BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

28/06/2022 - 02/07/2022

Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

26/09/2023 - 30/09/2023

Production Details

Written and performed by Shadon Meredith
Directed by Amelia Reid-Meredith

Creative Producers: Theresa Adams & Ruth Evans

Presented by: Sos & Sha Creative

Waiting is an evocative coming-of-age story that celebrates beat poetry delivered through physical grace. Returning to his hometown of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, writer and artist Shadon Meredith performs a love letter to his son, taking the audience through a journey of his life and breaking down the human condition of waiting. Growing up as a Sāmoan New Zealander, the insights are both personal and reflective of cultural challenges faced by those who are navigating identity as a minority race in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Directed by Amelia Reid-Meredith, Waiting is an honest and raw look at how life can take us on twists and turns and will leave you musing your own life story – sparking reflection on moments lost, relationships built, and decisions made.

With nearly half the population in New Zealand meeting the criteria for a mental illness diagnosis at some stage during their lives, and one in five of us experiencing depression in any given year, mental health has been identified as a huge societal issue. Waitingtaps into the vulnerability of dealing with mental health from a male perspective. The show begins a conversation with our audiences to crack open a subject, often seen as taboo, allowing them the space and time to relate, not just from their seats in the house, but also afterwards in the foyer.

This critically acclaimed show was created in Nelson and developed in Auckland with an outstanding lineup of artistic collaborators including dramaturg Renee Lyons, choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull and music producer Brandon Haru.

Best of the Fringe, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Design, Best Solo Show (Nelson Fringe Festival 2017);
Best of Whangārei Fringe Award (Whangārei Fringe Festival 2020);
Best Theatre, PANNZ Tour Ready Award (Auckland Fringe Awards 2021).

“There is an overhanging vulnerability, spoken completely through poetry. It’s a narration of Shadon’s life here in Aotearoa as a Sāmoan New Zealander, the challenges he’s faced and the wins, too. It’s a love letter, and that in itself has a sense of vulnerability, particularly for a man.”– Ataria Sharman, Pantograph Punch

BATS Theatre, The Dome
28 June – 2 July 2022
The Difference: $40
Full: $25
Group 6+: $22
Concession: $20
Accessibility: Make A Request

Q Theatre Loft
26 – 30 September 2023
$25 – $45
Book Now

Lighting Design & Technical Operator: Peter Davison
Dramaturg: Renee Lyons
Sound Design & Composition: Brandon Haru
Choreography: Sarah Foster-Sproull  

Solo , Theatre ,

1 hr

The perfect marriage of script, actor, and production. Physical theatre at its best.

Review by Fiona Collins 28th Sep 2023

Creative Team:
Presented by: Sos & Sha Creative in collaboration with Q Theatre 
Written & Performed by: Shadon Meredith
Director: Amelia Reid-Meredith
Creative Producers: Theresa Adams & Ruth Evans
Lighting Design & Technical Operator: Peter Davison
Dramaturg: Renee Lyons
Sound Design & Composition: Brandon Haru
Choreography: Sarah Foster-Sproull

As the lights dim down to darkness, the sound of lapping waves set a rhythm that becomes intrinsically present throughout the show. It is quite hypnotic and transcendental – as if it is the pulse of the play – and Shadon Meredith’s voice comes out of the darkness, lyrical and strong, as he sets us up for the first “moment” in his love letter to his son.

What follows is a deeply profound and so skilfully crafted theatre work.

Shadon Meredith is an absolute joy to watch. His talent, his craft, his love not only for the stage but for this work, is abundantly and heartfully humbling. His performance is deeply and profoundly poignant, and light and funny and charming. From being the cutest little boy ever, to the funniest tired Daddy-daycare Dad, to glimpses of his Nana…he is phenomenal in his care for the audience. He is phenomenal.

With astounding grace and beauty, Shadon moves effortlessly all over the stage, (also proving his chops as a dancer!) as he takes the audience to various and significant places in the story through the wonderful and alluring choreography of the one and only Sarah Foster-Sproull.  His hands and movements are so, that there are moments of audible sniffles from the audience, just with his leaf-like motions falling in a channel of light.

