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Once Were Warriors Cast Includes Tina Cross

Tina Cross and Willie Fransen Headline Exciting Once Were Warriors Cast

Once Were Warriors director Jim Moriarty and producer ARTCO are proud to announce the cast for the national touring stage musical drama of Once Were Warriors.

The cast of 40 performers will be headed by, Tina Cross as Beth Heke, and Willie Craig Fransen as Jake “the Muss” Heke, supported by Maria MacDonald as Grace Heke, Henri Perez as Nig Heke and Louie Porter-Samuels as Boogie Heke. Jim Moriarty will himself perform as social worker, Kahu Bennet.

Moriarty says, “the cast is a bloody exciting one, all the actors have the right mix of experience and enthusiasm, that’s the key to this one. We have a cast who are willing and able to stand on the edge of the precipice and leap off into the abyss.”

Moriarty has departed from the book and the film by casting a number of Pakeha actors in the company, “expect a bi-cultural mix with some Pakeha actors,” says Moriarty, “this is a show for all New Zealand - family violence isn’t just a brown person’s issue.”

Tina Cross is delighted to be playing the role of Beth Heke in Once Were Warriors, “when I heard the music for the show I knew I wanted the role, it’s powerful and moving but also real,” she said. Cross is also looking forward to the challenge of creating the new role, “I am excited about singing a role afresh rather than one that was created for a West End or Broadway production, and also the opportunity to play a role for a Maori woman that is as gutsy and as real is this, that doesn’t come along everyday, I am so lucky to be playing it.”

With 40 performers in total, Once Were Warriors is the largest production of its kind ever staged in New Zealand. The cast will assemble for an unique 6 week “boot camp” rehearsal period in North Canterbury starting on the 19th of January.

The list cast is as follows:

Beth Heke Tina Cross, Auckland Jake “the Muss” Heke Willie Craig Fransen, Wellington Grace Heke Maria Macdonald, Auckland Nig Heke Henri Perez, Auckland Boogie Heke Louie Porter-Samuels , Wellington Polly Heke Geena Lunavitch, Hamilton Huata Heke Sam Otinga-Boyd, Porirua Dooley Lionel Waka, Rotorua Toot Baji Brown, Wellington Con Rawiri Taikaki, Wellington Patchy Patterson Tekura, Wellington Taka Pita Te Tau, Wellington Kahu Bennet Jim Moriarty, Wellington

Production list: Director Jim Moriarty, Wellington. Producer Anthony Runacres, Christchurch. General Manager Allan Silcock, Christchurch. Musical Director Richard Marrett, Christchurch. Script Writer Riwia Brown, Wellington. Lyricist Jamie Burgess, Christchurch. Choreographer Susan Graham, Auckland. Set Design Mark McEntyre, Christchurch. Lighting Design Grant Robertson, Christchurch. Sound Design Terry Molloy, Christchurch. Costume Design Debz Ruffel, Auckland. Technical Supervisor David Bosworth, Christchurch.

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