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Manawa by Jamie McCaskill opens at Circa Theatre

4 September 2012

Written by Jamie McCaskill
Directed by Regan Taylor

Jimmy King is New Zealand’s youngest murderer and has been in and out of prison his whole life. Public enemy number one Mau Vaiaga has been here for only four months. An unlikely friendship is struck up as these two men battle their way through the New Zealand justice system while being guided by upcoming and ruthless lawyer Waimanea Huia.

Circa Two and Tikapa Productions present the world premiere of MANAWA written by Jamie McCaskill.

"I wrote this play as a challenge for myself to choose a dark subject and to make it as light as I can without taking the heart out of it. I want the characters to be as real as possible and even though the world of the play is in a prison, I want the MANAWA of the characters to resonate with the audience so that even if these characters have committed the most heinous crime, we as an audience will see that these characters still have a beating heart, while still having the freedom to disagree with their actions" - Jamie

Drawing on Jamie’s experience working with youth at Challenge 2000 in Johnsonville, the play takes a no holds barred look at our current justice system through near absurd circumstances. It also explores the underbelly of racism towards immigrants who commit crimes through ignorance and asks what the public's fascination with protecting birds is all about e.g. Happy Feet the penguin. MANAWA also takes a satirical look at the media’s coverage of high profile criminals. Audiences will also be treated to a live and original soundtrack played by Thames musician Simon Donald.

It is written by Jamie McCaskill, Ngati Tamatera, who co-wrote the extremely popular and successful play He Reo Aroha which has toured nationally and internationally for the past 4 years, most recently to the 2012 Festival of Pacific Arts at Honiara in The Solomon Islands. He is also a gifted actor, writer and musician brought up in Thames where he is currently based.

MANAWA is directed by Regan Taylor, a seasoned theatre practitioner who has recently formed Te Rehia Theatre Company with the aim to strengthen Te Reo in mainstream schools in the greater Auckland area. A funny, sharply written and deeply moving play starring the formidable talent of Kali Kopae, Natano Keni, Jamie McCaskill and musician Simon Donald, this world premiere is one not to be missed.

15 September – 13 October
Tues-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 4.30pm
Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St
Bookings: 04 801 7992 |

Adults $46 / Student, Senior Citizen and Beneficiaries $38
Groups (6+) $39 (20+) $36 / Under 25s $25
Friends of Circa (up to Thursday 27 September)$33
$25 Preview: Friday 14 September and Sunday 16 September


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