Lennie James and an impressive ensemble premiere new work

Published: Mon 16 Sep 2019 08:44 AM
Massive Company return to the stage with an stellar ensemble of actors and creatives with Half of the Sky; a world premiere from internationally acclaimed writer & actor Lennie James, playing at Q Theatre, Loft from October 16-26.
The Rose sisters journey home for a weekend of birthday celebrations beside their river. Ny, Ru and Rika find themselves caught in a current of family history as incomplete truths become whole, and the ties that bind their whānau are tested. A weekend of pitching tents riverside, sharing snacks and ghost stories, becomes embroiled with lies, loss, and laughter, as the sisters face the inescapable truths of the past, both spoken and unspoken, as they find out how well their history.
Five incredible performers including 2019 Billy T Award Winner and Massive Company alumni Kura Forrester (The Wholehearted, Shortland Street), Grace Palmer (Shortland Street, Home & Away), Awhina Rose Henare-Ashby (The Mooncake and the Kumara, Waru), Max Palamo (The Sons of Charlie Paora, Super City II), & Pat Tafa (The Wholehearted, Westside), are led by the powerhouse direction of Massive Company’s Artistic Director Sam Scott.
Half of the Sky is playwright Lennie James’ third collaboration with Massive Company, following The Sons of Charlie Paora (2004) & Havoc in the Garden (2011). Aotearoa audiences will be familiar with James for his work on hit US TV The Walking Dead, Fear of the Walking Dead, and celebrated BBC series Save Me, in addition to his long-standing collaboration with Massive Company.
Sam Scott is delighted to be working with James for a third time on this latest work which although is delicate in the telling is incredibly potent. “I love Lennie’s writing. It is poetical even though its firmly based in the real. It is beautiful writing, funny, heart wrenching and sounds like words that come out of people’s mouths, and their hearts.” - says Scott.
It’s not only the beauty of writing that has drawn the company to another collaboration but also the ability of James to work with individual stories and ideas offered up by the Massive team, who he workshopped with intensively last year. A gift which is vital to Massive’s kaupapa. “He listens to our stories and experiences, and then turns them into beautifully woven stories that reflect us back. I think not being from here, really tunes him into being able to see things, sometimes we can’t.” says Scott.
With design from Paul McLaney, Jane Hakaraia & Daniel Williams, Half of the Sky is a tale about whānau, and the secrets that can dwell within them, told with heart and humour by Massive Company.
Half of the Sky shows at Loft, Q Theatre, from October 16-26. Tickets are now on sale through Q Theatre.
Half of the Sky
by Lennie James
Wednesday 16 - Saturday 26 October
Loft, Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street, Auckland
Full price $35, Concession $25
Book at Q Theatre

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