Aotea Square, Auckland

13/12/2013 - 21/12/2013

Q Theatre, 305 Queen St, Auckland

09/10/2014 - 09/10/2014

Hannah Playhouse, Wellington

18/06/2015 - 20/06/2015

Hagley Open Stage, Christchurch

03/10/2014 - 04/10/2014

The Famous Spiegeltent, Havelock North Domain, Havelock North

01/11/2015 - 01/11/2015

Centrepoint, Palmerston North

05/10/2016 - 08/10/2016

The Body Festival 2014


Tempo Dance Festival 2014

Ahi Kaa Festival 2015

Production Details

Share the joy and tomfoolery of the White Face Crew in a superbly choreographed show, involving couch leaping, shoe stealing, and good old fashioned clowning around.

Two colourful street characters go head to head in a city park. What begins as a hilarious duet turns into a charming tale when a gloomy businessman interrupts their daily routine. Will his dark clouds engulf them or can they turn his frown upside down?

This is top notch physical theatre and dance from the award-winning White Face Crew. Choreographed by Justin Haiu and directed by Jarod Rawiri, Double Derelicts showcases the unique and spontaneous physical comedy the White Face Crew is famous for.

Fun for all ages, and guaranteed to amuse and impress!

Christchurch 2014

Venue            The Open Stage at Hagley College, 510 Hagley Avenue

Date/Time       Fri 3rd and Sat 4th October at 7.30pm, Sun 5th October at 2.00pm

Duration         60 minutes

Tickets   $25, $18 concession, $12 child under 12 Dash Tickets or ph 0800 327 484, booking fees apply.

Auckland 2014

Q Theatre
Thursday 9 October 1.30pm and 6.30pm
Book now or Phone 09 3099771

Ahi Kaa AK Festival 2015

“The technical control and timing of three extraordinarily athletic performers is outstanding.” THEATREVIEW

“the skilled cast seamlessly fuse clown and movement with a touch of poignant melodrama” THEATREVIEW

Date: 18 – 20 June
Times: Thurs 6.30PM | Fri 6.30PM | Sat 11AM & 6.30PM
Ticket Prices: $25 Full | $18 Concession (Stdnt/Gold Card/DANZ Member/Group of 4 +) | $12 Child 12 and under | Under 4 go for free | Family price $60 Two adults two children | Attend both Double Derelicts and Modern Mâori Quartet show $50 Full $40 Concession

All bookings are made online through

The Famous Spiegeltent, Havelock North
Sunday 1 November 2015, 6:00pm


Centrepoint Theatre, 280 Church Street, Palmerston North
5 October – 8 October 2016
Wednesday – Saturday 6.30PM
Bookings: 06 354 5740;;

Performers: Jarod Rawiri, Justin Haiu and Tupua Tigafua or Tama Jarman 

Cast / Jarod Rawiri, Justin Haiu and Tama Jarman
Director / Jarod Rawiri
Choreographer / Justin Haiu
Co-Producers / White Face Crew and Betsy Mana Productions
LX Design / Laurie Dean
Sound Design / Karnan Saba
Production Manager & Operator / Kat Turkilsen

Theatre , Physical , Dance , Comedy ,

50 mins

Splendid value

Review by John C Ross 06th Oct 2016

A down-and-out woman who’s sleeping rough comes across a couch, abandoned by the roadside, over on its back, with a sign “COUCH 4 FREE.” Yay! She changes it to “COUCH 4 ME.” As you would.  Except that she’s rather obviously a bloke, wearing a dress and a headscarf, and s/he’s already been warming up the audience, in the manner of a circus clown, yet more with miming – facial expressiveness and body language – than with words.

She disappears, and a male ‘derelict’ moves in – “4 ME”!!  Aha!! But how to tip it right way up? Oh no, too heavy for him. A third person comes in – the first two are Māori, this one is ‘white face’, very neatly dressed, with white shirt, tie, waistcoat, white gloves, and so forth, plus hat, umbrella. In due course he’s induced to help tip the couch right way up, and there on it is the woman, improbably undisturbed in her sleep under her newspaper blankets. 

