He Reo Aroha

Te Puni Kōkiri proudly supported the Māori programme of this year’s New Zealand International Arts Festival. This included the musical He Reo Aroha and the production Mark Twain and Me in Māoriland. He Reo Aroha was written by Miria George and Jamie McCaskill (who also stars in the production), and directed by Hone Kouka. He Reo Aroha has travelled to Australia, Hawai’i and Canada and received rave reviews. It was no different in Aotearoa.

The production is a compelling story of love and music, and incorporates traditional and contemporary Māori music. Childhood sweethearts Kaia (Kali Kopae) and Pascoe (Jamie McCaskill) don’t have much in common. But when life doesn’t bring Kaia and Pascoe all they had hoped for, they soon discover it is music that will get them through and love that will bring them back together.

Arts reviewer Anna Sutherland says, “The liberal use of te reo Māori, both in the dialogue and songs, added a further dimension to the show’s richness. The two curtain calls were well deserved for this talented duo, and an inspired piece of musical theatre.”