INDEPENDENT NEWS

Secrets uncovered, lies exposed in epic Samoan family drama

Published: Tue 13 Aug 2019 03:18 PM
Filet685 Productions Inc presents
aloFA
Written and Directed by Fiona Collins
Having performed to great acclaim in Samoa and Western Samoa the play that captures the beating heart of a Samoan family makes its Auckland premiere at Q theatre from 20-21 September and at the Māngere Arts Centre from 25-27 September. The Auckland run follows premiere seasons in Wellington, Rotorua and Hamilton from late August.
If dramas should be thought provoking and cause the audience to examine their own relationships involving all spectrums of love, then this play does that superbly.”
- Marjorie Moore, Samoan Observer
After 25 years away eldest son, Niko returns home to Samoa and is immediately confronted with the consequences of his long absence following the death of Alofa - the family matriarch. Alofa in Samoan means love. Everything within the play comes back to the word, the woman, the emotion in some form as the family struggles with the secrets and lies that destroyed them many years ago. With humour and depth, the characters strive to find forgiveness and in turn find themselves and each other.
Set in modern-day Samoa, aloFA was first performed in 2016 in Upolu, Samoa and then toured to PagoPago, American Samoa in 2017. It has also had several performances as part of conferences and academic symposiums.
Recently returning from Samoa to live in NZ, writer and director Fiona Collins has pulled together an incredible cast from Samoa, Wellington and Rotorua to bring this distinctively Samoan, yet universally themed work to the Aotearoa stage. The cast includes some of our most treasured Samoan actors including Uelese Petaia (Sons For The Return Home, One Thousand Ropes), Ali Foa'i (Thirsty, MoodPorn), Birds, Iaheto Ah Hi (Sione's Wedding, Black Faggot, Club Paradiso) and Atutahi Potaka-Dewes (Dreamgirls, Matariki Concert).
Fiona Collins is a multi-talented and well-respected Samoan NZ artist. Since graduating from Toi Whakaari – NZ Drama School she has been a regular force in performing Pacific theatre including the internationally acclaimed VULA, Frangipani Perfume and Awhi Tapu. She’s also done her time on Shortland Street and recently had a leading role in the critically acclaimed film – VAI. Collins’ short stories have been published, and as a playwright aloFa is her fifth work. Until recently she was based in Samoa where she held the prestigious role as Performing Arts Lecturer in both the Faculties of Education, and Arts at the National University of Samoa.
“I am honoured to bring aloFA to Auckland – the largest Pacific city in the world”, says Collins. “This play will resonate not only with Samoan communities but everyone who has navigated the challenges and ultimate rewards of surviving the legacy of family”.
“Brilliant play in all respects!” - Ruperake Petaia, Samoan Poet
aloFA plays in:
AUCKLAND
Rangatira @ Q Theatre, 20 -21 September, 2019. 7.30pm every night
Bookings: www.qtheatre.co.nz
Māngere Arts Centre, Auckland - 25-27 September 2019. 7.30pm every night
Bookings: www.eventfinda.co.nz
WELLINGTON
BATS Theatre - 27- 31 August 2019
ROTORUA
Rotorua Blue Baths Theatre (Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival), 4-6 September 2019
HAMILTON
Meteor Theatre – 12-14 September 2019

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