Cur­tain up at Crys­tal Palace

Central Leader - - NEWS -

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.’’

Leah Wolf­gramm

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