Mo and Jess Kill Susie - E Kore A Muri E Hokia

Te Ahu Centre, Kaitaia

09/05/2017 - 11/05/2017

ONEONESIX - 116 Bank Street, Whangarei

03/05/2017 - 06/05/2017

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

27/06/2017 - 01/07/2017

Te Pou Theatre, 44a Portage Road, New Lynn, Auckland

26/04/2017 - 29/04/2017

Production Details


Written by Gary Henderson, translated into te reo by Ani-Piki Tuari, Hania Douglas, Te Aorere Pewhairangi and Tawaroa Kawana
Directed by Tainui Tukiwaho

Presented by Ruia Taitea Creative


With support from Te Taurawhiri I Te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission), Ruia Taitea Creative are proud to present an all new full te reo Māori translation of Gary Henderson’s classic thriller Mo and Jess Kill Susie, E Kore A Muri E Hokia, live on stage.

A timeless hostage drama, the reo Māori title for this play, E Kore a Muri e Hokia, is a kiwaha (saying) that roughly means ‘there is no going back’ or ‘what is done is done’. The original work by Henderson is a favourite of the creative team behind the production for its complex female characters, the focus on relationships in the tense thriller narrative, and importantly, the fantastic language and imagery which allows the te reo Māori to shine.

Set in a fictional future where the established avenues for protest against racial equality have not delivered the results needed, two young Māori women take things into their own hands. Representing the frustration of a many, the play unfolds as Mo and Jess take a pākeha police officer hostage; three women, two guns, one room, and no way out.

E Kore A Muri E Hokia plays:

Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland)
Te Pou Theatre – New Lynn
Wednesday 26 – Saturday 29 April, 7.30pm
Saturday 29 April, 2pm
Book at https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2017/apr/mo-jess-kill-susie/nocache#/buy-tickets

Whangarei
ONEONESIX, Bank Street
Wednesday 3 – Friday 5 May, 7pm
Book at https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/

Kaitaia
Te Ahu Centre
Tuesday 9 – Thursday 11 May, 7pm
Book at https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/

“Mo and Jess Kill Susie is a play that challenges your mind and grips you to your seats, presenting the Maori language in an intense and spine-chilling way never done before” – Tearaway Magazine 2017

E Kore A Muri E Hokia plays:
Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland)
The Basement Theatre
Tuesday 27 June – Saturday 1 July, 6.30pm
Book at www.basementtheatre.co.nz or phone iTicket 09 361 1000

Supported by Te Taurawhiri I Te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission)


Performances by Ani-Piki Tuari, Krystal-lee Brown, and Ascia Maybury


Theatre , Te Reo Māori ,


Frighteningly real

Review by Lexie Matheson ONZM 30th Jun 2017

E toru ngā wahine.
E rua ngā pū.
He ruma.
E kore a muri e hokia.

He whakaari mōhukihuki, whakatō āmaimai, whakarau tangata hoki a Mo & Jess Kill Susie.  Kua raungaiti tētahi tokorua Māori ki tētahi ruma kua mahue moruka nei, kua mauhere hoki rāua i tētahi pirihimana Pākeha mo te tūpono he rautaki pai tēnei hai taunaki i tētahi porotēhi kaikoka.  Whakatata mai, whakapiri mai kia kite, kia rongo hoki koe ka aha rāua me te tangata kua mauherea.  He whakaari tēnei i tuhia e tētahi tohunga a Gary Henderson, ka mutu, koinei te wā tuatahi ka whakaaturia ki te reo Māori.  He mea whakamāori tēnei whakaari e Ani-Piki Tuari rātou ko Hania Douglas, ko Te Aorere Pewhairangi, ko Tawaroa Kawana. 

Three women.
Two guns.
One room.
There is no way out, no going back, what’s done is done. 

The promotional material tells us that “Mo & Jess Kill Susie is a tense, thrilling and claustrophobic hostage drama. Confined to the basement of an abandoned building, two young Māori women have taken hostage a Pākehā policewoman as part of a violent militant protest movement . As if in some bizarre game, we are invited to ‘join them as they await their orders on what to do next with their bound and gagged captive.” It sounds bleak. It is and it isn’t.

Playwright extraordinaire Gary Henderson wrote Mo and Jess Kill Susie in 1996 and it was first published in 1997. The play has been produced in a number of indigenous languages in several countries, most notably Canada which seems to have a love affair with the work.

