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NZ Theatre Company to flood the Sydney Opera House

New Zealand Theatre Company to flood the Sydney Opera House.

The Conch, New Zealand’s groundbreaking Pacific Island Theatre Company, is proud to announce that we will be presenting our play ‘Vula’ for a three-week season at the Sydney Opera House in June 2006. Wendy Martin, producer at the Opera House, saw ‘Vula’ at the Auckland Festival and made the invitation. The show, performed entirely in water, will involve flooding the Playhouse stage to transform it into a Pacific lagoon.

This co-production with the Opera House has also been selected to represent Aotearoa, New Zealand as the main theatre work at the prestigious Sydney Biennale.

Prior to travelling to Sydney Vula has been invited for a strictly limited return season at the Maidment Theatre in Auckland performing on the 25th- 27th May, giving New Zealanders an exciting final opportunity to catch this work. This return season is at the invitation of Paul Minifie, Artistic Director of the Maidment Theatre and builds on the show’s phenomenal success at AKO5.

Original cast members Fiona Collins and Tausili Mose will be joined on stage by newcomer Hellen Stowers and the hugely talented Tusiata Avia, poet and author of the widely acclaimed ‘Wild Dogs under my skirt”.

The Production

Performed on a stage flooded with water, Vula (Fijian for ‘moon’) combines magic and illusion with traditional song and dance to create a captivating piece of Pacific Island visual theatre. Vula explores the sensual and spiritual relationship between Pacific Island women and the sea – a space where the worlds of the natural, mythological and everyday coexist. Under the power of the moon and swayed by the constant motion of the tide, Vula takes the audience on a journey through a Pacific day and night. The performers move and dance in and through the water, accompanied by an award-winning score by Gareth Farr, creating image upon sensual image while moving from intense spirituality to uproarious comedy.

The Company

Vula is the first work from Pacific Island theatre company The Conch, based in Wellington, New Zealand. Director, Nina Nawalowalo, formed The Conch after returning from Europe where she spent many years creating visually arresting work using a blend of magic, mask and clowning. With Vula, Nawalowalo wanted to explore a uniquely theatrical language dedicated to combining European theatre traditions with the profound depth of her Pacific Island heritage. The inspiration for Vula comes from a trip she made to Fiji in 1994 when she brought back with her the memory of women fishing, wading through waves, calling to each other in song.

'Nawalowalo is the master of the hypnotic image.' THE NZ HERALD, AUCKLAND

'A searingly beautiful work speaking volumes about Pacific life.' CAPITAL TIMES, WELLINGTON


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