BATS Theatre, Studio, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

18/03/2020 - 18/03/2020

NZ Fringe Festival 2020

Production Details

A series of works created by Rangatahi o Te Upoko-o-te-ika, curated by Neenah Dekkers-Reihana and supported by a whole bunch of epic mentors and also the notorious Papatūānuku, Ranginui and all their tamariki (particular shout out to Tāwhirimātea who loves this city), and of course we couldn’t do it without our tūpuna, who provided us with mātauranga Māori and Maramataka!

You might be thinking:
“But wait! I definitely know who Papatūānuku is, and Ranginui, but who are the Rangatahi and everyone else? I have lots of questions and I don’t know what Maramataka is!”

And to that we say: “Exactly!”

This is a series of works made by young people about identity, whakapapa and getting some answers.

Do yourself a favour and come and hear the voices of tomorrow, today.
The final nights of NZ Fringe Festival 2020.
Ko ngā pō mutunga. Nā te tīmatanga…

BATS Theatre, The Studio
18 – 21 March 2020 *
Full Price $20 
Group 6+ $17
Concession Price $15
Addict Cardholder $14 

Access to The Studio is via stairs, so please contact the BATS Box Office at least 24 hours in advance if you have accessibility requirements so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

*See message about temporary close-down:

Youth , Theatre ,

2 hrs

Honest insights powerfully conveyed

Review by Kanhika Nikam 19th Mar 2020

Maramataka is a show for you if you want to get a tastefully curated yet raw insight into the thoughts and feelings of young adults. It is a performance made by young people about identity, whakapapa and getting some answers.

The audience is greeted by the characters at the steps near the entrance of the BATS theatre. In a warm welcoming gesture, we are guided upstairs to the stage. We’re singing along to a song we all know too well.

This to me indicates the nature of the show. I enter the room with apprehension. Interactive performances terrify me. I prefer to enjoy a show sitting in the corner sipping my wine.

Once the audience is seated, the warmth of the welcome continues with all the actors/characters giving us their mihi. They introduce themselves, their whakapapa, their occupations and sexual orientations. The audience follows suit with being prompted to say as much or as little as they want to. I quite enjoy this democratic participation, I think to myself in relief.

As a busy thirty-year-old, newly married, a new immigrant to Aotearoa, I rarely have the opportunity to mingle, connect and hear from an age group that is not close to mine. Even with having a younger brother in India who is twenty, I feel a big barrier in getting an insight into his life.

It’s a refreshing change, then, to feel deeply connected to these actors, some more than others, as they talk about understanding, acknowledging, communicating and living their true identity. Their genuine confidence is infectious and inspiring. The stage seems to become a safe space for the actors to represent their true self.

The earnest naivety of the production makes you connect with their point of view and realise a lot of what they think and feel is something we all do at every stage of our lives.

The transitions between phases or acts are effortless. The energy changes as we’re paid a visit by a Nana. A Nana who makes me think of the strong Maori women I know and the mana they bring to the space. By the end of the performance, we have been taught a beautiful waiata and are singing along with the characters. This kind of safe participation makes my heart lighten up.

Although the acting seems a bit exaggerated at the beginning, it quickly fades to the background as you get engrossed in the narrative. The performance taps into the power of well-written dialogues, spoken word and the actors’ confidence. It would have been easy to lose the essence of the diverse character’s narrative by a complex production. The simplicity makes the performance inclusive. So much is conveyed with so little. 

The show comes to an end with a heartfelt whaikōrero. We walk out feeling like we spent a lovely evening listening to the chats usually confined to a group of closely-knit friends: an honest insight into the minds of young adults struggling with self-identity. Kai pai!

[Please read this message from BATS:


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