BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

07/06/2018 - 09/06/2018

Kia Mau Festival 2018

Production Details

A unique verbatim play about hauora.

Barrier Ninja is a verbatim play based on nine people’s personal and professional testimonies about hauora. Hauora is a Māori word and is translated as health. 

Nine people’s testimonies were recorded and edited into an audio score which is played through an MP3 device into the actor’s ear during the performance. This ‘headphone’ technique ensures the actor stays true to the nine people’s vocal inflections and intonations. In rehearsal, the filmed testimonies were studied to inform the body language and gestures etc. This ‘headphone’ technique also makes overt the mediation process between the nine participants, the actor, and the audience. 

Kia Mau Season Pass
Want to see more of Kia Mau 2018 for less?  Buy a three show Season Pass now for only $45!  Shows included in the Season Pass are He Kura E Huna Ana, Whare, Talofa Papa, Lau’ Gagana, Barrier Ninja, Deer Woman and Beneath Skin and Bone.

BATS Theatre The Propeller Stage
7 – 9 June 2018
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $14 

The Propeller Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

The Creative Team

Producer/Writer: Fran Kewene is of Māori and British descent and whakapapa’s to Waikato/Tainui on her father’s side and Somerset/Wells, England on her mother’s side.
    Graduating from the New Zealand Drama School in 1990, Fran has worked on stage, radio, in film and taught. She has worked along side people such as Jim Moriaty Te Rakau Hua o te Wao Tapu working in traditional theatre, at venues such as Taki Rua (Wellington) and working in prisons (Arohata) with theatre as a tool of empowerment. She has also worked with organisations such as Ngā Moemoea a te Rangatahi using theatre as a tool of empowerment for rangatahi at risk.  Fran has worked as an actor with the Theatre in Health Education Trust touring Sexwise and Much and Crunch. Fran has taught improvisation at a community drama school in Porirua. In 1996 Fran went back to study and graduated from Victoria University in 2000 majoring in Criminology and Māori. She then started her career working in health for Te Waka Hauora a Rohe, Dunedin’s Māori Public Health team.
Fran wrote her first verbatim play Barrier Ninja: A verbatim play about hauora in 2015 as part of her Master’s of Art at the University of Otago. This show was performed twice at Allen Hall as part of her examination process. Fran currently works as a Hauora Māori Practice Fellow for Kōhatu Centre for Māori Health at the University of Otago. Fran is interested in the interface between theatre, health and community and is particularly interested in the theatre technique verbatim theatre.

Actor/Producer: Julie Edwards
Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue/Italian American on her mother’s side and Irish/Welsh on her father’s.
    Since graduating from Toi Whakaari in 1989 Julie has worked as a professional actor/director throughout NZ and in 2014 was awarded the ’50+shows’ for services to theatre. She is a familiar face to Dunedin audiences where in 2017 she appeared as Maria in 'Twelfth Night' and Jacks Mother in 'Into The Woods' at The  Fortune Theatre and toured NZ in Grumpy old Women - 'Game of Crones' and 'The Sound of Music' for Ben McDonald Productions.
    In 2014/15 she appeared in two national touring verbatim productions ‘The Keys are in the Margarine’ and 'Belonging' for Talking House/WOW productions.
From 1997-2001 she was Head of acting/ coordinator for Television, Theatre and Radio - Aoraki Polytechnic, Dunedin Campus. She is a founder member and director/tutor for 5 seasons of Northland Youth theatre, Otago Youth Theatre, Auckland Youth Theatre, and in 1997 Acting Tutor at Te Tai Tokorau, Northland Polytechnic.
    Julie has also worked alongside Jim Moriaty,  Te Rakau Hua O Te Wao Tapu and Kilimogo Productions performing in ‘In The Wilderness without a Hat’ by Hone Tuwhare, 'Te Hokinga Mai', Te Hara, and  '1981' by John Broughton, 'Whaea Kairau' by Apirana Taylor, and 'Home Fires' by Hone Kouka.
    Otepoti has been Julie’s home for the past 20 years where she and her husband Jann have raised their three tamariki.  

Verbatim , Theatre , Solo ,

1 hr

Storytelling at its best

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 08th Jun 2018

Bats Theatre is buzzing and Kia Mau is in full swing. Bravo once again to Hone Kouka and his team who have developed this Festival of Maori and Pasifika Indigenous Theatre and Dance.

I find myself at a one woman performance of a verbatim play based on real experiences of hauora. The systems, realities and personalities of wellbeing and health are cleverly integrated and social comment and commentary interwoven into this monologue as actress Julie Edwards speaks firstly as herself as she introduces the concept of a verbatim play, and then with the voices of nine diverse characters.

Edwards is excellent. Connected by earphones to her phone in a small purse, she effortlessly shifts persona and viewpoint but with such clarity in both body language and vocal range that we never lose touch with the issues.

The staging is simple – a red carpet square (blood on the floor?), a swivel chair reminiscent of ‘management’ and some simple text to focus the progression. We listen to words that really touch our hearts. Words such as hospital, illness, dehabilitation, rehabilitation, relationships, practitioners, feelings, challenges, whanau, humour, heartbreak, admission, confusion … This is story telling at its best and the audience is carried with it all the way.

In a short korero with Julie Edwards and her Director, Erina Daniels, following the show, audience members voiced emotional support and opinion. A tour de force with real potential to do good going forward. Barrier Ninja has been included into the medical curriculum at the University of Otago and its message as a wake up call to all that can be done better and why it should be so, is important and timely.

 Kia Mau produces strong voices that must be heard. Listen.


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