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Father's story seals Fringe spot

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 04/06/2014
Vela Manusaute
Jess Etheridge
MAKING TRACKS: Writer-director of The Factory, Vela Manusaute will be heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the cast and crew. 

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An immigrant's experience of working in a mattress factory in 1970s New Zealand has earned his son an invitation to the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Writer-director of stage show The Factory Vela Manusaute will travel to the Scottish festival in August with the creators of the show, Kila Kokonut Krew, musicians and a 24-strong cast.

They're rehearsing at their Onehunga base in the lead-up to three shows at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre next month.

The Factory tells the story of Samoan migrants who arrive in "the land of milk and honey" and two youngsters who fall in love.

Many newcomers worked in factories and experienced the police dawn raids where those in the country illegally were arrested.

Manusaute's father Saute, also known as Sam, worked at a Ponsonby mattress factory on Franklin Rd in 1977.

It was his father's story that inspired the stage show, Manusaute says.

Now the group is fundraising to get it to Scotland.

At one recent fundraiser, the granddaughter of the owner of the mattress factory was present.

The pair shared memories and she made a donation to their trip.

Saute died nine years ago, so the show is Manusaute's way of a tribute.

Kila Kokonut Krew was founded in 2002 and has received critical acclaim for The Factory, leading to them being invited to the fringe festival.

Ellerslie producer William McKegg says the cost to get everyone to Scotland is in the tens of thousands.

Go to tinyurl.com/Kila KokonutKrewFB to follow their journey.

The Factory will be performed at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau from June 4 to 6. Details at kilakokonutkrew.com.

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- Central Leader

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