26 May 2016
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Acclaimed new play The White Guitar featuring hip hop star Scribe, returns to Wellington in June and Auckland in July.
“The White Guitar is the best and most affecting piece of theatre I have seen, hands down, for a long time.” – Theatreview
The White Guitar is produced by Wellington performance company The Conch whose new work Marama premieres as part of Auckland Arts Festival 2016. The White Guitar is a major new work for The Conch combining strong imagery, AV projection, a brave script and powerhouse performances.
The Conch and Tour-Makers are delighted to have confirmed the Auckland and Wellington 2016 seasons for the play, which had its world premiere at Christchurch Arts Festival 2015.
Directed by Nina Nawalowalo and Jim Moriarty, The White Guitar will be staged at Q Theatre from 6-15 July, following a return season at Wellington’s Hannah Playhouse from 29 June to 2 July.
Sold out in Wellington and Christchurch in 2015, The White Guitar features Scribe performing alongside his father John and brother Matthias telling the true story of their family – the Luafutu aiga.
Director Nina Nawalowalo said The Conch was delighted to be working with Tour-Makers to take The White Guitar back to Wellington, and bring it to Auckland audiences for the first time.
“In directing and producing The White Guitar we were drawn to the raw truth of the Luafutu’s story. It is particularly unique to have a story performed by the family themselves. These are three extraordinary men who have the courage to tell a story of hope found under oppression, a journey from hurt to healing, but above all a belief that the truth will set us all free.
“We were stunned by the reactions in Wellington and Christchurch last year and we’re looking forward to bringing the story to more audiences.”
A powerful and vital work, co-written by three members of the Luafutu family, The White Guitar traces the line of creative power at the heart of a family from its roots in the gifting of a white guitar to their grandmother in the Samoan village, to the collision of the migrants’ dreams with the harsh realities of 1950’s New Zealand. It follows a harrowing path – a man’s journey from boyhood innocence into the heart of darkness; through violence, drug addiction, prison and gangs, to the possibility of hope, healing and inspiration.
With the intensity of a live gig, music pumps through the story’s veins, from the first songs of a grandmother sung to her white guitar to the power of rock 'n' roll, the beats of hip-hop and church hymns.
Scribe (real name Malo Luafutu) is one of New Zealand’s best-known hip-hop artists with a platinum-selling album and APRA Silver Scroll Award to his name. He collaborated with his actor brother Matthias and his father, self-taught musician and writer John, to create the script for The White Guitar.
Scribe says creating the play has been an incredible journey for himself, his father and brother. “We’ve become even closer as a family as we’ve been bringing our story to the stage. We haven’t shied away from the truth of our lives.”
Matthias has been building a career in acting after attending a workshop while at Weymouth Residential Centre and has been part of Jim Moriarty’s theatre group, Te Rakau and performed on stage, television and in films for the past 16 years.
“This is a story about finding a voice in the midst of dark times, the triumph of survival and keeping the creative flame alight,” says Nina Nawalowalo.
The White Guitar has a return season in Wellington at Hannah Playhouse from 29 June to 2 July with tickets available through Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) www.ticketek.co.nz, and a season at Q Theatre, Auckland from 6-15 July with tickets available through www.qtheatre.co.nz or phone (09) 309 9771.
“As the Christchurch audience rose to offer the Luafutu men a standing ovation I know I have just witnessed a seminal moment in New Zealand theatre history.” – Vicki Anderson, The Press
Creative New Zealand supported the tour via Tour-Makers and the National Touring Fund.