I Am King/Queen

Te Papa: Soundings, Wellington

08/03/2023 - 10/03/2023

NZ Fringe Festival 2023

Production Details

Director | Tess Hill
Writer | Roymata Holmes

Choreographer | Roymata Holmes
Sound Design | Tom Stephenson

RM Holmes

Internationally renowned dancer Roymata Holmes explores gender-fluidity in a solo performance, showing as part of the NZ Fringe 2023.

When | Āhea
Wed 8 Mar 2023, 7.00pm–7.45pm
Thu 9 Mar 2023, 7.00pm–7.45pm
Fri 10 Mar 2023, 7.00pm–7.45pm

Where | Ki hea
Te Papa Museum – Rongomaraeroa, our Marae Level 4

Cost | Te utu
$20 to $45 see Fringe website for details

Book online:

Performer | Roymata Holmes

Dance-theatre , LGBTQIA+ , Pacific traditional dance forms , Performance Art , Solo , Spoken word , Dance ,

45 mins.

A must see show for all ages, sexualities and ethnicities. A non-negotiable for all straight white folks.

Review by CHLOE JAQUES 09th Mar 2023

We are welcomed into the space with the sound of an easeful breath and deep blue lighting hues. It is calm and tranquil in the moderately packed Soundings Theatre. Two chairs and a bed are equally spaced across the stage whilst nostalgic images and colourful cloth decorate the front. A figure evolves through the moody hues, filling the space with deliberate and beautiful
movement; instantly engaging.

Roymata Holmes delivers a versatile well rounded performance that presents stamina, agility and thoughtfulness. They take us on a journey. Unpacking significant family dynamics, navigating the challenges of growing up in a small town, being curious about one’s sexuality and asking the question of: what truly brings one joy in this big white world we live in?

Nuggets of important cultural history are scattered throughout the work, encouraging complexity and a deeper sense of understanding for the audience. An array of throwback tracks ranging from Bee Gees to Pink accompany substantial themes and storylines. Through the warmth and welcoming spirit of the performer, the audience feels safe and held in order to listen and begin to understand the depth of what is being shared.
When things get heavy, a light joke breaks the silence, allowing us to take another breath and
go deeper.

Although the seamless transitions between spoken word, dance and a hefty script charge the large space with energy and colour, I still felt somewhat distant from the action. I would be interested to know if this motion could be moved, if we were in a more intimate space.
However, the intimate mask scene commands instant attention. The clever use of white sheets paired with an intense soundscape creates a dense atmosphere with a much needed break from text. A scene that is an important gesture to the Me Too Movement.

Finding a sense of connection and community in a colonized white world is challenging on any given day, let alone sharing it so openly with strangers. I Am King/Queen is a beautifully faultless journey of music, dance, poetry and storytelling, demonstrating practiced and refined physical theatre. Pink sequins and a headline dance spirit closes off the joyous evening with the
audience clapping and cheering along. The lost rainbow world is forever evolving and developing and we are encouraged through simple dialogue to reflect and question our own stories and values.
A must see show for all ages, sexualities and ethnicities.
A non-negotiable for all straight white folks.


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