Sweet, young Leilani has the best news to share and life is great, until she is left heartbroken and discarded by the people who are supposed to love her most. Junior dumps her, the less-than-lovely Aroha kicks her out and rumours about her spread.

Homeless, friendless and expecting. What will Leilani do? Where will she go?

Eight hand-crafted theatre masks in the hands of female performers Irasa Siave, Natasha Daniel and Aymee Karaitiana bring alive characters that inhabit a distinctly Kiwi world somewhere between reality and make-believe.

This devised comedy melodrama is Mahuika Theatre Company’s debut season, developed over two years by the ensemble. With artistic direction by Pedro Ilgenfritz and support from playwright Gary Henderson, it celebrates the heartfelt, the delightful and the darker parts of our culture under less than desirable circumstances.

Leilani is a search for home, amongst familiar faces, in the most unlikely of places.


“The masks are incredibly original and speak truthfully to a New Zealand mixed identity”. (Chye-Ling Huang, Pretty Asian Theatre)

"The direction by Pedro Ilgenfritz is assured, with just the right variety of pace to hold our interest, fast and furious action alternating with more pensive moments.” (Review of Pedro’s 2010 show, Alfonsina, Theatreview)


Leilani is presented as part of MATCHBOX, the Q Theatre creative development programme.

Q Theatre is an independently owned and operated performing arts venue committed to the sustainability and success of arts and culture. Every year Q co-presents a season of works through its creative development programme, MATCHBOX (formerly known as ‘Q Presents’). MATCHBOX enables the best emerging and professional New Zealand performing artists to bring their ideas to life on stage. Through a three-step selection process Q curates a MATCHBOX Season that pushes boundaries, showcases Q’s transformative venue, and delivers unique experiences for audiences.