The two ‘derelicts’ are, clown-like, seeming-awkward, yet leap over and around that couch, and each other, with precise agility, and plenty of invention. When one character sits down hard on it another bounces quite high.

Their relating to each other keeps shifting.  The stranger, the ‘white’ businessman, tries to keep up his distance, his distaste, his privileged authority, but he gets caught up in their role-playings, perhaps in a different ‘reality’.

Double Derelicts began as a ten-minute piece, in 2012, and has developed since, reaching its current hour-long form in 2014, being performed in a number of festivals then and since. Jarod Rawiri plays the ‘white’ businessman, Justin Haiu the woman, ‘Mum’, and Tama Jarman the down-and-out man, ‘Dad’. It’s well-practiced, yet every performance, with its interactions with the audience, is bound to differ.

This is White Face Crew’s first appearance in Palmerston North – let’s hope for plenty more. Splendid value.

John Verryt’s set-design, apart from the couch and a black backscene, is mainly rubbish (not disparaging it); and there’s some original music composed by Karnan Saba.

The eloquent miming, the stage business, goes down especially well on the first night here with the younger members of the audience, who laugh freely. All the same, beyond all the humour, the clever fun, their small victories, one is not allowed to forget the harshness and poignancy of the lives of the ‘derelicts’.


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No fourth wall in this show

Review by Kim Buckley 02nd Nov 2015

As we meander up the flowered walkway to the Spiegeltent, a Nanny Kuia comes around the corner path. Upon seeing me, she walks forward in welcome and in a smiling croaky voice, she offers me her arm so I can walk her up the steps. This immediate performer/audience eye to eye engagement is enticing and entirely gratifying.

What transpires is more of the same performer/audience engagement. There is no fourth wall in this show. Which makes it all the more special. Nanny Kuia engages a young boy in the 2nd row to help her up the stairs onto the stage. She has previously been in and through the audience saying hello and tinkering with people. This performer is cleverly engaging the emotional body of the audience so when the time comes, they will, with open hearts and open minds, be with her in the story she is about to tell.

There are three performers in the White Face Crew, Justin Halu, Jarod Rawiri, and Tama Jarman. These men are all superbly talented New Zealand performers and they have skillfully created a wonderfully original work. The many performance forms used in this show are uniquely and seamlessly spun together to generate a unified and perfectly formed journey of three characters.

Their bounce duet on and off the couch is hilarious and exquisitely timed. The mime with the cloud umbrella who rains on people is always grumpy and sad. Plucking an eyelash to play a violin is a great idea. The man in the moon who challenges Nanny Kuia to a shootout is hilarious, until Nanny Kuia takes back the spotlight and pulls out her big guns. The transition between sitting on the couch and swimming underwater is sublime, poignantly reminding us that being ‘lost’ to your loved ones is akin to being underwater.

They were even able to improvise our All Blacks winning the Rugby World Cup that morning. And we applauded, and they bowed, and we applauded louder and they bowed some more.

This show has lots of layers and constantly invites the audience to decide which layer we are going to feel as we watch the antics. There is a far deeper meaning to this work, if one wants to stretch oneself that far. Otherwise, a lighthearted look is also absolutely engaging. Well done White Face Crew. We hope you return to Hawkes Bay soon.


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Tomfoolery plus

Review by John Smythe 19th Jun 2015

A capsized ‘Couch 4 Free’ takes centre stage amid the detritus of modern living. A chalked backdrop tells us we’re in Wellington. A ‘woman’ (Justin Haiu), in a headscarf and overcoat, roves amid the assembling audience, establishing a good rapport with us rather than attempting to personify a homeless person. It’s a while before I notice a pair of bare feet poking out from beneath newspaper.

