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Michael James Manaia covered in NZ press The Gisborne Herald

Tuhaka takes Manaia to Melbourne festival (Thursday, August 16, 2012)

GISBORNE actor Te Kohe Tuhaka is off to Australia . . . for a short while, at least.

Theatre company Taki Rua has confirmed that its acclaimed production of John Broughton’s Michael James Manaia will be part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October.

Michael James Manaia premiered at Downstage in 1991 and was swiftly recognised as a landmark work and went on to tour internationally.

Twenty-one years later, Taki Rua revived the play and their production, with Tuhaka (pictured) in the title role, attracted rave reviews at this year’s New Zealand International Arts Festival.

As a result, Taki Rua has been invited to participate in the Melbourne International Arts Festival, recognised as one of the major multi-arts festivals in the world.

“Michael James Manaia is one of the most truthfully written and powerfully performed theatre works I have seen in many years,” said Mary Lou Jelbart, artistic director of Melbourne venue fortyfivedownstairs.

“We are absolutely delighted to be presenting this outstanding production by Taki Rua at the prestigious Melbourne Festival.”

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