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Angels - World Premire Of Samoan Musical Comedy

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Angels - World Premire Of Samoan Musical Comedy

21 July -- On July 22 ANGELS, the new Samoan comedy by Tanya Muagututi'a and Joy Vaele, begins its season at The Forge as part of the 2009 Christchurch Arts Festival. A co-production between The Court Theatre and Pacific Underground (the first collaboration between the two organisations), ANGELS was conceived when Muagututi'a told a friend "how cool it would be to write a play about Samoan women in a band.

[They] said, 'So write it.' I approached Joy to work on this show because I thought it was time - time for us to put our stories on paper; and time for us as Pacific Island and Pacific Underground women to let everyone know what we're on about."

Artistic Director of The Court Theatre Ross Gumbley says "Both Pacific Underground and The Court Theatre wanted to make the production as accessible to the Pacifica community as possible". Subsequently ANGELS enjoyed five preview performances at Aranui High School before moving to The Forge.

Director Robert Gilbert says "I have found it deeply gratifying to see ANGELS through to full production. As someone who has links with Aranui High School, Pacific Underground and The Court Theatre, I have found this unique partnership particularly rewarding."

ANGELS boasts a strong cast: Bronwyn Turei (TV2's GO GIRLS), Sela Leavasa (TIL DEATH DO US PART), Cassie Baker (last seen at The Forge in BAGHDAD, BABY! and most recently in the NZ premire season of MISS SAIGON) and Joy Vaele (co-writer, regular performer with Pacific Underground and cast member of SIONE'S WEDDING) act and sing live as the titular girl band.

Rounding out the cast are Ave Sua (another PU regular who wrote, directed and starred in RANGI AND MAU'S AMAZING RACE earlier this year) and young actors Monique Togiaso and Josephine Mavaega (who share the role of Maia over the season).

The creative team includes set design by Julian Southgate, costumes by Pam Jones, lighting/sound design by Josh Major and musical direction by Pos Mavaega (who composed original songs for the production with Tanya Muagututi'a). Aranui High School students Joey Chamberlain and Tara Cattermole have been involved as technical assistant and assistant stage manager respectively.

Response has already been positive for this new Samoan comedy - Theatreview says ANGELS "finds a voice of its own for Pasifika women and leaves us with food for thought as well as remembered laughter." ANGELS plays in The Forge from 22 July - 15 August.

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