Welsh wit, wist­ful­ness and wis­dom open fest

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - Hi­raeth per­forms in the brew­ery’s Flagon Room at 7.30pm this Fri­day Oc­to­ber 16 with sub­se­quent per­for­mances in the Whareama and Piri­noa Com­mu­nity Halls. Show and fes­ti­val de­tails are avail­able at koko­mai.co.nz and eventfinda.co.nz

Are you a river or are you a rock? A tour­ing Welsh mu­si­cal com­edy troupe will ask this ques­tion when it per­forms at Man­gatain­oka’s Tui Brew­ery this week.

Hi­raeth, a Welsh word for deep un­remit­ting un­re­quited long­ing, loss and bit­ter-sweet de­sire, is a mu­si­cal play cre­ated by Bud­dug James Jones, Max Mack­in­tosh and Jesse Bri­ton – who has di­rected the piece.

A hit at the re­cent Christchurch Arts Fes­ti­val, a re­view in the Dom-Post of the pro­duc­tion’s Welling­ton sea­son called it a ‘‘fas­ci­nat­ing, must-be-seen show’’.

On Fri­day, Hi­raeth opens Wairarapa’s Koko­mai (Maori for Take Flight) Cre­ative Fes­ti­val – the first of more than 60 mu­sic, theatre, dance, film, literary and vis­ual arts events that run the length and breadth of the re­gion un­til Oc­to­ber 25.

This au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal tale is based on Bud­dug’s own life. Grow­ing up in a small agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity in west Wales, she de­cides that farm­ing is not for her. Des­per­ate to leave her ru­ral roots, Bud wres­tles with the knowl­edge that when she de­parts, it will mean the end of the farm that has been in her fam­ily for five gen­er­a­tions.

To uni first and then be­yond, Bud learns that the re­al­ity of liv­ing and mak­ing it in the big smoke is not quite what she had imag­ined.

With Bud play­ing her­self, Max makes the most of his ver­sa­til­ity and comic tim­ing as her as­sorted re­la­tions, boyfriends, and oth­ers as well as the guitar. Mu­si­cian David Grubb adds an af­fect­ing fid­dle and man­dolin while per­form­ing a va­ri­ety of sup­port roles.

So, not only is there live mu­sic and laugh­ter, there is also some au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion and warm welsh cakes, as Hi­raeth ex­plores the de­cline of Welsh tra­di­tion and iden­tity.

These are themes that will res­onate with any ru­rally-raised New Zealan­ders caught be­tween the de­sire to es­cape the farm, and the feel­ings of guilt and re­spon­si­bil­ity for those they leave be­hind.

Au­di­ence mem­bers are in­vited to fin­ish off the en­ter­tain­ing show with a good old­fash­ioned twm­path or barn dance.

Welsh ac­tors Bud­dog James Jones and Max Mack­in­tosh are bring­ing their mu­si­cal play Hi­raeth, to the Koko­mai Cre­ative Fes­ti­val in Wairarapa and are per­form­ing at Tui Brew­ery, Man­gatain­oka on Fri­day night Oc­to­ber 16,

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