A swarm of flies and a police siren signal the start of the show proper. Acquisition of the couch is cause for celebration until another – the derelict man (Tupua Tigafua) surfacing from his newsprint bed – shows an interest too. Likewise the shiny white Nike boot he finds in a rubbish bag is attractive to the woman. The programme doesn’t name them so I’ll call her Dera and him Dero.

The quest for territory and possessions is endemic to our species. The question is whether we fight over them or find a way to share and this supplies the thematic underpinning to their increasingly acrobatic clowning as Dera and Dero bounce, twirl and flip themselves and each other above, around and behind the coveted couch in pursuit of the boot. Their agility and timing are wondrous to behold. Tigafua especially seems weightless and blessed with hidden means of self-propulsion.

This is no Beckett-inspired dystopia mired in ennui and existential angst (although Beckett’s plays do reference European clown conventions and vaudeville). A question mark hovers over the appropriation of homeless derelicts for such ebullient entertainment. Where will they take this?

There is nothing ebullient about the well-dressed businessman (Jarod Rawiri) – I’ll call him Busi – who happens by. He literally lives his life under a cloud – a reverse umbrella that rains on the inside – and is mean spirited, taking his unhappiness out on anyone who crosses his path. If we take Dera and Dero as the titular double derelicts, then it’s Busi who claims the visage of White Face Crew. He wears white gloves too. Aside from this being classic mime convention, it raises the question of whether race is implied within the clear class distinction.

Maybe I’m over-thinking this, given the publicity line is simply: “Share the joy and tomfoolery of the White Face Crew in a superbly choreographed show, involving couch leaping, shoe stealing, and good old fashioned clowning around.” But this hour-long piece has evolved from a much shorter exercise in open air entertainment. The increased length and the closer scrutiny that comes with a black box venue demand something more than a display of skills – and yes, Double Derelicts delivers.  

There is a photograph, memories, buried feelings, inner anguish and denial. At first Busi’s private reverie is obscure and raises more questions but then a back-story from childhood emerges, and much that seemed incidental gains deeper significance. And that’s all I’m saying, for fear of giving too much away.

Suffice to say Dera ends up where she began: alone. Or does she? In Beckett’s Waiting for Godot the search for meaning in a boot or a hat is fruitless: a boot is a boot; a hat is a hat. But here … it’s another story.I do like a play – and play is the operative word here – that resolves its key themes then leaves you to imagine what will happen next.


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Vagrancy Made Magical

Review by Nik Smythe 11th Oct 2014

The large freight container inelegantly plonked on the tiles of Aotea square holds a wealth of treasures in the form of props and costumes for various productions participating in this year’s complimentary outdoor Unwrapping Christmas programme.

One such show concerns a couple of cheeky homeless clown-like down-and-outers making the most of everything they’ve got and sweating nothing they haven’t.  The first one we meet is evidently female, judging by the dress and Coro-style headscarf, chasing a fly around the audience with a rolled up newspaper, occasionally speaking in pseudo-Italian sounding semi-gibberish.

Eventually coming across the conspicuous upturned ‘Couch 4 Sale’ she endeavours to stake her claim upon it.  Enter tramp no. 2, an authentic vision of destitution, showing off his prized Nike Kick (singular) before clapping eyes on said couch himself and getting ideas of his own about it.

As the two lovable bums face off over their disputed territory, an incomprehensible argument develops into a remarkably coordinated clown-dance whereby they take turns bouncing eachother off the couch and chasing eachother around it.  

Just as they appear to have found some resolution a third character enters, more smartly dressed in pinstripe pants, white shirt, braces and bowtie, his face painted white and wielding an umbrella that rains upon him as he weeps uncontrollably. 

The tramps are at first highly amused by him, perhaps gratified to see one who clearly enjoys more privilege than they suffering abjectly as he is.  However, after a while they take it upon themselves to tackle the seemingly impossible task of cheering him up – cue some good old-fashioned pain-inflicting slapstick, which at least stops the crying for a while.

