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Persistence pays off for young theatre director

Peach Theatre Company

Persistence pays off for young theatre director

Bro’Town creators Oscar Kightley and Dave Armstrong have given 24-year-old theatre director Jesse Peach the first rights to reproduce their award-winning play Niu Sila.

Peach Theatre Company (PTC) will stage the two-actor play at the Glen Eden Playhouse from May 10-24.

It’s the first time Kightley and Armstrong have given a theatre company permission to stage Niu Sila, which has played to sell-out audiences throughout the country since it made its debut in Wellington in 2004.

Jesse says he has wanted to stage Niu Sila since seeing it at Auckland’s Maidment Theatre three years ago, and has asked for permission to do his own production of it several times since then.

“I’d always been told the rights were unavailable but gentle persistence has finally paid off. I made contact with Oscar, who emailed Dave, and they agreed I could go ahead and stage Niu Sila,” says Jesse.

PTC’s production will be the first time the play is staged in West Auckland, and the first time it’s without its original cast.

“It’s the best New Zealand play I’ve ever seen. It’s so powerful. It’s funny yet touches on real issues affecting real people,” says Jesse.

“People associate West Auckland with Westies, but in reality there is a massive Pacific Island population here. Niu Sila is real life West Auckland on stage.”

Niu Sila follows the story of six-year-old Ioane Tafioka when he arrives fresh off the boat from the Pacific and moves next door to six-year-old Palagi Peter Burton.

The pair form a friendship that will affect their lives for the next 30 years.

Fasitua Amosa will play Ioane in PTC’s production, while Ashley Hawkes plays Peter.
Together, they play more than 30 characters, including the boys’ families, teachers, policemen, a minister and members of an Indian cricket team.

Fasitua has appeared in several Silo Theatre productions, including Take Me Out in 2006, where he had the lead role.

Ashley was last seen as Mickey in PTC’s musical Blood Brothers, in April 2008.

- Niu Sila is on at the Glen Eden Playhouse from May 10-24, 2008. Tickets are $20-$25, and are available at the Glen Eden Pharmacy or online at


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