Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Bone Feeder

How far would you go to find your family?

In 1902 the coffins of 499 Chinese immigrants from Otago and Wellington were being repatriated to their home towns in China when their ship, the SS Ventnor, tragically sank near the Hokianga Harbour. The Bone Feeder follows the trials of a young man called Ben who seeks to find the lost bones of his great-great grandfather and to bring them home, and of Kwan, a man who emigrates to NZ in the 1800s and has to decide where he belongs.

Exploring one of the first times of contact between Maori and Chinese the play is a fictional exploration of what is for many Chinese New Zealanders a very real and significant piece of their history. Written by playwright and poet Renee Liang and directed by Lauren Jackson the play uses poetry, music, drama and comedy and features a multicultural cast who perform together with musicians playing traditional Chinese and Maori instruments. The Bone Feeder is a New Zealand play with a difference, a contemporary Western theatre piece which draws on the traditions of Asian storytelling.

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