USO

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I saw this play way back at the beginning of May. Performed by the Black Friars it’s the story of choices that face young South Aucklanders (these ones are Samoan). Do they leave school and go to work? Do they keep going to school when their family needs the money? Do they go to university? What does family mean to them?
The performers are all friends and this shows in their interactions with each other during the show and in the forum afterwards. (The forum was almost as entertaining as the show.) Originally at school together, they discovered drama. A few years later (and a variety of jobs – teacher, newly signed professional rugby player, airport worker, student) they are still performing their own work and Shakespeare’s plays. Their passion for sharing performance shone through.
The audience on the night I went was mostly brown with a few white faces scattered around. There was an almost festive atmosphere – I don’t know what some of the aunties thought about the language though! (Apparently the families prefer to see the Shakespeare plays because there’s less swearing.)
One of the things they said in the forum afterwards was something like ‘When we perform, we’re not telling our stories. They’re stories for anyone who wants to listen.” Keep it up team. There are lots of us listening.

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