World Premiere Season

A searing new work from acclaimed playwright Hone Kouka that’s part compelling urban thriller, part unflinching social commentary.

Eight lives and three worlds collide in this urgent, thought-provoking play – a story of life and death and good vs. bad. After a child is found dead, a hotshot lawyer is dragged into the case to defend the demonised mother. As the whānau close ranks, the question of who killed the baby – and whose prejudice is exposed – is brought provocatively to the surface.

A giant of New Zealand theatre, Hone Kouka (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu) is behind such award-winning plays as Ngā Tangata ToaWaiora: Te-ū-kai-pō (The Homeland)Tu and IGeorge Nepia. He credits his mother for challenging him to write his latest work, Bless the Child; to begin a kōrero around the responsibility of whānau and people to protect all children.

Directed by Mīria George and presented by leading Māori and Cook Islands theatre company Tawata Productions, this passionately realised play, told through an eloquent Māori lens, confronts the hard truths of our shared humanity.

Co-produced by Auckland Arts FestivalNew Zealand Festival and Tawata Productions


New writing is [Tawata Productions’] ‘life-blood’ and writers their ‘soul, conscience and heart’. They honour the fundamental purpose of theatre in any healthy society. Theatreview


PLEASE NOTE // Contains haze, mature content, strong language, nudity and violence


EXTRA // Kanohi ki te Kanohi Forum With leading indigenous theatre companies Tawata Productions (Aotearoa) and Ilbijerri Theatre (Australia) Join us for a panel discussion with Tawata Productions' Hone Kouka and Mīria George, and Ilbijerri Theatre directors and producers Rachael Maza and Lydia Fairhall (Jack Charles v The Crown). Movers, shakers, creators, provocateurs in theatre, these artists discuss their work and the driving force behind their companies.

Sun 11 March, 2 - 3 PM | Rangatira, Q Theatre