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Michael James Manaia by John Broughton
Michael James Manaia by John Broughton

Fri, 11 Aug


Unity Theatre

Michael James Manaia by John Broughton

Directed by Norman MacLean

Time & Location

11 Aug 2023, 7:00 pm – 19 Aug 2023, 9:30 pm

Unity Theatre, 209 Ormond Road, Mangapapa, Gisborne 4010, New Zealand

About the event

First performed 21 years ago, the one-man show looks at the far-reaching impacts of war through the eyes of a New Zealand man who returns from the Vietnam War and finds himself alienated from his culture, country and history.

As he tells his story, it becomes clear his experiences have been shaped by another war: World War II and his father's enduring memories of it. Both Michael James - Mick - and his father have returned home with no visible wounds, but the damage runs deep. One critic described it as "high-octane, ferociously complex and ultimately devastating".

MICHAEL JAMES MANAIA is a gripping, at times hilarious, yet intensely moving one-man drama.  The central character is traumatised by his upbringing, by loss of a sibling and then having to cope with the horrors of the Vietnam War.   In a sand-filled arena, the solo player confronts his audience in an intimate setting to recall growing up with an aggressive father, dealing with crisis after crisis then coming to terms with both who he is and how he ought to be.

Lawrence Mulligan who plays this deeply disturbed yet often happy-go-lucky man, brings a passion and intensity to the role that is going to linger in the memory of audiences long after the play is over,  It is a production for those over 16 years of age; language and content may offend but it is a drama that does not shrink from often distasteful humour as well as a savagery that contemporary society deems to be unacceptable.

Tickets here

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