O le Pepelo, Le Gaoi Ma Le Pala’ai | The Liar, the Thief, and the Coward
Photo/Auckland Theatre Company
After premiering in Wellington’s Kia Mau Festival an important work makes its way north.
In Samoa’s not-so-distant past, Pili Sā Tauilevā is a proud Ali’i (chief) in the village of Moa. He has devoted his life to the sacred fa’a sāmoa tradition of service. When he suddenly falls gravely ill and refuses to name a successor, his daughter and son become rivals for the title.
A new Samoan play is the crowning jewel in the Auckland Theatre Company's newly-announced 2024 season.
O le Pepelo, Le Gaoi Ma Le Pala’ai |The Liar, the Thief, and the Coward written by Ui Natano Keni (Samoa, Aotearoa) and Sarita Keo Kossamak So (Khmer,Aotearoa) is a tale bursting with family politics.
Billed as a darkly comic exploration of the fa’a sāmoa, where family, leadership and legacy converge in spectacular chaos, Pacific theatre stalwart Maiava Nathaniel Lees mentored the directors ahead of their Wellington premiere in June.
Flickering between English and Gagana Sāmoa, O le Pepelo, le Gaoi, ma le Pala’ai | The Liar, the Thief, and the Coward is a contemporary take on leadership focusing on a patriarch whose time is running out.
A star studded creative team includes renowned choreographer Tupua Tigafua and performers Semu Filipo and Villa Junior Lemanu with the play running from 5 March – 23 March.
The husband and wife team behind the play Ui Natano Keni and Sarita Keo Kossamak So are the creative force I Ken So Productions founded in 2017. The show is a collaboration between Auckland Arts Festival, Auckland Theatre Company and I Ken So Productions.
In a sacred paradise where “your path to leadership is through service”, Pili’s dwindling light sends the family into overdrive to keep the fire going. But nothing plays out as expected when others come out to join the race.
You can book tickets to O le Pepelo, Le Gaoi Ma Le Pala’ai | The Liar, the Thief, and the Coward