13 Oct 2016
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Following standing ovations and sold out seasons in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, the powerful new theatre work, The White Guitar, is touring regional towns in New Zealand.
The White Guitar is a story of hardship, loss, hope and healing and features renowned hip-hop artist Scribe, with his father John and brother Matthias. The work is the creation of Wellington-based Pacific theatre company, The Conch and the tour (30 September to 21 October) is a collaboration with Tour-makers. The regional tour was launched with a sold out performance in Hamilton with shows in Gisborne, Napier, Rotorua, Tauranga and Nelson.
The company was also invited to perform in prison, at the Pacific Focus Unit at Spring Hill Correctional Facility in Waikato.
Director Nina Nawalowalo says the performance at the prison was an emotional and life changing opportunity for the team.
“By the end of the showing there was such an openness in the room between our company and our audience. John’s leadership (father of Matthias and Malo aka Scribe) was something I have never seen before - only he could have led us in this way and connect in this way, because he is someone who has been on the inside, he’s been in their shoes and he’s come to give back,” she says.
“During the Siva Samoa scene, one of the inmates got up and joined in. A Prison warden took his shirt off and began to dance. It was so powerful.”
"The discussion that opened up after the showing was just so moving. When actor Malo shared how he started visiting prison at the age of 6 to see his dad, it opened conversation from others who shared how they also were engaged with the system in this way before becoming incarcerated themselves."
“The Conch, the Luafutu family and the whole White Guitar team extend a massive thank you to Spring Hill Correctional Facility for hosting us. It was an absolute honour and privilege to be part of their journey, and they a part of ours.”
The White Guitar was funded by Creative New Zealand through support of The Conch to develop high quality Pacific art. Tour-makers is also funded by Creative New Zealand to take high-quality art to audiences in the regions.