Some years ago, listening to a radio programme about the significance of Waitangi Day where a few sane voices were pitched against the mono-cultural lunacy of Don Brash, David Round and John Ansell, I heard Moana Maniapoto say “forMāori every day is Waitangi Day”. This resonated with me and I’ve tried to reside in this thinking every day since.

This production, however, isn’t to do with Waitangi Day though it’s hard not to think of the two of them in the same anguished breath. So many parallels. Instead, it sits firmly in the heart of the Matariki Festival, a sweet-natured celebration of Māori New Year.  

In the early 2000s Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission), the Ministry of Education and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, became involved in the revival of Matariki celebrations and the rest is history. Well, sort of. In truth, Matariki predates all of us. 

I guess the celebrating bit was a good idea evolving from the very best of intentions but what has Matariki become, what does it represent and how does it reflect who and what we are as a nation today? That’s the job of the arts, after all, isn’t it? Or did I miss a meeting. 

Unlike Waitangi Day which, once a year, rips the scab off our racist society and exposes the toxic wounds of historical and contemporary colonialism, the macro and micro-aggressions of middle class white privilege, and that most fashionable of terms ‘casual racism’, Matariki, and the festival that now accompanies it, has come to symbolise a renaissance of sorts and is quite a different animal altogether. It is, in fact – and to some extent unfortunately – all Kākāpō and roses.  

Yes, it’s certainly lovely, but the question that burns in my heart relates to whether this is a real renaissance, whether everything in this newly planted garden is as lovely as it seems, or are we merely superimposing a middle class Pākehā construct, the arts festival, on a set of traditional values and beliefs, getting a local iwi, in this case the fine people of Ngāti Manuhiri, to host it, while Te Whānanga o Aotearoa Auckland Council creates it, as it does with all its festivals, in its own middle class image. 

Indulge me for a moment then, and let’s look at the festival fare for this year. There’s good regional coverage across Tāmaki Makaurau so that’s a good start. There’s a photo competition, there’s Matariki Woven Histories, Treasures from the Past, Navigating Our Future, Bone Carving in a Day, Poi Poi Poi, art installations at Matariki at Owairaka Domain, classy dance with Kelly Nash and Nancy Wijohn in Lick My Past (an exploration of being Māori and being women), a Māori film season, the wonderful Larger Than Life, Matariki on the Waterfront, Matariki Meets Mt Albert, sublime music from Moana Maniapoto in My name is Moana, a Whanau Day at Arataki and then, only then, the shock of E Kore A Muri E Hokia aka Mo and Jess Kill Susie which lives right, smack dead in the middle of the Aotearoa that I know and love.

It’s nice stuff, the festival, lovely to look at in fact, but does it in any way reflect who we are and what we’re doing here is Aotearoa? It certainly feels like there’s something we’re not saying, something that is reflected in the Matariki Festival only in Te Rēhia’s E Kore A Muri E Hokia and nowhere else.

So, let’s briefly check my concerns out, first by looking at the prison muster as at December, 2016. European offenders make up 32.1% of the muster, Pacific peoples 11.4%, other (including Asian) 4.6%, unknown 1% and Māori a massive 50.8%. Is this reflected anywhere in our contemporary arts culture? It’s a long time since the late Matua Bruce Stewart wrote his seminal Broken Arse. The 2013 census reliably informs us that only 14.9% of the population of New Zealand are Māori so where are we seeing any reflection of this prison muster anomaly anywhere in our Matariki Festival? Truth is, we’re not. 

As a white, middle class New Zealand woman I may well live to the age of 85 whereas the life expectancy for Maori woman is 76. That’s another thing we’re not talking about here in GodZone. I could, of course, take you on a similar journey through poverty, homelessness, unemployment, domestic abuse, suicide rates and Uncle Tamati Cobbly and all but the trends are the same – and we’re not talking about them either, even though we have all the data we need. Actually ‘Hobson’s Pledge’ are talking about them and, according to ‘Hobson’s Pledge’, it’s the fault of Māori themselves because we’re all born with the same opportunity. Seriously? What utter bollocks. 

Surely our festivals are not just created to sugar coat Aotearoa New Zealand for tourists? Surely the prime function of our festivals is to enable us to look at ourselves, kautona and all. 

