Samoan sto­ries go global

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

A two-man play ex­plor­ing sex­u­al­ity and Samoan cul­ture is head­ing to a world-renowned arts fes­ti­val.

Black Fag­got and seven other New Zealand shows will be fea­tured in Scot­land’s Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val next month.

San­dring­ham’s Fa­situa Amosa shares the stage with Beu­lah Koale in the Vic­tor Rodger­writ­ten play.

The Fac­tory, a mu­si­cal about Samoan mi­grants in 1970s New Zealand, is also head­ing to the fringe fes­ti­val.

‘‘I think we’ve just started to come into our own,’’ Amosa says of Samoan theatre.

‘‘It’s good to be able to present these sto­ries, be­cause it’s been a while.

‘‘Naked Samoans were the first ones to get no­ticed and look­ing back that was a long time ago.’’

Amosa and Koale both play sev­eral char­ac­ters in the play, from the young ‘‘un­der­cover brother’’ who is in de­nial, to fa’afafines.

‘‘This show is spe­cial in that it’s an hon­est and vis­ceral look at the Samoan gay com­mu­nity,’’ Amosa says.

‘‘The irony of Samoan cul­ture and ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is the fa’afafines are ac­tu­ally cel­e­brated as part of Samoan cul­ture.

‘‘So I guess in that way it’s re­ally the church or the ideas of the church that have put up this wall.

‘‘On one side, the re­li­gion you love so much says ‘if you’re like that you’re go­ing to hell’ and the other side, your cul­ture, says ‘ no, this is a nor­mal part of our com­mu­nity’.’’

‘‘Gay peo­ple are peo­ple Amosa says.

‘‘They’ve been marginalised so much, it’s easy to look at them as the other and it’s like no, they live, breathe and work, they’re hu­man be­ings.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple may not have ex­pe­ri­enced gay peo­ple in that way, and that’s what’s great about theatre is you get a chance to present some­thing dif­fer­ent,’’ he says.

‘‘If you’ve never been to the Hero Pa­rade and your only con­tact with gay peo­ple was see­ing hot pants, that would be your only view of gay peo­ple.

‘‘But not all gay peo­ple like to dress up in hot pants.

‘‘Some gay peo­ple are just as bor­ing as the rest of us.’’


Amosa has been an ac­tor for 14 years, ap­pear­ing in shows Niu Sila, Auck­land Daze and Go Girls.

The show will have 25 per­for­mances in the Assem­bly Fes­ti­val, one of sev­eral mi­croevents which make up the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val.

More than 200 New Zealan­ders will per­form in the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val.

Cre­ative NZ says it will be the largest group of Kiwi artists to have ever per­formed to­gether out­side this coun­try.

Ed­in­burgh bound: San­dring­ham ac­tor Fa­situa Amosa, 33, is head­ing off to per­form in the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val next month.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour and click Lat­est Edi­tion to watch a scene from Black Fag­got.

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