One for me and one for you.
A play in Auckland, a dance show in Wellington.
Both stunning, both closing this week.
I find myself often grasping to understand why blokes like being blokes.
Then I went to MAMIL and sat next to the most raucous women I have ever had the horror to sit beside in a show before.
But in spite of them I enjoyed myself. I found myself sucked into a story that was both familiar and hilarious.
So I sent Adam to get his feedback, just in case I’d missed something.
Gregory Cooper’s MAMIL is no new story – wealthy asshole property developer goes bankrupt and has a mid life crisis. I mean, we see that story all the time. But what Adam pinpointed was that it was rip roaringly hilarious in a way that only Kiwis could produce. And importantly, that it was rip roaringly hilarious whilst being incredibly honest.
There’s something special about the comradery that comes with bloke humour. That the performer is laughing at the joke and that you’re laughing at the joke and that together you all get it. You don’t need to explain it. You probably can’t or shouldn’t. It’s just…fantastic.
Mark Hadlow takes over the stage in this one man show and fills a world up with his energy, honesty, hilarity. He’s accompanied by a $squillion dollar bike, some fancy lights to match (c/o Jane Hakaraia) and some good old lycra.
It wouldn’t be MAMIL without it right?
MAMIL is on at The Herald Theatre in Auckland and closes this Saturday before heading down to Wellington. More Info Here
Okareka Dance Company’s latest work is a powerful celebration of female strength and courage, of Mana Wahine.
I found myself totally entranced and empowered in it’s presence. Wowed by the spectacular lighting (Vanda Karolczak) and multimedia design (Rowan Peirce), overawed by the impressive display of both strength and grace displayed in the cast.
I felt like it was the sort of show that you could watch over and over and each time learn something more about yourself.
So I asked rehearsal director, Natalie Clark to share her findings with me…
Mana Wahine, for me, invokes a sense of pride: pride for being a New Zealander, pride for being a dance maker, and pride for being a being a thinking, feeling, female human.
The show feels heavy with all that women have endured, triumphed over, loved and lost in the course of history. It reminds me that women are beautiful for both their vulnerability and strength – a sad and wonderful balance that I think is the quintessence of femaleness.
Knowing that we are both vulnerable and powerful – because we are female – is, I think, something that all women in all places and times are inevitably bound to.
Te Aokapurangi, the women who the ideas of Mana Wahine are loosely based on, epitomises this: In order to save her people from slaughter, she urged them to pass through her legs (her husband had said those who could pass through her legs before the battle would not be killed by his tribe). This act was extremely tapu and thus made her vulnerable. But, in doing so, Te Aokapurangi exhibited a powerful and inherently maternal compassion that saved her people, so that their descendants may live on today.
Mana Wahine is powerful. It shifts something deep inside you, it made me want to be strong, fierce, soft. It made me proud to be woman. It made me think about being a woman.
Mana Wahine closes its tour with shows Wednesday through Saturday this week at Te Whaea in Wellington. More details here.