I’m sure your finely tuned historical brain will remind you, if you focus, that Henderson’s 1996 script predates, by over a decade, the horror of the police raids on the ‘terror’ camps in the Urawera’s and nearby Ruatoki in 2007. Earlier, in April 2004, a hīkoi assembled in Northland in protest against proposed legislation to vest ownership of New Zealand’s foreshore and seabed in the Crown. Both of these actions happened on the watch of the supposedly caring Clark/Cullen government.

In 1998, then opposition leader Helen Clark was brought to tears when Titiwhai Harawira challenged a male kaumatua for allowing a Pākehā woman (Clark) to speak on the marae when Māori women could not. While each was Prime Minister, Clark and successor John Key were physically manhandled at Waitangi to such an extent that official government observances of Waitangi day now take place at the Governor General’s whare in Wellington. Are you getting the picture? Good, because there’s more.

From February to May 1995, Whanganui Māori occupied Pākaitore (Moutoa Gardens), the site of the district court in Whanganui, to protest the lack of a settlement of their treaty claims. In 2002, at Ngāwhā in Northland, where a new prison was to be built, local iwi occupied the site because it included sacred wāhi tapu and was the traditional den of Taukere, the local taniwha. The occupation failed and the prison was built, along with massive local resentment. Add to this turmoil the Māori flag issue of 1989 where, after a series of powerful protests, the TinoRangatiratanga flag was chosen as the national Māori flag and has been flown on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on official occasions since 2010. I guess you could say, amid the unrest, that you win a few but you lose a lot. 

Now, add the vexed issue of the government’s ‘fiscal envelope’ which aimed to cap Tiriti claims at $1b and you can see the environment of unrest that surrounded Henderson’s play and, while a number of these issues have, from time to time, been suggested as Henderson’s source material, nothing in his enigmatic text bears this out. It’s simply an excellent text that isn’t anchored in any specific event beyond what we learn in the play. The rest we have to construct from our own experience and, as you can see from what I’ve reminded you about, there’s plenty to choose from, which gives the work a wonderfully timeless, enigmatic quality. You’ll note, I hope, that I haven’t even dug up my old favourite, Bastion Point, but that’s another story.

This production is the first time Mo & Jess Kill Susie aka E Kore A Muri E Hokia, has been performed in Te Reo Māori and, as such, it’s an important addition to our theatre literature. E Kore A Muri E Hokia has been translated by Ani-Piki Tuari, Hania Douglas, Te Aorere Pewhairangi and Tawaroa Kawana and the script is fantastic. Nothing from the original is lost. The pace is maintained, the characters evolve as before, the narrative holds its ground. And what a story it is.

We enter the Basement Studio, a space that could have been built for this production. The audience is on all sides. It’s intimate and oppressive. The Pākehā cop Suzie (Ascia Maybury) is lying in foetal position on the floor of what seems like a warehouse. There’s plastic on the walls and a wooden crate in the middle of the floor. Susie looks pretty beaten up. She’s blindfolded and gagged. There’s a definite sense of WTF (and I don’t mean the World Taekwondo Federation!).

As we disappear into lighting designer Hudson’s darkness, Mo (Krystal Lee-Brown) starts playing about with a video camera and a hand gun. It looks like a Glock. She postures and poses and speaks but I can’t hear her very well because the music is incredibly loud. Another tool to alienate the audience, I think to myself. Another full house.

There’s a silence you could cut with a knife. Mo fixes the camera on Susie and we see her on the big screen. Jess (Ani-Piki Tuari) is sitting on the floor, reading, silent. She’s giving off a ‘don’t fuck with me’ vibe and Mo doesn’t. She doesn’t stop talking but she leaves Jess largely alone.

The music imperceptibly fades. Mo babbles on, Jess does nothing but I can’t take my eyes off her. My understanding of the reo is OK but this is faster than I’m used to; more streetwise. Eventually Mo goads Jess into a response. It’s not the one she wants and she get the bash.

The action playing is strong, effective, the voices in great nick. There are snatches of English that hit my ears like screams. Jess is humourless, staunch. Mo is chatty. I note scars and bleeding knuckles. On Jess’s hands. I had missed those earlier. Now I can’t take my eyes off them. There is a picnic of sorts. Jess unloads the necessaries including a picnic basket from out of the box. A table cloth and a cushion. She sets the table on top of the box. There’s something eminently watchable about people having a kai but it doesn’t last. In anger, Jess dumps it, food and all, back in the box and slams the lid.

