LARGER THAN LIFE
an adventure of epic proportions

Written by Tainui Tukiwaho & Chris Rex Martin
Presented by Te Rēhia Theatre Company

‘Larger Than Life’, Ngaruawahia’s third best youth novelty act of the pre 1970s and/or 80s/90s, are all grown up and back to share their adventures with their first audience in aaaages.  The audience are māori-strummed back to small town Aotearoa where three hupe nosed brothers have just landed the opportunity of a lifetime – opening for the legendary John Rowles in Wellington.  All they have to do is get there…. And not stuff it up.  Relax and enjoy as the boys take us on an adventure of epic proportions as they meet famous faces, kiwi icons, wacky characters and ultimately…..

In this show Te Rēhia theatre Company offers a high-paced comedy that combines reinvented kiwi music, good old-fashioned storytelling, 60s – 90s pop culture and and te reo Māori that’s been likened to a Māori Forrest Gump.  We take the idea of New Zealand’s “Golden Days” and re-examine our bi-cultural past through the eyes of 10 year old rural Māori boys, delivering a trojan horse filled of sharp political satire all wrapped in a charming, cheeky and chubby Māori fun.

DEVELOPMENT

This was a devised work that has since been scripted, written by Chris Rex Martin and Tainui Tukiwaho. The play was inspired by a workshop we did last year with a group of older actors who talked about how in rural NZ there was no racism in the 60s – and he wasn’t joking. We were keen to make a work for our age group 20s – early 40s, our cousins and aunties/uncles that politicizes our Māori community through laughing at our shared past.


‘Larger Than Life’
is still a young show but has gone through extensive development since it opened for a three-night season as part TE POU Rangatahi season in early 2017. We have held a script development workshop with dramaturg Albert Belz before our four-centre regional theatre venue tour over Matariki 2017. Throughout this tour they had a hugely successful response from audience with an average of 60% houses across all venues, fantastic reviews and highly positive audience response.   In 2018 Larger Than Life presented with Hamilton gardens Arts Festival and will tour regionally in the latter half of the year.

PERFORMANCE HISTORY
Te Pou Theatre, Rangatahi Season debut               Tāmaki Makaurau        February 2017
Te Pou Theatre                                                           Tāmaki Makaurau          June 2017
Centrepoint, The Dark Room                                   Papaoieia                         June 2017
Circa Studio                                                                 Pōneke                              June 2017
Auckland Live, The Herald Theatre                       Tāmaki Makaurau          June/July 2017
The Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival                      Hamilton                          February 2018
School Tour                                                                  Rotorua                            June 2018
Koroneihana                                                                Ngāruawahia                  June 2018
Te Oro                                                                            Tāmaki Makaurau         September 2018

“It is rare to witness such a continuous and infectious joy radiating from a theatre audience” Ethan Stills, NZ Herald  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11885292

 “Its political commentary. It’s relevant. Its now.” (Maraea Rakuraku, Theatreview 2017, Full Review https://www.theatreview.org.nz/reviews/review.php?id=10342

“Astutely directed and ebulliently performed, Larger Than Life: an adventure of epic proportions is one of those shows that seems like light entertainment while it richly evokes our past and cleverly nails some politically pertinent points in the process.”  (John Smythe, Theatreview 2017, Full Review https://www.theatreview.org.nz/reviews/production.php?id=5826).    

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