Maori Shakespeare production to perform in London


The Maori Troilus and Cressida have
launched an appeal to raise funds to take their adaptation of
Shakespeare’s work to London. At the end of the month
the show will be performed in front of audiences
at Shakespeare’s own theatre, the Globe Theatre. Waihoroi Shortland plays Nestor
and he joins me now. What is the play about? This is a play written by the
world-renowned playwright. This group will be taking
the story back to London, to a festival that not only pays
tribute to his works, but also celebrates his work
by performing them in a number of different languages
and cultures of the world. We, as Maori, have been given the
honour of presenting our version. The character you play in
this story is Nestor. What does your character do? I’m very fortunate to be playing the
only elder in the whole entire play. That’s a sign for starters. There are fewer roles
for elders to play nowadays. Nestor is the wise man of the Greek
contingency of the Trojan War where they are trying to
bring its walls down. The play is set in the
seventh year of the War and some might know that the
Trojan War went on for 14 years. So there are still more years
to come in the story. There are also those years previous
to when the play is set too. So Nestor characterises
the role of the Greek elder. This play is in Maori, what are the merits of
translating and performing these plays in Maori language? It’s to see what level
our language can reach. There is nothing our
language can’t do, including any
English literary work. This is its utmost pinnacle. There is no other standard to reach. To get to its ultimate
point is the goal. Other than that,
we’re still looking at ways of delivering our language
to such a degree of quality that enables us to reach
beyond that standard. Our ancestors were experts
at ascending the heavens of thought to find ways in
which to express themselves. These plays are just like that. So if we’re able to understand it
to its full potential, then that unlocks a whole new level
of expression for our language. The fundraising event is on Sunday
and you fly out to London at the end of April? Yes. Waihoroi Shortland,
thank you for your time.

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