Susie spasms. It’s her first movement. There is talk of chloroform and Jess has a rifle, it might be a shotgun. I lock in that these are wonderful, totally committed performances from Mo and Jess. There’s no quarter asked or given. I’m reminded that every production I’ve seen directed by Tainui Tukiwaho has been like this. Tight, steadfast, resolute. Even his comedies have this quality. I reflect that he must be seriously good at building teams, engendering trust, moving actors around so that their patterns become deeply embedded and the physical narrative seamless.

Everything seems to be happening because there is no alternative. I like that. It’s hard to assess motives even in the English script. It doesn’t really matter because innately we know why this horror is happening. We live here after all. I look around the audience. Not many Pākehā. Just us. The women are waiting for some outside voice to tell them what to do next, to determine what is to happen to Susie. Sounds like Pinter or Satre but it’s not. It’s Henderson, and it’s bloody good.

Mo is a sociopath. She has all the questions and all the answers, but no empathy. Susie has come to. Mo shows Jess some footage on the camera from earlier and Jess knocks her to the floor. In 90 minutes of shock this is one of the biggest. There are Genet-like moments of cold brutality, both physical and verbal. (Spolier alert) When Susie speaks she does so in te reo. This would be a surprise but I’d read about it earlier. Doing my research. I was disappointed for a moment that I had denied myself this shock. Jess takes control. (ends)

Susie knows the answers to Jess’s crossword. She’s done it earlier. We begin to ascertain backstories. Susie is a bloody mess. Literally. We learn of ‘the blood that leads to here’, that Tipene did 18 months in the can, that Jess has three kids. It’s clear that there is no way back from where they are. Yep, that’s the name of this version of the play. No way back. For any of them. “You’re not real people,” Susie is told. “You’re like a flag up a pole, a symbol. … Violence is always with us, it’s in all of us.” Not everyone agrees. 

There’s a face slap. It’s a beauty, realistic. The violence against Susie, against Mo, is powerful, it’s frightening in its authenticity. We learn some lessons about abuse from Mo. “It’s OK if it’s your Dad as long as it doesn’t hurt.” Mo lies down, is covered with a blanket. She sleeps. 

What follows is a complex ‘calm before the storm’ korero between Jess and Susie. It’s brutally frank but quiet. Neither moves. Susie has a serious issue with her eye. It’s badly damaged. We see Jess the sadist. She feels nothing. Mo wakes and wants to kill Susie. Jess protects her and they’re like cats sussing each other out.

Then the play ends, not as the title suggests but differently. You’ll understand when you see it because this production isn’t going away. You should see it because it paints a picture of Aotearoa that the Matariki Festival avoids. I’ve seen productions in the reo before – Shakespeare and a musical – but this is real, this is concrete and palpable, it’s as though it was written like this in the first instance. The translation is seamless. Ani-Piki Tuari, Hania Douglas, Te Aorere Pewhairangi and Tawaroa Kawana should be really proud. I suspect director Tukiwaho’s hand might be in there too, invisible, making sure that the mix is performable and that it supports his actors. 

Ascia Maybury as Susie is great. She’s believable both as a cop calling on all her training to survive and her humanity which means the narrative is powerfully glued together. It’s impressive work and her reo is pretty sharp too. 

As Mo, Krystal Lee-Brown is simply stunning. It seems she bites off around two thirds of the script and spits it back at us as though she’s making it up as she goes. It’s sophisticated work and her characterisation is picture perfect. She handles the camera like a pro and we get to hang onto who she is because of it. Her part in the relationship with Jess is rock solid and her performance affects me in exactly the way it is meant to. 

Ani-Piki Tuari has her fingers in every pie in this production. Her Jess is downright scary and most of all when she seems to be doing nothing. She’s like a caged lion ready to explode at any moment and it’s perfect. The relationship between the two women has been worked to perfection and it’s a ‘take-home’ for the audience that will resonate for a ever. 

Director Tainui Tukiwaho is masterful in his work with this cast. It’s not easy stuff, far from it, and he’s worked with these three fine actors in ways that ensure they’re prepared, wound up and ready to go. It would seem that he also knows when to walk away and to allow his actors to own their performances and the space. I don’t often feel that I’d like to be a fly on the wall during rehearsals but in this case I would have. No such luck though, and I’m not complaining. The end product is quite enough for me. More than enough.

