Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival Looks Toward A New Horizon

The essence of Māui is coming to life in more ways than one this October through Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival who are proud to be presenting a special season of Rutene Spooner’s brand new cabaret show Thoroughly Modern Māui.

Spooner knocked festivalgoers socks off in 2020 with his sold out show Super Hugh Man and brings this new show to the region with a full band and all the brilliance and charm in his artistic kete.

Thoroughly Modern Māui explores a superhero of a different kind who ruled this side of the Pacific. His name was Māui-Tikitiki-A-Taranga – Māui. A warrior and demigod, his adventures are woven into the fabric of Pacific history. In Aotearoa, this ‘Māori Superman’ was fast, fit and funny. He was the total package. Join Spooner as he channels this Māori hero into a modern-day icon through charmingly quick-witted songs, hilarious antics and heart-felt storytelling.

Alongside the original script from Spooner, is direction from Matariki Whatarau, music from Te Aihe Butler, Tim Shacklock and Rutene Spooner, and costuming by Tina Thomas. Thoroughly Modern Māui is a full-scale cabaret extravaganza, and an unforgettable night of entertaining songs, hilarious antics and heart-felt storytelling.

Premiering in Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa/Gisborne on October 8, 2022, Thoroughly Modern Māui is not the only magic trick up Spooner’s sleeve. His show for tamariki, Pīpī Paopao will have a special koha entry performance on October 9, 2022, at He Rau Aroha (26 Peel Street).

Pīpī Paopao is a performance for those aged three to five years old – and their adults – which adopts the unique characteristics of our Manu Rangatira (noble birdlife) through waiata and play. A show for everyone – whether you’re fluent in Te Reo Māori or your journey is only beginning – come and explore the beauty of a language that echoes the sounds of te taiao (nature).

These two shows are the focus of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival’s October offering, which is a specific and smaller offering than in previous years. Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Tama Waipara says that after the resounding success of the recent Matariki season, the team has continued to work towards visioning the future.

Waipara says like Māui they are innovating and changing the shape of the Festival. “We are very excited about things to come. I can’t wait to share the full vision for our future as a festival with our entire community and embrace this new horizon.”