Curtain up at Crystal Palace
A 60-strong youth group spent June 15 sweeping and clearing cobwebs at Mt Eden’s Crystal Palace, which closed in 2005.
On June 29 the old theatre’s doors will open for one performance of a special stage show.
Hikoi Roa was co-written by Leah Wolfgramm and partially funded by the Auckland Council and Creative Communities NZ. It was inspired by stories Wolfgramm’s Nana told her.
The tale reveals a family of 13 brothers and sisters growing up in an environment where alcoholfuelled domestic violence is normal.
‘‘While Nana was speaking I just kept thinking – this is a good story for people to hear, it would make a really good stage production,’’ Wolfgramm says.
She asked her Nana’s permission to develop it into a live stage show. Hikoi Roa (life journey) is a musical co-written and choreographed by dance teacher Breanna Gentry. It is presented by 360 Productions, a youth group based in South Auckland.
Karl Saifoloi is a mentor for the group and says the story is far from depressing.
‘‘It gives us hope that journeys of pain can extend into journeys of discovery, which can culminate in stories of redemption. In spite of the circumstances you find yourself in, there is always hope.’’