It’s frighteningly real and it sends feelers out into our communities and brings back, in sharp relief, the desolate nature of so many lives, lives that we need to be nurturing and caring for. It also has its hands on the dull, dry stuff of statistics and it reminds us that we have a job as human beings and that job is to care for each other. Always.

Thank you, Te Rēhia Theatre Company, for the two productions you’ve shared with us during this Tamaki Makaurau Matariki Festival. Fingers crossed there will be many, many more.

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Challenging, gripping, spine-chilling

Review by Jorja Heta 23rd May 2017

‘E kore e muri e hokia’ is the Maori proverb meaning ‘what’s done is done’.

In Mo and Jess Kill Susie, a tragic tale conceived by award-winning playwright Gary Henderson in 1996, we see the relevant indigenous issues of New Zealand. With director Tainui Tukiwaho’s modern twist fully translated in te reo Māori, it harnesses a powerful and confronting message of “three women, two guns, one room, no way out.” 

When I went to see the play in Whangarei, I was expecting to see a queue of people lined up. Instead, I was introduced to a dimly lit room with a ticket table and elders relaxing on the couch. It was quiet and desolate of sound, which was peculiar, for when you imagine a theatre you think of energy and excitement. Where were the actors? The promoters? Before even sitting down, I had an eerie feeling of unease and mystery. [More

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Extreme actions of the cornered and desperate

Review by Noa Campbell 07th May 2017

E toru ngā wahine
E rua ngā pū
He ruma
E kore a muri e hokia
He whakaari mōhukihuki, whakatō āmaimai, whakarau tangata hoki a Mo & Jess kill Susie. Kua raungaiti tētahi tokorua Māori ki tētahi ruma kua mahue moruka nei, kua mauhere hoki rāua i tētahi pirihimana Pākeha mo te tūpono he rautaki pai tēnei hai taunaki i tētahi porotēhi kaikoka. Whakatata mai, whakapiri mai kia kite, kia rongo hoki koe ka aha rāua me te tangata kua mauherea. He whakaari tēnei i tuhia e tētahi tohunga a Gary Henderson, ka mutu, koinei te wā tuatahi ka whakaaturia ki te reo Māori.

Three women,
Two guns,
One room,
No way out …
Two armed Maori women, one calm and resolute, the other restless and volatile, wait with their bound, gagged and unconscious captive, in the washroom of an empty building. Mo & Jess Kill Susie is a tense, claustrophobic hostage drama.

When I go out to theatre – an evening out amongst the community – I’m always excited about what the show will bring; how will it be staged. I love detail.

Quite often I’m drawn to see a play because I know someone involved in the work, I’m interested in the writer or director and, of course, the kaupapa (subject).

Going to see Mo & Jess Kill Susie, E Kore a Muri E Hokia was purely wanting to support Maori Theatre, an adaption of a play written back in 1996 by Gary Henderson, now translated into te reo Rangatira by Ani-Piki Tuari, Hania Douglas, Te Aorere Pewhairangi and Tawaroa Kawana, and directed for Ruia Taitea Creative by Tainui Tukiwaho.

I have also witnessed te reo translations of Shakespeare plays and Briar Grace-Smith’s Purapurawhetu, originally written in English. This must be a challenge for the translators: finding the metaphors or music of the language so it’s not just a direct translation. The reo is beautiful and the actors deliver the language with the intensity of the world its set in and the memories they recall. 

I’m definitely not an expert in either of the languages but we do paint pictures with what and how we tell stories. Moment by moment we share conversations, opinions, observations, experiences; how we dress, stand, gestures … It’s all helping in the telling. I have a reasonable depth of Te Reo Rangatira, but on a scale of 1-10 I’m around 6/7 in fluency, whereas my daughter is a first language speaker.

I don’t know this play other than what is online in the advertising. I attended the second show here in Whangarei, at 116 Bank Street.

As soon as I walk up the pathway into the building my critical mind starts to stir. It’s not well lit. If you were walking past you would not know there is a Maori Theatre show in the building tonight.  Inside a group of Pakeke (elders) are lounging on couches. I spot the ticket table across the room. It’s quiet, almost sombre, like when waiting for a casket to arrive at someone’s house.

I ask if there are programmes so I have details about cast, etc. Sometimes I find programs helpful; if I lose my way I refer back to the synopsis. There are no programs provided for the tour.* Just before starting time we are invited into the theatre to take our seats. Set in the round, four rows of seats are neatly lined making a tapa wha (square). The actors are already on stage.

