We too succumbed to the seductive charms of Don Ioane, this year’s PIPA Diploma 2 graduation show at Mangere Arts Centre.
With the eponymous philanderer, skilfully played by Michael Falesiu, and his long-suffering servants, Tongarelle (Shauntelle Ono) and Chinarelle (Isaako Ah Kiong), Don Ioane showed off the incredible comedic and physical versatility with lazzi galore by the class.
Director Rachel House’s set up of the farcical world with the first twenty minutes of wordless choreography by Amanaki Prescott, Jaycee Tanuvasa, Isaako Ah Kiong, Raukawa Tuhura and Paula Uvea to the tune of baroque, disco and rock’n’roll was nothing short of brilliant. Choreography was a definitive highlight of the show so watch for these names in future work.
Sassy women were definitely working it in the show, from the passionate Matherine (Tania Gatai) and Charlotte (Laraleigh Bennett-Galo) to the staunch Dona Kataraina (Raukawa Tuhura) and delightful Dona Lusia Cornelio (Jocelyn Fa’alavelave).
A standout performance came from Paula Uvea, whose foblish Pierrot and clownish Tongan aunty to Don Ioane brought the house down.
Beautiful costuming from Sean, Bronwyn Bradley and Kat Fatupaito were an absolute delight, especially of the lovely scooter-mad Polynesian Stepford wives chorus (Jaycee Tanuvasa, Jennifer Muaulama, Nive Collins and Joanna Seumalo).
Sean Coyle’s set and lighting design was stunning, using the traverse staging to seamlessly transport punters from Heaven, tropical islands, a kung-fu crazed Purgatory, Don Ioane’s dining room and Hell.
We particularly enjoyed the sea journey, complete with fabulous sea creatures by Grant Hall.
Well done to everyone involved, including the poster nod to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. What a fantastic way to end 2013!