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Matariki 2012 at The PumpHouse

The PumpHouse Theatre at Lake Pupuke launches its inaugural observance of Matariki this year with a three day celebration in June featuring the debut performance of a new musical play supported by local North Shore Kapa Haka groups.
Matariki is both the name of the Pleiades star cluster and also of the season of its rising in late May or early June. In traditional times, Matariki was a season to celebrate and to prepare the ground for the coming year. The lake is one of the most historically significant locations in Takapuna. For pre-contact Maori and during the 19th century it was Pupukemoana, a taonga with a sacred life force and a resource crucial to local village life. Being a volcanic crater the lake’s foreshore is made up of nutrient rich soil, perfect for growing crops, a fact not lost on European agriculturalists who settled around the lake in the 19th century. Pre-European archaeological sites have been identified on the foreshore of Killarney Park. It’s easy to imagine the locals of centuries past observing their Matariki celebrations by the lake in the hope of a healthy harvest of kumara, making The PumpHouse a fitting location for the celebration of this year’s Matariki, Maori New Year.

Matariki –Oke
“Ten guitars? How about three guitars, a ukulele and some drums?”
Matariki-Oke is a comedy musical extravaganza, written and created by Jamie McCaskill and Regan Taylor that combines the legend of Matariki and the significance of the Maori New Year while exploring the story of the legendary Maori show bands of last century. An array of every day New Zealand characters will be performed by four actors – McCaskill, Taylor, Rob Mokaraka and Wesley Dowdell.
In 1960’s New Zealand, Maori show bands were at their peak producing the likes of Prince Tui Teka, Howard Morrison and Billy T James. Their kiwi style of banter and catchy tunes made them iconic here in New Zealand and around the world, serving as inspiration to current Maori entertainers young and old.
Inspired by their heroes in the Maori Show bands, four young guys are determined to compete against the best the region has to offer at the annual Matariki – Oke quest, a concert that marks the birth of Matariki in the sacred land of Whetuwhetuwhenuamataurangataputapuheihei.
In Matariki-Oke, prolific actor/director Regan Taylor (Ngati Kahungunu ki Tamakinui a rua) promises a “comedy musical variety extravaganza. Will Nanny take it out this year with her mellifluous voice? Will Maui Humperdink devastate the ladies with his gyrating haka moves? Maybe the new ginger fulla on the drums will have what it takes. Or will our four boys storm the stage with their stylish footwork, tunes and hairdos and be crowned the Matariki-Oke champions of the motu?”
Two local schools will be involved in Matariki at The PumpHouse, performing a short Kapa Haka prior to each performance of Matariki-Oke. Students from Hato Petera will perform on Friday and Saturday nights and the Kapa Haka group from Birkdale Primary School will perform on Sunday afternoon.
The PumpHouse encourages North Shore residents to come and experience the inaugural celebration of Matariki in what is hoped will become a regular annual event beside Takapuna’s unique and historic lake. The taniwha of Pupukemoana is expecting you.

The Lion in Winter

If you’re reading this before June 9th you still have time to catch The Lion in Winter, the classic play by James Goldman that is the first production of new North Shore Theatre company Tadpole Productions. Director Rob Owens has created a modern imagining of the story betrayal and intrigue in the court of Henry the second, Plantagenet King of England. Starring Errol Shand and Louise Wallace.

What's on at The Pumphouse?

Until June 9
Tadpole Productions presents

A Lion in Winter, By James Goldman
Adults $30 - $35, Concession $25 -$30

June 17 at 2pm
North Shore Keyboard and Organ Club presents

A Sunday Afternoon Musical Spectacular with special guests Break Thru
June 22-24
Matariki-Oke: A celebration of Matariki

Fri & Sat 7pm, Sun 4pm
Adults $10, Concession $5
July 2-14
Theatre for children in the July school holidays

Tim Bray Productions Presents
The Great Piratical Rumbustification by Margaret Mahy
Margaret Mahy’s tale of rumbustical pirates live on stage.
Daily at 10.30am & 1pm except Sundays (Running time 1 hour)
Ticket prices: B reserve seats $21, A reserve seats $22, No age concessions, Family pass rate for 4 or more: $19.50 per ticket, Groups of 10 or more $18.50 per ticket. Be in quick to get Earlybird special ticket price of $17.50 for performances on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd July.
July 26-August 4
Shoreside Theatre presents

And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie’s best-selling murder mystery
All performances 7.30pm
Sunday 28 July Matinee 2.30pm, No show Monday
Adults $25, Student/Concesssion $20, Group discounts available

Bookings: Ph 489 8360 or
The PumpHouse Theatre (off Manurere Ave)
Killarney Park, Takapuna.
The PumpHouse acknowledges
the support of Pub Charity.

by Channel Editorial