‘Awhi Tapu is about reconciliation, it’s about overcoming great loss to discover all that really matters are those who we love most.’ – Albert Belz

Rose worked with Taki Rua & Leo Gene Peters to realise Awhi Tapu (2011)

At the foot of the Urewera ranges lies Awhi Tapu – a desolate forestry ghost town; with the forestry industry closed down most of the inhabitants have left. Wendyl, Sonny, Casper and Girl Girl have only each other and their fertile imaginations to rely on.

This is a story of loss, belonging, but most of all, friendship; it heralds a new wave of writing around Maori issues and characters; direct, unsentimental and challenging.

‘Awhi Tapu’s revelations of small-town violence and arson generated such heat in this small theatre space that it threatened to consume the audience. With this play Albert Belz flew straight into the top echelon of Maori playwrights.’ – Salient

“Replete with classic bro-style humour, Albert Belz’s script is a most effective emulsifier combining the various elements of the work, resulting in a sense of cohesiveness, effectively following the Maori traditions of acknowledging all the elements and their deities, as well as their own cultural heritage and ancestry. Thus, as directed by Leo Gene Peters, the performance, technical operations, set and props are incorporated to such a degree that every part of the production, from the cast to Rose Kirkup’s set and costume design, Nathan McKendry’s lights and Thomas Press’s sound et al, naturally merge to form an organic, connected entity.”
– Nik Smythe

Written by  Albert Belz
Director Leo Gene Peters

Wendyl James Tito
Sonny Tola Newberry
Casper Matariki Whatarau
Girl Girl Kura Forrester

Set & Costume Design Rose Kirkup
Lighting Design Nathan McKendry
Sound Design Thomas Press
Stage Manager Sarah Adams
Production Manager Pat McIntosh

TAPAC, Western Springs
22nd  June –  2nd July 2011

Downstage Theatre
13th – 30th July 2011