Tuhaka to star in The Cherry Orchard

By Tema Hemi

Experienced actor and television presenter Te Kohe Tuhaka plays a lead role in the latest production of The Auckland Theatre Company's upcoming Kensington Swan Season of the classic Chekov play The Cherry Orchard. Directed by Colin McColl who has a long history of directing classics with a contemporary twist. 

Tuhaka says, "The character that I play in this production his name is Wiremu Heretaunga. He is brought up by his father and grandfather and raised on a sheep farm and they also grow cherries."

He's not the only Māori voice on stage.

Veteran actor Rawiri Paratene says, "It's about change and change in time, memory whats retained and what is not. Originally its a Russian play by one of the great writers Anton Chekov.

Actor Maria Walker says, "Because it is topical, there are issues to do with land ownership, housing and for me personally it resonates because of their sense of disenfranchisement."

Director Colin McColl says it revisits the renaissance of Māori culture in the 70's.

This is what McColl says to encourage people to see the play, "They should come to see it because it's about our history, it's about something that happened in New Zealand in the 70s really when the whole Māori renaissance started with the land marches and Bastion Point."

The Cherry Orchid play will be open from the 12-26 of June at the ASB Waterfront Theatre.