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Sport And Theatre Collide In New Māori Legend Show For The Holidays

Te Pou Theatre presents
Written & Directed by Tainui Tukiwaho

Take your whānau on a journey back through time with Te Mahi Ā Rahi, an interactive retelling of the legend of Rahi and Tiara, at Te Pou Theatre from July 14 - 17. This 40 minute bilingual theatre show, aimed at children aged 5-9, promotes Te Ao Māori through twisting this traditional legend in a playful, imaginative way.

When Rahitutakahina finds the love of his life, Tiarakurapakewai, has been kidnapped, he’s furious… but is he worried? Ehara! After all, he is Rahitutakahina –the toughest warrior of the village – and will rescue her easy as, he thinks! But it might not be as easy as he hopes...

Te Pou Theatre is proud to present this kaupapa that seeks to grow the use of Te Reo Māori among all tamariki and share mātauranga Māori through fun-filled performing arts. Filled with spells, atua, giant birds, taniwha, and flying teeth, Te Mahi Ā Rahi springs from the mind of playwright Tainui Tukiwaho (Te Haerenga o Hoiho, BLACK TIES) , who brings his imagination to the story of Rahi and Tiara.

Following Tiara’s adventures as the prisoner of a broken-hearted tohunga, and the harrowing journey of Rahi to find his love, move past his pride and together unite the villages forevermore. More than a simple retelling, Te Mahi Ā Rahi is a reclamation and a tribute. Tiara isn’t a helpless captive in this story, and she’s definitely not just waiting around to Rahi to come to her rescue.

The show, especially the way the female characters have been empowered in this fun new retelling, has been partially inspired by the game of Ki-o-Rahi, which also is based on the legend. Sports and arts are not separated in Te Ao Māori – they’re both ways of telling stories, and enrich each other; with Ki-o-Rahi as a perfect example of that. In both the show Te Mahi ā Rahi and the game Ki-o-Rahi, all genders play their part, the brain is just as important as brawn, and team-work wins over the individual glory.

The game, unique to Aotearoa, is quickly spreading across schools in Tāmaki Makaurau, with schools from all backgrounds entering competitions run by Ki-o-Rahi Tāmaki Makaurau. The organisation has joined Te Pou Theatre to offer audiences a chance to learn more about Kī-o-Rahi and have a go themselves, assuming the Tāmaki weather comes to play ball! On Saturday 17 July, Ki-o-Rahi Tamaki Makaurau will run a skills building workshop for kids aged 3-7 after the 11am show, and an opportunity to actually play the game for older kids and adults after the 1pm show. This awesome opportunity to get involved is part of Te Pou’s commitment to ensuring that all people can enjoy and participate, and engage with people who might not normally come along to the theatre. As part of this goal, they have also introduced a $5.00 ticket price based on a trust system, allowing people to see the show without undue financial burden, making this show as accessible to all as it can be.

Te Mahi Ā Rahi brings back many of Te Pou’s regular rangatahi performers, including Tuakoi Ohia (Ahikaaroa, Black Ties), Acacia O’Connor (Mistress), Ngāhiriwa Rauhina (Pourakahua), Te Arohanui Way-Korewha (Racists Anonymous), and also actors who are new to performing with the theatre, including Te Huamanuka Luiten-Apirana (Head High, winner of Playmarket’s Playwrights b4 25 Award) and Tahuaroa Ohia. This blend of veterans and newcomers are committed to the mahi of creating a show that doesn’t just promote te ao Māori, but celebrates it.

Ditch the screens these holidays, and come along to Te Pou Theatre with the whole whānau for a fun-filled, interactive, trip through one of the most enduring Māori legends.

Te Mahi ā Rahi plays Wednesday 14 - Saturday 17 July
2 shows daily: 10am & 1pm
Te Pou Theatre, Corban Estate, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson
Tickets available via iTICKET

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