Performers head to games

NIGEL MOFFIET
Last updated 05:00 10/06/2014
Massive company theatre
BIG STAGE: From left, Dominic Ona-Ariki, Liam Jacobson and Denyce Su’A from Auckland’s Massive Company theatre have been selected to perform in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games.

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Young performers from South Auckland will help bring the streets of Glasgow alive during next month's Commonwealth Games.

Three members of Auckland's Massive Company theatre group have been selected to represent New Zealand for performances at the huge sporting event which kicks off in Scotland on July 23.

Two of them are from South Auckland.

The Kiwis are among 90 young artists from across the Commonwealth tasked with creating "pop-up theatre" next to riverside landmarks.

Manurewa's Liam Jacobson is not too sure what to expect but he's looking forward to the different styles and cultures of theatre he's hoping to encounter at the event.

Theatre has been a creative outlet for the 16-year-old ever since he attended his first classes at Massive Company.

"I started when I was 14 doing one of the free workshops during the school holidays and from there I moved on to the next level.

"When I was younger I was that kid who couldn't shut up and was always wanting to be the centre of attention so I just took to it from there."

Papatoetoe performer Dominic Ona-Ariki is "super stoked" to have the opportunity to travel to the event and can't wait to collaborate with performers from around the world.

The 24-year-old started performing at the theatre company when he was 16 and calls it his "stomping ground" and the place where he has honed the craft of live theatre.

"I'm really looking forward to going over with our team . . . it's going to be a great opportunity to learn and grow," he says.

The project is being run by the National Theatre of Scotland and participants will help tell stories of Glasgow's industrial past through a series of drama, craft, design, music production, dance, storytelling and urban art.

Performances will be inspired by the bestselling book The Tin Forest by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson.

Artistic director Sam Scott says Massive Company was asked to take part in the event because of the strong networks it has in the United Kingdom. It is the only New Zealand theatre group to have performed at the London's Royal Court.

Scott is excited for the performers chosen to represent their country, including 21-year-old Central Auckland resident Denyce Su'a.

"It will be a fantastic opportunity for the three that are going . . . they are all very good performers and devisers and they will bring a lot to whatever they end up making."

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- Manukau Courier

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