It looks set to backfire when the melancholy fellow relates his life story in an endearing montage played out by the trio, focussing on his relationship with his beloved parents, since passed on.  The two tramps are so moved that the tears of the three combined threatens to drown them all …

There are echoes of Slava’s Snow Show, particularly the sad-man’s raining umbrella, but the 40-minute spectacle is essentially original, devised from the company’s fertile collective imagination. 

Choreographed by Justin Haiu and directed by Jarod Rawiri, the skilled cast seamlessly fuse clown and movement with a touch of poignant melodrama in a short, satisfying show to amuse and impress you.  The uncredited music, a kind of modernised vaudeville swing with a pepped up rhythm track, is most effective in driving and punctuating the action. 

I wonder if – or how many of – our fair city’s vagrant community have come along to see Double Derelicts, and whether, or how much, they might relate to it.  If homelessness were always so magical and cartoon-like perhaps more of us would adopt the lifestyle by choice. 


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Tale of redemption

Review by Kerry-Ann Stanton 10th Oct 2014

Having seen the 10 minute ‘quickie’ twice I wonder what to expect. This show is five times as long, plus another character is added, Jared Rawiri as the … (oops better not say!).

What we get is much laughter tinged with dollops of poignancy.  Who else but Tupua Tigafua can express so much with the hug of a hat?  Only Justin Haiu, who brings a wicked caricature of coy flirtation removed at the speed of light by a snatch and grab of whatever she is after.

There is lots going on and this show is unique with its mix of so many performance forms.  Comedic sketching, and physical theatre with timing supreme, jockey with dancing that appears effortless.

We sit with the house lights on, seeing and seen, connecting and connected with.  A woman several rows down from me breathes out a quiet ‘oh no’ that is responded instantly to with a gleeful  ‘oh yes’.  We laugh relieved it is not us. The transition to the dark is made subtly as the storyline changes and deepens.  As another reviewer has said, I mustn’t let the cat out of the bag, but there is a deep collective sigh around me.  We get  to laugh and cry as the crew give new interpretation to wallowing in emotional waters. 

My favourite section is still the couch dance between Justin and Tupua; lightness, hilarity, skill, agility, bounce and slink.  What more could we ask of this superb and moving ‘derelict’ tale of redemption?



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Extraordinary athleticism playfulness and tenderness

Review by Lindsay Clark 04th Oct 2014

The Body Festival is well served by this informal and accommodating venue, just the spot for original enterprise where movement and sound are unrestricted shapers of an event. The event in question has already been honed ‘up north’, but in the receptive space at Hagley Community College, it is a triumph of seeming spontaneity in the face of hugely challenging and complex physical ensemble work. 

Promoted as physical theatre, with clowning, dance, and improvisation as part of the mix, the production builds a world of changing fortunes around a trio of characters and an old couch, up for grabs on a city street. There are few actual words then, with mime, backing sound and occasional vocalised expression carrying the narrative. 

For a start, there are whirling newspapers which establish a lonely urban wilderness. The first ragged claimant has barely taken refuge on the focal couch, when along comes tattered claimant two and the gravity defying tussle for supremacy – which runs through the whole performance – is underway. There is more glorious nonsense in store, before the third party, impeccably attired and carrying his own shelter in the form of an impressively exaggerated umbrella, engenders more exchanges, more dynamics and so more fun. Without spoiling the surprise, it is fair to say that he is part of a touching development in the ‘plot line’. 

The real story is a switch back model of joy and despair, triumph and despondency, loneliness and togetherness. We probably do not need as many sequences as have been devised to expand the original ten minute version, but all are enjoyable and charming.

The technical control and timing of three extraordinarily athletic performers – Justin Haiu, Jarod Rawiri and Tupua Tigafua – is outstanding. This, combined with the playfulness and tenderness of their story telling makes the enterprise valuable festival fare.


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