Taki Rua play picked for Melbourne festival

Last updated 09:34 24/08/2012

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The Wellingtonian

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A Wellington theatre company is on its way to Melbourne to tell the story of a Maori war veteran.

Taki Rua is staging John Broughton's production Michael James Manaia at the Melbourne Arts Festival in October.

The play is a confronting story about a man who returns from the Vietnam War to find himself at odds with his country, his people and himself.

Te Kohe Tukaha, who performed the New Zealand International Arts Festival version of the show, is to reprise the role of Michael James Manaia.

Australian artistic director Mary Lou Jelbart saw the Wellington production earlier this year.

She said it was one of the most powerful performances she had seen. "I'm thrilled it is programmed as part of this year's Melbourne Festival."

A one-night, tour fundraising performance of Michael James Manaia will be held at Downstage on September 1.

Other New Zealand works being staged at the Melbourne festival include David Cross's interactive piece Hold, and Sarah Brodie's play Faultines.

Faultines is a China-New Zealand co-production that recounts what it is like to live through tragedy.

Hold is part-performance, part-installation that draws audiences to embrace pleasure, adventure and features.

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- The Wellingtonian

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