Show booked-out before opening
A stage production by Wesley youth is a raging success even before opening night tomorrow.
Our Street, which tells the story of two cross-cultural weddings set amid singing, dancing and humorous mishaps, has already been booked out.
Extra matinees were added which are also fully booked and friends and family of the cast who couldn’t get tickets have been invited to tonight’s dress rehearsal.
“I originally thought we should have gone to the ASB Theatre. I was confident it would sell out,” says artistic director Justine Simei-Barton.
The show, which is funded by the Auckland City Council, has a cast of 27, ranging in age from 10 to 47.
Most come from Wesley and the surrounding suburbs.
The production also features two bands – the Band of Wesley, who are also characters in the play, and a 33piece Tongan brass band.
Ms Simei-Barton says workshops were run where participants talked about stories and experiences from their lives.
“We had two very basic ideas as starting points, stories based on greetings and rituals around food.”
All the workshop groups came up with the idea of a wedding, which incorporates the two concepts.
“All the cultural elements come into play in a wedding,” says Ms Simei-Barton.
In Our Street, a north Indian is marrying a south Indian and a Samoan is marrying a Maori.
It is set in three houses – an Indian house, a Pacific Island house and a gang house.
North Indian theatre company Prayas is involved, with members playing characters in the Indian house.
“The story is a single mother bringing up three children and one of them is getting married,” says assistant director and Prayas member Sananda Chatterjee.
The group was contacted by the council and asked if they would like to get involved.
The Band of Wesley has come up with several origi- nal songs and keyboard player Shane Akaoula, 16, plays one of the lead roles.
The cast have been rehearsing six nights a week in the lead-up to opening night.
Our Street runs until Sunday at the Auckland Town Hall’s concert chamber.
Show success: Members of Indian theatre group Prayas play characters in the booked-out show Our Street.