From the programme notes:

Talofa lava
Kia orana
Taloha ni
Fakaalofa lahi atu
Malo e lelei
Ni sa bula
Tena koutou

Name another country where greetings in eight languages are normal. That’s what I love about New Zealand. It’s a melting pot. It’s a mongrel nation. It’s a work in progress.

Goodbye My Feleni tries to reflect a bit of our collision of cultures. That a community – or a military unit – is more thant the sum of its parts; that, together, we move forward into the future.

I want to thank everyone who signed on to this production script unseen: the boys – Shadon, Samson, Andy and Leki – whose youthful enthusiasm has been infectious and inspiring; director Chris from whom I’ve learned bloody heaps; and producer Jenni who brought together everyone and everything into a tight fighting unit and kept us honest in our work. Thanks also to Eric & Chetan at GreyView for the opportunity.

Goodbye My Feleni came about because the last thing I expected to hear on a CD of the 28th (Maori) Battalion’s songs were the voices of four Pasifika soldiers singing Samoan songs of love, fear, home and country. This play is for those who came before us, who chose this country to call home, and are part of the fabric of Aotearoa. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you coming this evening. Thank you for supporting New Zealand theatre.

Tell your friends and family.

And, maybe, we’ll meet again,


14 June 2012