Saleyards Café, Manchester St, Feilding

17/11/2016 - 26/11/2016

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

08/06/2017 - 10/06/2017

KIA MAU Festival 2017

Production Details

Created by Karla and Reihana Haronga


As sure as the seasons come and go, Fridays see the regulars flock to town for supplies, sales and a good yarn. This show has been inspired by the stories and personalities of the rural community; a community you might find sitting in the local café of any small town in New Zealand.

Saleyards Café, Manchester St, Feilding
17 – 26 November 2016
7pm + 4pm Sat & Sun.
BOOKINGS:  021 854 979
TICKETS:  All seats $20 – limit 30 seats per show!

After three sell-out seasons and numerous private showings in NZ’s most beautiful town, Feilding, Friday’sFlock hits Wellington with a three-show season at BATS Theatre. Inspired by the stories and personalities of the rural community and filled with Kiwi humour, Friday’sFlock will resonate with the New Zealander in us all.

BATS Theatre Heyday Dome
8 – 10 June 2017
at 6:30pm
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $14


Performing solo, Reihana Haronga performs all characters in this performance.  The last performance Feilding saw Reihana was “Purapurawhetu” as Matawera, a role that won him Best Actor. Since then, Reihana has been busy directing and producing various productions as part the Te Pūanga Whakaari team, most recently the “Prince Seth and the Princess” series for Centrepoint Theatre. Reihana trained professionally as an Actor before then training as a teacher.

QUOTE: “I set myself the challenge to devise this piece before Christmas, after my theatre mates said “it’s your turn”. They had all devised solo shows in the last couple of years and passed the challenge to me. I fell in love with the building and its history and what it represented. When my mate Jamil took over Saleyards Café, it was his passion for the place that inspired me to want to put something on in there. It was small, and intimate and full of history. When we went there for lunch, the characters and the people were already there and unique to that particular building. The story developed from there.”


Karla is probably best known for her work at FAHS Feilding High School where she has won numerous awards in the NZ Theatre Federation One Act Play Festivals; winning the Book of Honour three times in total. Her work for Te Pūanga includes writing and directing the “Prince Seth and the Princess” series for Centrepoint Theatre, and devising and performing in “Mums: The Word” at the Darkroom in 2014.

QUOTE: “I love devising – especially when I’m on the directing side.  The challenge with this piece is obviously that Reihana is playing all the characters. It is a privilege to work alongside and support him in finding the voices for each of them – he’s got some great stories to tell.  The space itself presents some exciting opportunities with such a distinctive crowd and lifestyle associated with it.  That is what site-specific drama does – it explores the stories that belong to the site.  What I love about it this piece is it could be stories you’d hear sitting in any rural communities’ “local”.”


Te Pūanga Whakaari is proud to partner with Dennis Pierce for Digital Design and Jamil Hammoud, Saleyards Café Owner, as venue host.

Dennis is a freelance artist, photographer and designer who has also worked at FAHS Feilding High School as Head of Visual Art for many years. He is probably best known for his design work on EVENTO.

Jamil has owned the Saleyards Café for a number of years. As well as feeding the many who attend Sales on a Friday or pop in during the week, Jamil also caters private functions. We are very grateful for his generous sponsorship of the show.

Our corporate sponsor is Atkins and Assc Accountants – long term supporters of Te Pūanga Whakaari. We are once again grateful for their association with us.


Founded in 2010 by Karla Haronga

Artistic Directors: Karla and Reihana Haronga

Performied by Reihana Haronga
Dennis Pierce digital design

Theatre , Spectacle , Site-specific/site-sympathetic , Solo ,

1 hr

Rich fusion fare

Review by John Smythe 09th Jun 2017

Book-ended by Dave Dobbyn’s ‘Slice of Heaven’, Friday’s Flock offers Wellington audiences a slice of rural life via regular Friday visits to the Saleyards Café. Indeed the premiere of Reihana Haronga’s self-devised solo play, directed by Karla Haronga, was site specific: at the actual Saleyards Café by Feilding’s 130+ year-old Saleyards

BATS’ Heyday Dome space has been dressed to approximate the café (design by the Harongas), with the audience facing each other in the traverse. Fearing audience involvement, people back off into the seats behind those adjacent to the tables adorned with check cloths, salt & pepper shakers and tomato sauce. There is, however, no interaction with the audience, as such, although there is lots of direct address.  

The café owner, Sam, is a townie who almost made the mistake of upgrading the menu and décor, before his most regular customer, Walter, put him right. A farmer who couldn’t cope with the work after his wife died, Walter and his dog, Jack, have moved into town and both are trying to adjust.  

The Friday sales bring farmers to town, like young Joseph who is stuck on a farm he doesn’t know how to manage because his recently deceased father was too impatient, or something, to share his knowledge. Poor Joseph is always on his cellphone, fielding calls from creditors or seeking help with his myriad problems.  

Then there is the nostalgic woman, sharing her memories for us while keeping herself to herself as far as the others are concerned. The sense of mystery she engenders is nicely resolved.

Reihana embodies all these characters – including Jack the dog, plus an ex-model from Sweden (you have to be there) – with a light touch that belies the depth of the stories his deft script reveals. Over four seasons, marked with recurring motifs and running gags – literally in the case of Jack – we experience wry humour, sadness, pathos, romance, recovery and a sense of renewal, even in death (again: you have to be there); all in 45 minutes.

Those who know country life glow with recognition; those who don’t warm to this masterful evocation because none of us are far from these home truths.

What I find most remarkable as that even while evoking the languid pace of country life, Friday’s Flock serves up rich fusion fare imbued with the lives of three generations when the past and future are factored in.

As just one of the eight Kia Mau Festival events at BATS Theatre, it’s only on twice more. Treat yourselves. 


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A resonating and memorable experience

Review by Richard Mays 29th Nov 2016

Friday’s Flock is a small perfectly formed nugget of delight.

The opening night [November 17] audience filling Feilding’s Saleyards Cafe responded to actor Reihana Haronga’s 45-minute solo performance with a standing ovation.

For generations, farmers have made the weekly pilgrimage to the largest saleyards in the southern hemisphere to buy, sell and socialise.

Friday’s Flock is a heart-warming tribute to the character and the characters of the Manchester St cafe’s sale-day customers.

Within a pungent whiffing distance of the saleyards, the caff with a capacity of about 30, is a no-frills, Formica table, blackboard menu eatery that also has a distinct Brazilian flavour.

That pungency, according to Sam, its proprietor for the night and one of seven roles played by Haronga – “is the smell of money”.

After platters and drinks, Sam conducts the audience season by season through a year in the life of the cafe.

We meet Walter, a retired farmer who has recently lost his wife, and with his dog Jack, in a delightful anthropomorphic portrayal by Haronga, is always the morning’s first customer.

There’s Joseph, struggling to run the farm following the death of his father, and in need of sound advice.

While waiting for her husband to conclude his business at the yards, Nancy comes in to sip tea, to reflect on life, the neighbours they “only see in town”, and comment on the rubbish the men talk.

One hilarious interlude sees a stock agent lapsing into his auction spiel when searching through his pockets to pay for food.

Throughout, the good-natured humour is beautifully timed, while Haronga’s authentic characterisations skilfully evade the snare of caricature.

Not without its poignancy, this well-worked site-specific piece is an example of how, given the right performance conditions, anywhere can host a resonating and memorable theatre experience. 


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