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Pacific playwright has second publication in Aotearoa.

Internationally acclaimed Pacific playwright has second publication in Aotearoa.

'Gaga: the unmentionable', by Louise Tu'u is being published in an anthology by Little Island Press Ltd, supported by Auckland Council. Little Island Press will be running an interactive public Talanoa programme at the Avondale Library on Tuesday 20th of June from 6pm to 7pm. The programme will feature 'Gaga: the unmentionable' and include a performance of a scene from the play. Playwright, director and curator Louise Tu'u, will be attending the workshop.

The Talanoa Series is a collection of plays by five talented Pacific playwrights, who offer a refreshing perspective to the theatre community. Tu'u has been a strong female Pacific force since pursuing theatre. In 2005 she became the first New Zealand playwright to be invited to the Royal Court Theatre International Residency in London, she was an International Theatre Institute scholar in Berlin and represented Oceania as the first New Zealand delegate at the Tokyo Cultural Creation Project. Her play 'Horses and other farm animals' premiered in 2013, with critics calling her work 'contemporary Pacific performance extravaganza at its best'.

'Gaga: the unmentionable' takes a look at Tu'u's mother tongue, Sāmoan, through the eyes and experiences of her parents. Despite the name, this is far from a tribute show to performer Lady Gaga. Tu'u decided to include her mother, Lafi, as the star of the play as the story is based on her. The reason behind Tu'u's choice of subject links directly to her passion and interest in learning languages. She has a complicated relationship with the Sāmoan language.

Tu'u says "It's one thing to write about someone once they've passed, you usually conjure up a romanticised version of the person. It's totally different to honour someone while they're alive and able to tell you they don't like a certain line, or want something changed to suit their real character. My mum is the real director of the show. There are and always will be certain expectations within the Sāmoan community in regards to culture and language. I wanted to create a story that addressed the complexity of the Sāmoan language..”

Talanoa: Four Pacific Plays launched on Thursday 8 June 2017 and is available for purchase at all good book shops.

Buy the book

Talanoa: Four Pacific Plays

RRP $35


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