INDEPENDENT NEWS

Theatre of Hope Returns for North Island Tour

Published: Tue 30 Jul 2013 12:33 PM
Theatre of Hope Returns for North Island Tour
House of Hudson and TAPAC presents
A THOUSAND HILLS
By Mike Hudson. Based on the true -life experiences of Francois Byamana and Bob Askew. Directed by Margaret-Mary Hollins.
After its emotionally charged debut in 2011, this epic true story of one man’s survival of the Rwandan genocide and his escape to New Zealand finally makes its return, as A Thousand Hills plays Auckland, Wellington and Mangere from October 15th.
Kilgali... Congo... drums... the darkness of the African night... Red Cross... saints... laughter... feast and famine... love... folk tales... drowning... beauty... waiting... guns... soccer balls made of plastic bags... machetes... friendship... multi-lingualism... death... United Nations... madness... genocide... freedom... music... medicine... preacher man... isolation... New Zealand...
“One of the most exciting plays of last year.” – New Zealand Herald 2012.
1994 – A dark time in African history. Philippe is a Rwandan fleeing the genocide that is tearing the heart and soul of his country apart. He narrowly escapes to a refugee camp in Zaire where he meets Nick; a New Zealand Red Cross volunteer and develops a friendship with him. Quickly the two men become trusted companions in a tale which takes them from an African ethical nightmare to the far off shores of New Zealand. A Thousand Hills is a story fuelled by impossible circumstances, the loss of identity, terrifying consequences, cultural collisions and the ultimate realization of two people who find that they only thing left to trust is each other.
A Thousand Hills is based on the real-life experiences of Rwandan Francois Byamana and Bob Askew- New Zealand Red Cross Volunteer. Drawing on their own personal challenges and the experiences of other refugee and aid workers during the humantiarian crisis of the Rwandan genocide -1994, the writer Mike Hudson has helped translate these memories into a moving and unique theatrical experience, that celebrates how even in the darkest of times, there is always joy and humanity. Francois Byamana is once again cast as the character of ‘Philippe’ and his authority and authenticity brings real life to this role.
Under the skilful direction of Margaret-Mary Hollins, with set design by John Verryt, Byamana’s tale comes to life; alongside a fine array of acting talent – adding Edwin Wright (Top Of The Lake, Safe House) to a returning cast of Michelle Hine, Bruce Phillips, Karima Mudat, Yaw Boateng, Wanjiku Kiarie-Sanderson and Byamana himself.
This journey bursts with themes of love, identity, survival, hope, dignity and humanity in life and death, love and pain. The story is as vast as the landscape of Africa, drenched in music, memories, traditions and storytelling.
“A Theatrical Gem” – New Zealand Herald, October 2011.
“A beautifully realised true story that will both break and warm your heart” - Gather and Hunt 2011
A THOUSAND HILLS plays:
AUCKLAND: 15th October – 2nd November
TAPAC, 100 Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland
Bookings: www.tapac.org.nz or 09 845 0295 ext 2
WELLINGTON: 7th – 16th November
Downstage Theatre, Hannah Playhouse Building, 12 Cambridge Terrace
Bookings: www.downstage.co.nz
MANGERE: 21st – 23rd November
Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Cnr Bader Drive and Orly Avenue
ends

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