Centrepoint, Palmerston North

03/08/2019 - 25/08/2019

Production Details

From the bro’s of Bro’ Town and the Naked Samoans, Niu Sila is a rollicking comedy about a friendship that spans 40 years, two cultures and one street.

In 1960s suburban New Zealand, six-year-old Ioane Tafioka, fresh off the boat from the islands, moves in next door to Peter Burton. Instantly becoming best friends, they spend every day together. As the boys become teenagers they succumb to their stereotypical paths, drifting apart, until a chance reunion twenty years later forces them to confront their ghost of years past. 

This production is approximately 70 minutes long with no interval. 

Please be aware that tickets are non-refundable. Any tickets for exchange must be returned to Centrepoint Theatre at least two days prior to the performance date. Under no circumstances will tickets be exchanged after the performance date. 


Centrepoint Theatre
280 Church Street, Palmerston North
3 August – 25 August 2019
Wednesday • 6.30PM
Thursday • 7.30PM
Friday • 7.30PM
Saturday • 7.30PM
Sunday • 4PM
Opening Night Saturday 3 August
Post-Show Q+A Wednesday 7 August
Student • $25 | Pick’n’Mix • $35
Concession* • $37; Early Bird $35
Adult • Full $45; Early Bird $40
Dinner + Show • $75 
*Seniors and Community Services Cardholders. Valid I.D. is required.

By arrangement with PLAYMARKET
Show info:  

Rockalani Lavea as Ioane Tafioka
Tama Jarman as Peter Burton

Playwright: Oscar Kightley
Playwright: Dave Armstrong
Director: Dan Pengelly
Costume Designer: Sarah Douglas
Sound Designer: Andrew Todd
Production Manager & Lighting Designer: Henrique Beirao
Stage Manager & Lighting Operator: Lauren Ferguson
Set Designer: Nigel Kerr
Set Construction: Harvey Taylor
General Manager: Kate Louise Elliott
Marketing Manager: Sam Millen
Financial Administrator: Martin Carr
Box office Manager: Jess McLean 

Theatre ,

1hr 10mins (no interval)

Kiwi classic shows its contemporary heart

Review by Richard Mays 10th Aug 2019

Talk about a classic performance of a Kiwi classic. 

One of the theatre’s defining ‘hits’ of the last two decades, Niu Sila is a worthy inclusion for Centrepoint’s 45th anniversary season.

Despite it being 15 years since the play first took Centrepoint by storm, it has lost nothing of its vitality or relevance. [More


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Beautiful, funny and packs a real punch

Review by Alexandra Bellad-Ellis 04th Aug 2019

One day Ioane Tafioka, a little boy from the Paciific Islands, knocks nervously at a front door to ask Peter Burton’s mother if he is ready so he can walk with him to school. So begins the tale of a seemingly unlikely friendship. The boy from the Islands and the Pākehā boy from Auckland take us on a joyous ride through their childhood as two different cultures meet and mingle. But can this friendship survive what teenage hood and the future holds? Can two people, worlds apart, ever truly get on? 

Tama Jarman (Peter Burton) and Rokalani Lavea (Ioane Tafioka) play not only the central characters, but the many and varied side characters as well. They both move seamlessly between the parts bringing a joy and energy to their performance. Tackling all genders and accents, they bring the play alive for the audience. Both do an excellent job of handling all the different parts while still staying true to the two main characters that the play revolves around.

While the play is a comedy it highlights some of the darker aspects of life in New Zealand, so often rooted in poverty and violence. It also take a long, hard look at how people often stereotype those who are different to them, and how this can have a real impact on people’s lives and futures.

This Niu Sila production originated at The Court Theatre and Nigel Kerr, the set designer, redesigned the set to fit on the Centerpoint stage. The set is simple, a low grey stage, with the audience on two sides. Above hangs the main lighting rig, encased in a box beautifully carved with Polynesian Patterns. The costuming, by Sarah Douglas, is simple, allowing each character to move through their range of characters while remaining true to their central role. Again the sound and lighting is simple, with the sound designed by Andrew Todd along with Henrique Beirao, Centrepoint’s production manager and lighting designer. These create the world of the play, moving us from the school yard, to home, around the neighbourhood and the occasional party all smoothly and effectively.

Despite some opening night (minor) slips this is a beautiful show that manages to pack a real punch at the end. Well worth braving the winter weather to see.


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