4 - 8 October

A Boy Called Piano


Event duration icon Duration

75 mins



Auckland 1963, three eleven year old boys meet in a cell in the Family Court. Two Māori and one Samoan: Wheels, Piwi, and a boy called Piano. Made wards of state, they are taken to Ōwairaka Boys' Home. There begins a story into the heart of darkness, abuse and pain but also the resilience of the boys as they seek to survive through the power of friendship, culture, music, and the light of the human spirit.

Growing from the award-winning collaboration of The White Guitar’s creative team, Pacific NZ theatre company, The Conch is proud to walk beside Fa’amoana John Luafutu and the Luafutu Aiga as they courageously bring this true story of Fa’amoana’s experience in state care alongside thousands of Māori and Pasifika children into the light, building on The Conch’s kaupapa of harnessing the power of theatre as a force for social change.

I began in innocence, new born, a blank page. The story was written, the story of thousands of children, has to be heard. Our History must be faced. May the truth set us free.
Fa'amoana John Luafutu

Written by Fa’amoana John Luafutu & Tom McCrory and directed by Nina Nawalowalo, produced by Katherine Wyeth. The play combines highly physical storytelling and breathtaking visual design - incorporating aerial and underwater photography from The Conch documentary film: A Boy Called Piano - The Story of Fa’amoana John Luafutu (Official selection: New Zealand International Film Festival 2022 & Winner of Best Feature Documentary: Spring edition, Montreal Independent Film Festival 2022). Starring Fa’amoana himself with his son, Matthias Luafutu together with Aaron McGregor, Rob Ringiao-Lloyd and the return to the stage of renowned Ole Maiava; alongside a stunning score performed live by NZ music legend Mark Vanilau.

Fa’amoana says that through this play he hopes to use his voice as "a vehicle to convey a cry of love to the past, present, and future."

This show includes themes of child abuse including sexual abuse against children, depictions of violence, and discussions of attempted suicide. R16+ And use of haze that may be unsuitable for people with asthma.

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Written by Fa’amoana John Luafutu & Tom McCrory

Directed by Nina Nawalowalo

Produced by Katherine Wyeth

Executive Producer: Tom McCrory

Composer: Mark Vanilau


Fa’amoana John Luafutu

Matthias Luafutu

Aaron McGregor

Rob Ringiao-Lloyd

Ole Maiava

Technical Manager: Mike Ainsworth

Technical operator: Bekky Boyce

Lighting design: Hāmi Hawkins

Visual and Sound design: The Conch

Visual and Sound design associate: Bekky Boyce

Visual design associate: Anna Koata Pātete

Visual design creative consultancy & technical oversight: Rowan Pierce

Advanced Internship: Anna Koata Pātete

Advanced internship: Tāne Luafutu

Featuring sound design elements & video footage from The Conch documentary film: A Boy Called Piano - The Story of Fa’amoana John Luafutu

Directed by Nina Nawalowalo
Produced by Katherine Wyeth
Executive Producer Tom McCrory
Composer Mark Vanilau
Edited by Lala Rolls
Cinematography by Jess Charlton
Sound design by Mike Gibson
Featuring: Fa’amoana John Luafutu, Matthias Luafutu, Tāne Luafutu, MicahLuafutu, Aaron McGregor & Tupe Lualua