Peter Paka Paratene
Written and performed by Rawiri Paratene accompanied by ‘The Flash Fullas’ (Shadrack Simi, Brady Peeti, Tyler Wilson-Kokiri, Richie Grzyb and Chris Rex Martin)
Directed by Tainui Tukiwaho
Musical Direction Shadrack Simi
“So if you’re a fan of this taonga aka our “national treasure” then this is the perfect opportunity to get to know Rāwiri Paratene’s inner thoughts and his extremely cheeky nature in a marvelously intimate setting. Don’t miss it!” Theatrescenes 2017
“I’m extremely thankful to Paratene for the path he has paved, creating opportunities for Māori and Pacific performing artists….I thoroughly love Peter Paka Paratene and commend the genius thought behind it” Theatreview 2017
Rāwiri Paratene takes to the stage for his first ever one man show…. accompanied by four other people! … He and his musical mates “The Flash Fullas” invite us to look through the round window at his life as an actor an activist; a koro and a naughty taurekareka! Sit back and relax and allow Rawiri to regale you with stories of growing up in 1950’s rural New Zealand, allow him to paint the exciting and vivid picture of his through the decades that took him from the wild ngahere of the Hokianga to perform on a stage in every country in the world. With the help of his band “The Flash Fellas” you will hear him perform his original “pongs” (poems/ songs) and entertain you with his cheeky charm and his easy manner.
In 2010 this production team first brought to the stage ‘Raising The Titanics’ by Albert Belz, a stellar show, created to pay homage to the great entertainers that came before us. With this show we are working with one of those greats who has already smoothed out many paths for maori in the performing arts world and continues to do so with his, screen and theatre work around the world. This show is an opportunity to take one of our tino taonga Whakari to the people, for them to be inspired by the successes of one of their own. We hope to inspire pride in the hearts of his generation and hope in the hearts of our Rangatakapū living in Northland, hope of a bright future for young Maori living in the same ngahere and walking the same beaches this koroua walked in his youth.
Peter, Paka, Paratene has gone through an extensive development period, beginning with a four night season as part of the 2017 Koanga Festival which lead to a small tour to the Hamilton Garden Festival and invitations to the Auckland Live Cabaret festival and Tawata Productions Kia Mau festival in 2019. Auckland Theatre Company has also supported a script development of the piece, where we managed to refine and clarify the show to better suit less conventional theatre spaces, dramaturged by Philippa Campbell.
We offered a work where we brought a skilled and charming storyteller, together with music, poetry, humor and te reo Māori to create a show that we hoped could bring Māori audiences into the theatre and can also be taken to wharekai/wharenui in the regions.
Our test audience confirmed that we managed that very thing. This phase of discovery was important for the piece as we are currently taking on board feedback from the audiences about narrative to craft our piece in to something even more accessible for the upcoming tour.