Home' The Wellingtonian : September 1st 2011 Contents 20 THE WELLINGTONIAN, SEPTEMBER 1, 2011
Do you love to sing...?
Wellington City Chorus, a Gold Medal winning Women's
Barbershop Chorus, is looking for new members
All voice ranges
Ability to read music not necessary but you should be able to sing a song in tune
Just come along on the night, or for more information call:
Eileen on 566 6029 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New members open night Wellington Bridge club.
Monday 5th September 2011
17 Tinakori Road, Thorndon 7.15 -- 9.30pm
Modern version: George Nepia at
The return of George Nepia
By JOSEPH ROMANOS
He is a legend, a treasured
person, and everyone I spoke to
was eager to help. They wanted any
work about him to be done well.
Wellington playwright Hone
Kouka has known for nearly
30 years he wanted to write
about All Black rugby legend George
He's finally done it and I, George
Nepia opens at Circa on September 7.
Our family was living in Rangiora
and I boarded at King's in Dunedin,''
said Kouka. In 1982, when I was just
a third-former, I watched on television
when the New Zealand Maori team
played Wales at Swansea.
There was an amazing scene before
the start when George Nepia walked
on to the field and was given a huge
believe it. George
was an old man by
then and had
made his repu-
tation during the
1924-25 All Blacks
tour of Britain. To
think that all
later he would get a reception like that
Kouka said his interest in Nepia
was piqued and the idea of writing
about him took hold.
Though Kouka has had a long and
varied career, including working for
the New Zealand Film Commission,
writing several award-winning plays
and founding theatre production
house Tawata Productions, he has
never forgotten about Nepia.
His enthusiasm was fuelled by a pri-
vate connection. His family and the
Nepias are distantly related. Nepia
lived just along the road from his
father in Rangitukia, just north of
Ruatoria, and even coached him at
The play, which has the same title
as Nepia's autobiography, takes two
looks at Nepia.
There is the 19-year-old -- played by
Jarod Rawiri -- who was plucked from
obscurity and played every match at
fullback on the 1924-25 Invincibles All
Blacks tour of Britain and France.
And there is a modern Nepia, at the
Wellington Stadium of all places, who
reflects on his life.
Kouka said he researched Nepia's
There was a lot of material I could
read, plus some television interviews
that Keith Quinn handed on to the
family, and the Nepia whanau was
In the end I didn't think it was too
difficult imagining what a 19-year-old
Maori boy from the East Coast would
have thought when he was in London
and Paris and playing at famous
It must have
been a fantastic
George, and his
mate Lui Paewai,
who was even
Nepia was held in
such esteem that
mentioned he was writing a play about
him, doors opened.
He is a legend, a treasured person,
and everyone I spoke to was eager to
help. They wanted any work about
him to be done well.''
There were some famous matches
on the Invincibles' tour.
The Wales test at Swansea gave the
All Blacks the chance to gain some
revenge after their controversial
defeat on the 1905 tour ( and what
would George have made of the Welsh
The Ireland test was Nepia's test
debut. And in the England test Cyril
Brownlie was ordered from the field,
the first rugby player sent off in an
I have really just concentrated on
the test matches, except in France it's
more about life in Paris,'' said Kouka.
I, George Nepia, Circa, September 7 to
We have a selection of
New Zealand albums to
give away, including
Julia Deans' Modern
Fables, Hollie Smith's
Band of Brothers, Head
Like A Hole's Blood
Will Out, John
Toogood's The Adults
and Electric Wire
Hustle's self-titled CD.
Two tickets to Elec-
tric Wire Hustle's Sept-
ember 23 gig at the San
Francisco Bath House
are also included.
win, like'' The Welling-
tonian on Facebook and
tell us who your favour-
ite New Zealand band
or musician is and why.
Catriona Barclay, of
Strathmore, won two
tickets to Vector Wel-
show on September 11.
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