BY SHERILEE KAHUI
Writer/Director Sherilee Kahui (Taranaki) is “going there” with her new script Mokomoko, and is leading a team of Māori practitioners to make it happen.
The final Co-Pro Show at BATS Theatre funded by Toi Aotearoa’s Adaptation fund 2021, Mokomoko is ready to drop some hard truths; are you ready to hear them?
Mokomoko is a solo show that follows the titular Moko, who is stuck between a rock and a hard place. She feels that a stronger grounding in her whakapapa will help her heal from personal trauma, but the more she learns, the more she finds there’s so much more work to do. Join Moko on her quest to discover the truth of her origin story, and help her to stay on the path to becoming the wahine toa she was born to be. Integrating live performance with AV and taonga pūoro, Mokomoko sets out to reclaim the Angry Māori Woman trope in this provocative, disruptive and (very) black comedy.
“I want wāhine Māori to come and feel seen, heard and empowered. This show is for us. I want tāne Māori to listen and enjoy the LOLs but also take away that they need to have our backs. I want our Pākehā and Tauiwi mates to come and listen and strengthen their ally-ship. Regardless of who they are or where they are coming from, I hope people find moments that resonate and perhaps start to feel like there is a way forward past personal and communal trauma.”
While on maternity leave early last year, Kahui was approached by Tawata Productions to participate in the 2021 Breaking Ground New Writers Festival . She chose to adapt her solo work Smidge of Pidge (BATS Theatre, 2018). While Pidge focused on the central character using masks to try on different identities to better understand her place and purpose, Mokomoko looks back and explores whakapapa and inevitably the impacts of colonisation on identity. Mokomoko was brought to BATS’ attention during the Breaking Ground 2021 live reading.
Opening on The Stage at BATS Theatre Thursday, 5 May 2022 and running until Saturday, 14 May 2022. Tickets available here
Kaumatua: Gay Puketapu-Andrews
Lead Actor: Mycah Keall
Script Advisor: Danielle Gardiner
Taonga pūoro: Thomas Carroll
Stage Manager: Sarai Perenise-Ropeti
Lighting Design and Op: Hāmi Hawkins
AV Mentor: Trey Strickland
AV Lead: Kate Pomeroy
AV Actor: Hannah Clarke
Costumier: Stephanie St. George
Marketing and Publicity: Stevie Greeks
Creative Assistant: Molly Friis
Poster Artist: Xoë Hall
Photography: Jamie Kahui