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Musical Theatre Superstar returns to Aronui Arts Festival

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Join cheeky host and acclaimed entertainer Rutene Spooner (Super Hugh-Man) - backed by the hottest house band in the land The Doughboys - as he calls a night of hard-case Māori humour and classic kiwi tunes while you spin, win and grin your way through a game of Housie like never before!

"Hardcase Hori Housie is if housie and cabaret had a baby. I realised I wanted to do something that brought the community together [and] remind us of village values," says Spooner, as Housie is often played to fundraise for a good cause like upgrading the facilities at local marae.

"Bingo you play to win money. Housie, you play for the game," he says as he reminisces about his grandmother. "Unlike my grandmother, I’m also not the best housie caller, if she heard she’d be rolling in her grave, really!" he laughs.

Hardcase Hori Housie has got warm honey tones, rib-cracking fun and a kete packed full of prizes, so grab yourself a dozen of your closest cuzzies, pour yourself a sherry and snatch a saussie roll or two. As you feel the tension rise, line them up, down, side to side. Sweating for that last number on the line!

It’s the Māori way to play a Hardcase game of Hori Housie - just like a game of bingo, only brown.

The show is being performed as a part of the ARONUI Arts Festival’s 2021 programme, with two shows on Friday September 17th at 7PM, and Saturday September 18th at 6PM. The show runs for two hours and includes live music, laughs, kai and of course, a game of housie (or 10). There are several prizes to be won, including a meat-pack, free tickets to ARONUI shows and of course, biscuits to dunk into that lovely cup of gumboot tea… ahhh!

Tickets are limited, and can be purchased in-person at the i-site Rotorua, or online via. our website at

Rutene Spooner (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki) holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Musical Theatre from NASDA. Since making his professional theatre debut as an intern at The Court Theatre in 2009, the singer, actor and divisor has toured nationally and internationally for various theatre and corporate entertainment companies.

Outside of his busy performance schedule, Rutene also works as a director, producer and vocal and performance coach. Rutene is a proud member of Te Kapa Haka of Whāngara-Mai-Tawhiti.

ARONUI is an Indigenous all-arts festival that runs over 11 days from September 9 to 19, and is now in its third year. The festival is organised by the newly established ARONUI Arts Festival Charitable Trust, helmed by descendants of Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa, alongside world-class award-winning artists.

ARONUI Arts Festival is supported by the Rotorua Lakes Council, Creative NZ, Bay Trust, Rotorua Trust, Te Arawa FM, Steambox Film Collective, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Te Tatau O Te Arawa, Te Puni Kōkiri, and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

For tickets and the official 2021 ARONUI programme,

go to:

For tickets to Fri Sept 17 at 7PM:

For tickets to Sat Sept 18 at 6PM:

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