play is about an islander in South Auckland working for promises that will never come.

Taro King explores the relationships that are created when three different cultures clash within the same habitat. Filipo plays the pivotal role in this story of a son and breadwinner for the family. It is Filipo’s relationship with Raj (his fijian work mate) that opens the proverbial can of worms of culture and understanding within this play.

At a time when most things in the pacific are volatile to say the least, the coup in Fiji brings most of Filipo’s life to a crashing halt. Horrible consequences are set in the back room of a super market and both Indian and Samoan will face challenges to control their own destinies.

Taro King played to Auckland audiences at the maidment studio, where it opened to a full house! With out exception everyone was treated to one of New Zealands new talents. Writer and director, Vela Manusaute was soon the talk of the Auckland theatre. He had taken an untreated script and chose almost twenty unknown young actors and created a play that would capture and inspire audiences of all races.

“....I was deeply excited by the authenticity of the world and the voices that Vela was bringing to the stage...... His (Vela’s) work is deeply felt and brilliantly satirical at the same time...... It is a creative force driving us from the margins. Vela is one of those voices - a mouthpiece from South Auckland.” Christian Penny, Head of Directing, Te Kura Toi Whakaari o Aotearoa New Zealand Drama School, 2004.

This time around, the cast is a more experienced set of actors together with a couple of the original main characters who have developed themselves even more since the original show in Auckland.

After extensive script development through Playmarket, Taro King will be staged at the BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington from October 20th to 23rd, 2004.

The Taro King is a story of the people who live in the lower end of the socio economic table. It will tell a tale of laughter, love and loss. Some people are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them. And so our story begins.

Press Release Ends

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