Moving tale of experiences spanning three decades

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From the bros of Bro' Town and Naked Samoans Oscar Kightley and Dave Armstrong, comes Niu Sila, a comedy about a friendship that spans 30 years, two cultures and one street.

Niu Sila is set to delight Hamilton audiences when it features at Clarence St Theatre on September 13.

In a suburban TAB, two childhood friends meet up again as adult strangers.

Thirty years earlier, in the peak of Polynesian immigration to Auckland, six-year old Ioane Tafioka, a recent immigrant from Atua, knocks on local boy Peter Burton's door.

Spanning three decades, Peter narrates the energetic and ultimately moving tale of their shared experiences; at school, at church, playing cricket, fishing for eels, going to the orchestra, and eventually dealing with the police and the justice system.

As the boys grow into young men events and attitudes unfold to force their friendship to end.

The leads are supported throughout by unforgettable characters from a cross-section of New Zealand society; Frank Burton, Peter's father, an extreme left-wing social crusader, the deceptively ill-dressed minister who is affectionately known as Criminal and Mrs Tafioka, whose formidable role as a no-nonsense matriarch is matched only by her unconditional love for both her 'sons'.

The play ends as it begins, back in the TAB where Peter and Ioane are briefly reunited and there is an abrupt twist to the story when Peter learns the poignant truth about the fate of his old friend, who has recently returned to Atua.

Co-writer Oscar Kightley has brought his writing and performing talents to the theatre, television and the big screen.

A 2006 Laureate award winner and Qantas award-winning journalist, Oscar co-founded Pacific Underground and the Island Players theatre company.

He is also one of the Naked Samoans, who've taken their anarchic brand of comedy throughout the country and overseas.

Niu Sila director Ben Crowder's productions are known for their theatricality, bold physicality and visual flair. In 2009, Ben directed Sit on It for Auckland Theatre Company's Young and Hungry Festival. His first ATC main bill production was Well Hung in 2010 and he co-directed A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2012.

Niu Sila is a must-see heartfelt experience, filled with laughter and compassion.

It sold out in Auckland Theatre Company's 2005 season and won a Chapman Tripp Award for best new New Zealand play.

Niu Sila is at Clarence St Theatre on September 13 - at 1pm and 7.30pm. Tickets from Ticketek.

- Hamilton News

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