Susie – gagged, wrists and her feet tied and a black rag also wrapped around her eyes and head – is an unconscious heap on the floor. Mo is sitting casually on the floor looking into space, eating burger rings from the packet. Jess is sitting just in front of me, also on the floor, filling out a crossword in a newspaper. A wooden box is placed centre stage, and the lights have only one setting: on.

I’m feeling exposed. There is nothing is separating me from them, the ‘fly on the wall’! I try to make myself small; you know how humans try and do that thing.

The sound of hip hop music comes from behind the wooden box and Mo jumps onto the lid with her fake gun in one hand and mini handy cam in the other. She starts ranting to the camera, recording herself … It’s difficult to hear what she is saying beneath the noisy music, but I decide it doesn’t really matter cos I’m getting the gist of her character: cheeky, vibrant, sexy and very playful for someone waving a gun in the air.

Jess, on the other hand, is like a fish out of water. How did she even end up in the room, playing her crossword while reminiscing about her time with the father of her children, Tipene, who she believes ended up in jail because he was provoked into protecting his manhood? (Not in those words.) At least I think that’s what she tells Mo. I have to listen intently to follow the beautifully spoken language.

As Jess, Ani-Piki Tuari has a poetic mita (rhythm) in te reo, kupu (words) roll off her tongue.  I tune in not only to the kupu but also to all that is presented – body language, tone and expression – to follow her and Mo when they exchange stories about their personal backgrounds. I’m wondering what brought them to this moment: gagging another human being, armed with guns, a picnic basket, food from the super market delicatessen, one bottle of water, cushions, blankets all stored in the wooden box.

It feels like Mo’s only objective is to make a stance: played by Krystal-Lee Brown, she is one bad ass! This is performed with her threatening action welding the gun at the gagged Susie who finds consciousness about 15 minutes into the play. Convincingly played by Asia Maybury, Susie remains blindfolded, hands and feet tied, during the entire play. She is a stand out for me in this play, not because she speaks Māori, but she is fearful for her life.

The original playwright, Gary Henderson, has written two female Māori characters with all the typical social issues and conditions we witness on mainstream media daily in NZ. They have been abused, suffered from hardship, poverty, unemployment, prejudice … you name it. They recount and exchange stories, sometimes in a very heightened emotional state and also in a very reflective, tender, mindful manner.

Jess’s character combines nurturing mother with volatile scary mother fucker; we can even see the scaring on her hands and face. She wears a pair of fake pearl studded earrings, her long hair is tightly braided, and she packs picnic baskets. I’m still working out why are they here. We get some information once they start tormenting Susie. It’s been planned, by who I don’t know; why I’m not sure. Something to do with a protest down on the waterfront. Why they chose Susie I don’t know. She is a cop so the stakes are super high. I’m flicking through my memories of protest action back in the days; something to do with the workers on the wharfs maybe?

Man did I miss some info earlier? What has pushed these two women, armed with a rifle and a hand pistol? The Pākehā hostage is also a cop. Hell, you are asking for trouble! 

While Mo sleeps like a baby under a blanket during most of the second half, the play takes a huge leap for me. Jess tests Susie with her knowledge in speaking Māori, by leading her with some simple physical actions, revealing she actually does speak Māori too.

Jess and Susie exchange stories about the ages, and names of their children. This creates some kind of compassion and bond between the hostage and villain.

We know now they are waiting for a txt from someone, and you get the impression if they don’t hear from their contact, Mo is going to blow Susie’s brains out.

I won’t tell you what happens in the end, I just think everyone dead would have been powerful. The play obviously speaks to many of the social conditions people are subjected too, not only back in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, but continuing on into new generations. Was this the catalyst for Mo and Jess?

The play runs for an hour. When it finishes I turn to my daughter and ask, her, “Do you think the script told us why they acted out this way?” We continue to discuss the play afterwards, what we took from the story; the relevance of the conditions the characters come from. This is still the reality for some families in NZ in 2017. If we recall the desperate actions by the man in Ashburton last year, he felt no one was listening or cared, pushing him to killing the people that he thought could help him.

This play reminds me that when people feel cornered they take extreme actions. 

Nuku noa 

*The lack of programmes delayed the publication of this review as crucial information was chased up, added and cross-checked with the guesses made.

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