Hannah Playhouse, Cnr Courtenay Place & Cambridge Terrace, Wellington

06/06/2023 - 10/06/2023

Emporium of Scintillating Wonders, Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton

24/02/2024 - 24/02/2024

Kia Mau Festival 2023

Hamilton Arts Festival Toi Ora ki Kirikiriroa 2024

Production Details

Kaituhi, Kaiwhakaari: Tuakoi Ohia (Ngāti Hine, Mātaatua Waka, Tainui Waka. Te Arawa Waka, Te Ati Awa & Ngāi Pākehā)
Ringatohu / Director: Amber Curreen (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Te Roroa)
Dramaturge: Tainui Tukiwaho (Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa)
Musical Director: John Gibson
Choreographer: Kura Te Ua

Te Pou Theatre

KŌPŪ calls you in to a cheeky ballad of a show, sharing the songs of our young wāhine Māori as they navigate this world, hairy nipples first, following in the footsteps of our naughty nannies from the kauta.
Our kāhui whetū of multi-talented performers weave live music, performance, poetry, and poi to share a hilarious honest and no hold barred account of their experiences of wāhinetanga now; The day and night duality of being fiercely everything at once. So, kindly unpeg yourself from the patriarchy, check your white feminism at the door and join us in a hearty musical celebration of the ira Wāhine in us all.
Is that my nipple hair between your teeth? You’re welcome.

VENUE: Hannah Playhouse
DATE RANGE: Tues 6th – Sat 10th June 2023
TIME: 7:30pm
PRICES: $15 – $35

Hamilton Arts Festival 2024
Emporium of Scintillating Wonders, Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton,
Saturday 24 February 2024 8:00pm – 9:15pm
Buy Tickets

Kaituhi, Kaiwhakaari: Tuakoi Ohia (Ngāti Hine, Mātaatua Waka, Tainui Waka. Te Arawa Waka, Te Ati Awa & Ngāi Pākehā)
Kaiwhakaari: Jane Leonard (Ngati Hine, Ngā Puhi – Te Whiu, Ngāi Tawake)
Kaiwhakaari: Brady Peeti (Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Ati-Haunui-ā-Paparangi)
Kaiwhakaari: Te Huamanuka Luiten-Apirana (Ngāti Hikairo – Waikato, Tūhoe)
Kaiwhakaari: Te Arohanui Korewha (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi)
Kaiwhakaari: Ngākirikiri Kershaw (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Porou, Te Puaha ō Waikato, Motutī)

Lighting Designer: Jane Hakaraia (Ngāti Raukawa)
Set Designer: John Verryt
Sound Designer: Paige Pomana
Costume Design: Te Ura Hoskins
Production and Stage Manager: Teiaro Taikato

Dance ,

75 minutes

A show that surrounds you with a strong manawāhine presence

Review by Mārie Jones 10th Jun 2023

A strong wāhine fills the stage with her mana and opens the space saying “Leave your white feminism at the door” settling the wairua of the theatre. Kōpū takes the audience on a journey through life, snippets of core memories that are shared within Māori wāhine’s lives. These experiences were conveyed through korēro and waiata with an immensely strong sense of realness. A whanau begins to develop during the show within the audience and cast as watchers are invited up onto the stage to participate in song, and play with poi. By the end of the performance, a resonating essence is left in the theatre that fulfils the souls of the audience. 

It was so powerful and comforting to hear the native tongue of Aotearoa being spoken so seamlessly and was gratifying seeing the language alive and so potent in the show’s content. Even though not being fluent in Te Reo myself, I was still able to capture the essence of the speech through the cast’s performance, so don’t let this aspect deter you away. The purity and projection of the voices energised the space while also implementing important messages for the watchers to think over. Honesty and openness of real life experiences shared by the cast felt like a privilege to be a part of and the solidarity of the rōpū was very clearly shown.

Each and every cast member’s individuality was highlighted, however the unity and strength of their bond as friends was amazing to witness. Brady Peeti, Tuakoi Ohia, Te Huamanuka Luiten Apirana, Ngakirikiri Kershaw, Jane Leonard & Amber Carreen hit the stage with a sparkle of joy to share and a confident presence. The director Amber Carreen even had to make a featured appearance in the show as another cast member had fallen ill! Tuakoi Ohia wrote the show perfectly, transitions through scenes flowed and the performance was packed with relevant content that wāhine will experience at some point in their life.

This whakaari exceeded my expectations and a truly deserved standing ovation was received at the end of the performance. Keep in mind that there are adult themes, coarse language, racial slurs and content that may be offensive to some in the show. If you are looking for a show that surrounds you with a strong manawāhine presence or just wanting a good laugh, I would 100% recommend buying a ticket and heading down to the Hannah’s Playhouse to experience Kōpū!!


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council