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New Theatre Production Unearths the Unseen Side of Auckland

New Poetic Theatre Production Unearths the Unseen Side of Auckland

In the beating heart of the city, everybody is someone's darling...

A powerful and inspiring new theatre production by the freshest voice in New Zealand poetry will have its world premiere season at Mangere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku from 16 October.

Rising Voices' Grace Taylor is a highly-regarded spoken word poet, teacher and youth development worker. Her debut theatre adaptation, My Own Darling, is a commentary of Auckland, told through the eyes of five characters.

In My Own Darling Taylor invites audiences to join her on an intimate journey through the social landscape of Auckland. It looks at the Auckland we don't necessarily see or talk about.

Actress Mia Blake will make her first foray into directing with a cast that comprises Taylor (Akakasi Speaks, Skin), Fasitua Amosa (Lysistrata, thePollyHood series, Niu Sila) and Gabby Solomon. Anonymouz has built a electronic soundscape using recordings made in some of the places referenced in Taylor's poetry.

The three actors play four characters between them: Teuila is a Samoan Palagi poet whose relationship has fallen apart and she faces the daunting task of becoming a single mum. Grit-Girl is a young woman who has been let down by most of the adults in her life. Man from the Maunga makes you smile and he's pretty resourceful too - he makes a stereo for his motorbike from bits gathered at the inorganics in Remuera. The Lady-Next-Door is the Samoan aunty who gives the hard truths, just because she can.

"Taylor's work focuses on identity and belonging - her powerful poetry provides a platform for the people and communities who are often overlooked," says Blake.

"My Own Darling is a political social commentary that challenges preconceptions of poverty and stereotypes. Grace weaves verse into conversation thereby pushing the boundaries between spoken word and theatre."

A creative force to be reckoned with, Taylor co-founded both the South Auckland Poets Collective and Rising Voices Youth Poetry Movement, she was the recipient of the 2014 Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards Emerging Pacific Artist award and is a passionate advocate for the rights of young people. She made her directorial debut last year with the moving and unflinching Skin for Auckland Theatre Company's Youth Season.

Every season Auckland Theatre Company programmes a new New Zealand work that aims to shift boundaries and perceptions. This is that work for 2015.

The world premiere of My Own Darling runs 16 to 24 October at Mangere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku.

Ends

For more information, images and interviews, please contact Siobhan Waterhouse, Publicist, on 022 126 4149 or siobhan@atc.co.nz

My Own Darling
By: Grace Taylor
Directed by: Mia Blake
Season Dates: 16 - 24 October
Venue: Mangere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku
Tickets: www.atc.co.nz

ENDS

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