Ah the lights! Such a great lighting design that implements, complements, encourages, demands, and lovingly caresses the different characters Shadon portrays. It’s a joy to watch both actor and lights play and transform the space into places.

The sound design is also wonderful! The many and favoured and familiar songs, the raves, the cliché/tongue-in-cheek instrumentals, the gentle voices, the soundscape of pain and despair … all moments just long enough to take the audience in, and then out, of the memory.

WAITING is the perfect marriage of script, actor, and production – something so rare to find on stages of late. Neither overshadows the other, they go from shimmying around each other and playfully exploring, to throwing each other into deep dark crevices, to holding each other close … keeping each other safe when the material feels like it could get too sad or too dark.

This hour-long show is such a journey – there is a spontaneity, an organic-ness with both text and movement, light and sound, yet it is clear just how cleverly orchestrated each moment in time is. It is also very clear, the alofa, precision and visionary beauty with which Amela Reid-Meredith directs this wonderful work.

The story, the content, the contentiousness of some of the words/scenes/situations … the word play, lyricism and poetry cut deep, soar loudly, freeze, and drop like icicles. And the audience gets it, laps it up, laughs, cries … loves it. The references to growing up as a Samoan New Zealander are real, and heart breaking, and shared with grace … and a bit of irony!

Opening night might have been Shadon Meredith’s birthday, but it was he who gifted the audience with this beautiful mealofa (present).

Faafetai, faafetai, faafetai tele lava to Sos and Sha Creatives for this amazing piece of their hearts.

If you are lucky and there are tickets left, go see some of the highest quality art of late, physical theatre at its best … and relish the invitation to “breathe”.


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A spellbinding hour of poetic, physical, metaphysical, existential and practical performative excellence

Review by John Smythe 29th Jun 2022

Having won multiple Fringe Festival awards in Nelson (2017), Whangarei (2020) and Auckland (2021), the long wait is over: Sos & Sha Creative has finally brought Shadon Meredith’s Waiting to his hometown of Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Billed as “a love letter to his son, taking the audience through a journey of his life and breaking down the human condition of waiting”, this hour is also described as “an evocative coming-of-age story that celebrates beat poetry delivered through physical grace.”

According to Textosterona Playeras literarias, beat poetry got its name in the 1940s and 50s “when a new generation of American poets rebelled against the conventions of mainstream American life and writing. They became known as the Beat Poets – a name that evokes weariness, down-and-outness, the beat under a piece of music, and beatific spirituality.”

While all these dimensions of being are touched on in Waiting, Shadon Meredith is clearly unbeaten by his life to date. Certainly every emotion is experienced in his ‘coming of age’ story as he progresses from the innocence of childhood through puberty to an adolescent awareness of his family and social circumstances, breaking out into rebellious party mode until he is surprised by parenthood and adulthood, shocked by mortality and embarks on the inevitable quest for ‘self’, not least in relation to his ainga (extended family), past and present.

His mother was 19 and solo when she had Shadon; they lived with her mother, his deeply loved nanna, and he had three very different ‘dads’. Only one was a good role model for the boy, but his mother … As for his biological father … (no spoilers; see for yourself).

By telling his story to his son, and sharing it with us, Shadon brings focus and purpose to it – and a dynamically eloquent physicality that complements his poetically evocative text to communicate meaning and feeling through a whole new dimension of theatrical alchemy.

Amelia Reid-Meredith’s directing, Renee Lyons’ dramaturgy, Brandon Haru’s composition and sound design, Sarah Foster-Sproull’s choreography, and Peter Davison’s lighting design and technical operation, combine with Shadon’s personal and theatrical quest to produce a spellbinding hour of poetic, physical, metaphysical, existential and practical performative excellence.

The rhythms of nature – of tides and breathing – book-end the play. The only question I’m left with is why is it called Waiting? Beat poetry engendered a tradition of calling out that is also prevalent in Pasifika audiences – indeed I sense the urge and hear it bubble behind me on opening night. But I don’t think my calling out, “What are you waiting for? This is it! Carpe diem!” would have been welcome. So I’ll say it now to you: don’t wait, BOOK! It’s only on until Saturday.


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