Two years in the making and thanks to 70 generous donors, Kororāreka: The Ballad of Maggie Flynn will finally make it to Wellington, playing at Hannah Playhouse from August 28-31.
The play encapsulates the story of an Irish woman, Maggie Flynn, who left England in 1820 as a convict and landed on New Zealand's first capital, Kororāreka, as the captain of a whaling ship. Her life is full of twists and turns as she progresses from slave to madam of an infamous hotel.
Artistic Director Julie Nolan, the co-founder of the Red Leap Theatre Charitable Trust, describes the play as, "A sea shanty full of tall tales with a fiery and unforgettable woman at its core." Scriptwriter Paolo Rotondo says "It's a fictionalised homage to the strength, power, toughness, resilience and wit that exists in the character of New Zealand women."
Nolan's visual style incorporates the use of live drawings on an OHP to add a layer of realism to the performance, which aims to engross and create further emotional investment in Maggie Flynn's journey.
With an all-female cast that also includes Alison Bruce, Miriama McDowell and Awhina-Rose Ashby, this will be a hit that should not be missed.
Photo: Andi Crown