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“There’s a tale in my bones, fighting to be told”

Delving into the lawless outpost of 1800s Russell, Kororāreka: The Ballad of Maggie Flynn introduces a heroine created from the rich and vibrant true stories of New Zealand women.

Maggie Flynn, a fiery and unforgettable Irish woman leaves England a convict and arrives in Kororāreka the captain of a whaling ship. Her fortune continues to twist and turn from trophy Maori slave to wife of a great chief to Madam of the notorious King Edward Hotel. She makes her final stand in the face of British bombardment of the capital of Aotearoa. Maggie is fictitious but based on real characters and historical events. This work is a legacy to the women in our past, the ones often too wild to be captured by history books.

“Starting with my mother, this story is a fictionalised homage to the strength, power, toughness, resilience and wit that exists in the character of the New Zealand woman.  I do not believe that Kate Sheppard, Helen Clarke, Lorde or Eleanor Catton, are exceptions to the rule, in fact they are a product of a long line of powerful women.” – Paolo Rotondo, playwright.

Director: Julie Nolan; Writer: Paolo Rotondo; Cast include: Victoria Abbott, Alison Bruce, Katrina George, and Amber Curreen.

Performances are:

  • Tuesday 28 August, 7.30pm
  • Wednesday 29 August, 12 noon (School show)
  • Wednesday 29 August, 7.30pm
  • Thursday 30 August, 7.30pm
  • Friday 31 August, 12 noon (School show)
  • Friday 31 August, 7.30pm

Prices*: Adult $40.00; Student $17.00 (under 25 years, with student ID); Senior Citizen (65+) $30.00; Groups of 6 or more $30.00; Group booker's offer for 15+ tickets $25.00 (contact Kathiy for details); School groups $16.00. *Service fees may apply. 

Performance length: approx. 1 hour 20 min (no interval). Latecomers will be seated after an 8 minutes lockout. Seating is general admission. 


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Red leap theatre

Makers of New Zealand's highest quality original visual theatre. Crossing the forms of physical theatre, imagery and  storytelling, we believe in playful discovery, the power of the imagination, and building a strong ensemble of performers. 

Founding members Kate Parker and Julie Nolan collaborated on three successful works: Moa Hunting, The Butcher’s Daughter, and Beyond the Blue before officially forming Red Leap Theatre Charitable Trust in 2008 with producer Lauren Hughes.

Red Leap are based in Auckland. The have won numerous awards, including: 6 categories in the 2010 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards; 2 categories in the 2012 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards; and 2 categories in the 2016 Wellington Tripp Theatre Awards.

Paolo Rotondo

Writer Paolo Rotondo received the 2015 Auckland Museum Research Grant to do research on Kororāreka and Waitangi to generate ideas and a solid historical basis for his play set in the era of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Paolo made his feature length directorial debut in 2014 with the poignant drama Orphans and Kingdoms, which scooped up several film festival awards. His writing successes include theatre works Little Che, and the highly-acclaimed Strange Resting Places(co-written with Rob Mokaraka).

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