Pane Provocations

Te Auaha, Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

06/03/2024 - 09/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Written by Teherenui Koteka

Pane Provocations (provocations of sex) follows the entangled sex lives of six young Pasifika friends. Known to some and to some unbeknownst, each of the characters is in a relationship of sorts with two others. In these relationships revelations about sexuality, self care, religion and community are discovered.

Venue: Te Auaha, Tapere Iti
Date Range: 6-9th March (6pm) and 9th March (3:30pm)
Prices: General Admission $20 Concession $10
Booking details:

Actors: Poe Tiare Tararo, Roy Iro and Tehāmama Hohua

Comedy , LGBTQIA+ , Spoken word , Theatre ,

80 miuntes

Beautiful, relatable and emotional – generating a necessary conversation

Review by Shemaia Dixon 07th Mar 2024

The concept of a Pacific theatre piece about sex is in itself, groundbreaking. Therefore, when entering Te Auaha’s Tapere Iti for Pane Provocations, I’m not sure what to expect. The only indication of what is to come is the door in the centre of the stage and the music setting the mood.

As the show progresses, it becomes clear that in writing, producing and directing Pane Provocations, Teherenui Koteka is changing the conversation. The show follows six Pasifika youth. Firstly, Angera (Poe Tiare Tararo) and her boyfriend of four years, Beniamina (Roy Iro), who are very connected within the church, devoted to their faith and vow to remain celibate until marriage. However, things are not as perfect as they seem.

Ia (Te Hamama Hohua) is very open about their sexuality and gender, identifying as neither ‘man’ nor ‘woman’, but simply ‘Ia.’  Unfortunately, not everyone is as secure in their identity as Ia is. Darren (Te Hamama Hohua) is known as a player who lost his virginity at fourteen. Carlos (Roy Iro) is an openly pansexual poet who is ready to profess his love to the person he wants to be with, and Tahiti (Poe Tiare Tararo) is a sexually confident goddess. The lives of these six youths entangle as revelations about sexuality, religion and community come to light (Though I don’t want to give too much away.)

The cast all have great chemistry, a testament to the actors’ skill as well as the work of Intimacy Co-ordinator, Tabatha Killick. The way the only sex scene is shown is both clever and entertaining, as Tahiti gracefully dances to the music while beside her, Darren clumsily flails out of time with the beat.  

All of the actors play two very contrasting personalities. Iro changes his body and characterisation flawlessly, clearly distinguishing his contrasting characters, Beniamina and Carlos. Tararo shows similar skill, quickly switching between the very different characters. A particular highlight is when Angera and Tahiti are arguing as Tararo hilariously switches back and forth.

Hohua again manages to skilfully play both Ia and Darren simultaneously, and as an openly queer Pacific Islander, it is Ia in particular whose journey I relate to the most. In a very personal way, it is this character that makes me feel seen in a way I haven’t before. 

AV and Sound design by Kaisa Fa’atui combines with lighting design by Ezra Jones-Moki to bring an immersive and emotive experience, though at times it can be difficult to hear the actors above the music.

Pane Provocations is full of quintessentially Pacific humour and joy, skilfully interwoven with hard hitting truths. Sex is definitively a taboo subject in Pacific communities and speaking from personal experiences, the sexual education Pasifika youth receives is often, in a word, non-existent. This lack of education leads young people to search for (often inaccurate) answers online. This can lead to a chaotic mess, particularly in Pacific communities where everyone usually knows everyone else’s business, as perfectly shown in Pane Provocations.

Koteka states in the director’s note that, in writing Pane Provocations, she hopes to build better sexual cultures in Pasifika communities. The show clearly shows the desperate need for these conversations and the importance of changing the status quo. Teherenui Koteka has taken the first step to generate the conversations necessary to create a healthy sexual culture in Pacific communities. In doing so, she and her team have created a beautiful, relatable and emotional piece of theatre every Pacific Islander needs to see.


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