Samoan plays head to Fringe
A two-man play exploring sexuality and Samoan culture is heading to a world-renowned arts festival.
Black Faggot and seven other New Zealand shows will be featured in Scotland's Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month.
Sandringham's Fasitua Amosa shares the stage with Beulah Koale in the Victor Rodger-written play.
The Factory, a musical about Samoan migrants in 1970s New Zealand, is also heading to the fringe festival.
"I think we've just started to come into our own," Amosa says of Samoan theatre.
"It's good to be able to present these stories, because it's been a while.
"Naked Samoans were the first ones to get noticed and looking back that was a long time ago."
Amosa and Koale both play several characters in the play, from the young "undercover brother" who is in denial, to fa'afafines.
"This show is special in that it's an honest and visceral look at the Samoan gay community," Amosa says.
"The irony of Samoan culture and homosexuality is the fa'afafines are actually celebrated as part of Samoan culture.
"So I guess in that way it's really the church or the ideas of the church that have put up this wall.
"On one side, the religion you love so much says ‘if you're like that you're going to hell' and the other side, your culture, says ‘no, this is a normal part of our community'."
"Gay people are people too," Amosa says.
"They've been marginalised so much, it's easy to look at them as the other and it's like no, they live, breathe and work, they're human beings.
"A lot of people may not have experienced gay people in that way, and that's what's great about theatre is you get a chance to present something different," he says.
"If you've never been to the Hero Parade and your only contact with gay people was seeing hot pants, that would be your only view of gay people.
"But not all gay people like to dress up in hot pants.
"Some gay people are just as boring as the rest of us."
Amosa has been an actor for 14 years, appearing in shows Niu Sila, Auckland Daze and Go Girls.
The show will have 25 performances in the Assembly Festival, one of several micro-events which make up the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
More than 200 New Zealanders will perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Creative NZ says it will be the largest group of Kiwi artists to have ever performed together outside this country.
Black Faggot has a short run at The Basement from June 24 to 28 before the show heads to Edinburgh.
Go to iticket.co.nz for more information.
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