New Zealand-born Niuean playwright Dianna Fuemana lived through the terror of Cyclone Heta and now she's using her talent to help the people of Niue.
THE EDGE®, together with booBALAR Productions and supported by Niu FM, presents the Auckland premiere of The Packer, at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre
, THE EDGE®, on February 28 and 29.All proceeds will go to the Cyclone Heta Niue Relief Fund
to help rebuild Niue. Dianna
was in Niue on a Creative New Zealand writer residency when the cyclone hit four days into her
"We were about one kilometre away from the major devastation and in a relatively safe area.Seven of us all huddled together for the night during the cyclone.We couldn't sleep and all we could do was imagine what it was like for others on the island who weren't safe.It was very scary and very emotionally draining."
The next day Dianna
friends left the house to discover the devastation.A cliff-front house, which was being prepared for Dianna
, had been completely swept away by the waves from 40 metres below.Dianna
says the destruction was hard to comprehend. Dianna
returned to New Zealand and approached THE EDGE® about staging a fundraising performance of The Packer, her
critically-acclaimed play which premiered in Wellington and Melbourne last year.
"Pacific performance has long been a major part of the Herald Theatre programme and we're very pleased to present The Packer and help the people of Niue," says THE EDGE® Director of Theatre Programming and Development Robbie Macrae. Written and directed by Dianna, The Packer will star New Zealand actor Jay Bunyan, who currently appears in Australian television soap Neighbours and is volunteering his time.
"Niue's people have spirit and they will go on," says Dianna
..."Fuemana has written and directed a slick, action-packed comedy that needs only a bare stage, save for five large cardboard boxes, some excellent sound and lighting effects and a clever actor to tell her story.