The PumpHouse: Rangitoto by Geoffrey Clendon

Date: February 23rd, 2023 - March 5th, 2023

Where: The PumpHouse

The play Rangitoto explores a slice of social history when a flourishing bach community existed on the island in the 1930s. Set during the era of the Great Depression, the play follows the characters as they prepare for the island’s traditional New Year’s Eve festivities in 1932.

Rangitoto is a comic drama built on the tension and humour arising from interactions between two Pākehā families, a local eccentric, and a Māori boy. Although on holiday, they are unable to escape the harsh economic realities of the 1930s. The incumbent working-class bach dwellers are confronted with the arrival of wealthy newcomers intent on changing the community.

The play transports the audience back in time and illuminates the heartache and deprivations behind island-life camaraderie whilst also being a reflection on issues affecting us today. The themes of holding firm to important personal and community values in adverse times have become even more relevant in the Covid era.

Rangitoto Island is an iconic symbol of modern-day Auckland and of the Hauraki Gulf, but the deep human connection to the island goes back many generations.

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