Kingdom Of Lote

Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland

17/05/2011 - 21/05/2011

Production Details

Lote made a promise to her late husband that must be fulfilled. She must ensure that one day their son will lead the Tongan rugby team to a victory as great as when they upset the mighty Wallabies in 1973. Saia, the rugby star, and his twin sister Sela, a political star on the rise, do their best to live their lives by the very different standards of their Tongan motherland and their New Zealand reality while trying to please both their traditional mother Lote and their Kiwi-as-kapa haka uncle Krak.

Kingdom of Lote is the exciting new comedy work by emerging New Zealand-born Tongan playwright Suli Moa, presented by Auckland’s leading professional Pacific Island Theatre company, the Kila Kokonut Krew. First presented at the Young Kila Writers playreading series in 2010, Kingdom of Lote has since been developed into New Zealand’s first ever full-length Tongan play to be performed by a full Tongan cast with both English and Tongan dialogue. 

Kingdom of Lote
Tuesday 17th May – Saturday 21st May
as part of Auckland City Council’s annual Pacific Arts Summit.
Venue: Mangere Arts Centre Ngā Tohu o Uenuku
Corner of Bader Drive and Orly Ave
Mangere, Auckland

Dates: Tuesday 17th May – Saturday 21st May
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: $20.00 Waged
$15.00 Unwaged
$15.00 for groups of ten or more

Wednesday 18th May is our student discount night – tickets are $10 with a student IDWednesday 18th May – Student Discount Night. Tickets are $10.00 with a student ID.

Bookings: Available through Mangere Arts Centre by calling (09) 262 2789 or email  

Tickets are also available at
please note, eventfinder online sales are for full or concession tickets only. All group bookings (10 or more) and student discount tickets ($10 with a student ID) are only available through Mangere Arts Centre.  

LOTE: Sesilia Pusiaki
KRAK: Michael Koloi
SAIA: Suli Moa
SELA: Maile Finau
KALAPU / CHORUS: Soane Ngutakoula Pusiaki Tatuila, Aisea Latu Jnr, Christopher Kei, Litea Aholelei, Nastassia Wolfgramm, Onetoto Ikavuku, Rosalind Tafolo Tui

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Anapela Polataivao
PRODUCER: Stacey Leilua
STAGE MANAGER: Tavai Faasavalu  

You will likely end up falling off your chair

Review by Nick Bakulich 18th May 2011

There was much anticipation at the Mangere Arts Centre as the eager audience were about to witness New Zealand’s first ever full length Tongan play to be performed by a full Tongan cast with both English and Tongan dialogue.

For the first time this Samoan wasn’t so sure as to how I could stay tuned to the script without wondering what on earth was going on. Thankfully writer and main actor Suli Moa masterfully pieces his work for all to follow without being too many steps behind.

Pacific people are well known for their navigational skills through their ancestors’ ocean travels. This play takes us through a journey that isn’t always plain sailing the characters but one that requires the skills to survive with what little resources they have.

Kingdom of Lote is a tale of traditions versus the modern, of hopes and dreams pinned on one and not the other, of how the old and the new can work together if we can only find and appreciate the balance.

Lote, who is the solo mum of the family, is well played by Sesilia Pusiaki who displays a maturity about her role. By no means a household name, yet, don’t be surprised to see her on our screens, as with so many of this cast who are just simply fantastic.

Like so many Pacific mothers, Lote is proud, loyal, humorous and at times a fierce defender for her family’s future. But whose future will she sacrifice her all for? For whose future will she go as far as to let the telephone get cut off, just so she can buy a pair of shoes for one of her children?

Both of Lote’s children are gifted, talented and have what it takes to succeed in their passions. Saia (Suli Moa) is the rugby star; his twin sister Sela (Maile Finau) is a political star on the rise.Which of these ‘balls’ does Lote take her eye off? 

There is action in this play from the get go, singing and dancing intertwine cleverly as the supporting cast – who are in fact the ‘Kava Club’ – humour us as if they were our imaginary cheer leading squad. This play will find you laughing, it touches on subjects that are cutting edge yet the writer finds a balance to counter-argue.

May I salute the cast and executive for a historical offering from the Artistic life of Tongans in New Zealand. A fabulous opening night ended in true Pacific hospitality with catered food and drinks for its guest.

I already feel strong and ready to run, what was in that food? You may be thinking right now that I don’t make sense, or am I ‘barking mad’? Just ask a Tonga But beware, go to this play and you will likely end up falling off your chair.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council