The Factory – a big hearted musical from across the Tasman

The FactoryFollowing a sold-out premiere season in Auckland’s Mangere Arts Centre and huge critical acclaim at last year’s Auckland Arts festival, the hit New Zealand musical, The Factory is undertaking its first ever Australian tour treating audiences across the country.

Created by the renowned Kila Kokonut Krew, this full-scale musical features an original score, slick choreography and an array of exuberant songs accompanied by a dynamic live band. Written by Vela Manusaute and directed by Anapela Polataivao, The Factory is a universally resonant tale of race, migration, class and love.

Opening with a powerful call to ancestral roots, The Factory follows the story of a young Samoan woman, Losa, arriving in Aukilani with her father. With hopes for a bright future, Losa is set to work in an Auckland textile factory, but each time the factory bell rings she feels further away from her home and her aspirations.

Both hilarious and heartfelt, The Factory weaves a romantic narrative and clever lyrics into a tribute to the courageous Pacific peoples who came to Auckland. Set in 1974, composer Poulima Salima’s original soundtrack features some of the most vibrant, funk-fuelled music to come from across the Tasman.

The Factory is a tribute to my Pacific people, who worked the factory floor from the early days of the migration. Tens of thousands of Islanders including my family arrived in Aotearoa in search of ‘milk and honey’ – a dream of abundance,” says playwright Vela Manusaute.

“My father passed away in 2005. I never really knew him and didn’t understand his addiction to alcohol. I began piecing together my memories of him in the hope to find some answers. I remember growing up and watching him go to work at a bed factory. I witnessed both my parents struggle to pay the bills and bread was all we had; for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

“When I had my kids, I believed I had to achieve the dream for them, as well as for my Father. I believe in my heart that our parents’ contribution, their sweat and tears, their efforts to boost the New Zealand economy, and their massive sacrifices were swept under the carpet and their voices were being forgotten. This celebratory drum beat is for them. Our people. And for the beautiful land that our children call home.”

This is the first work from Kila Kokonut Krew to tour Australia. The company formed in 2002 from a desire to fill a void in the Pacific Island performing Arts industry and throughout their 11 year history are renowned for producing exceptional theatre and for their ever-growing following of supporters.

“The Factory will become a new pillar of New Zealand theatre: a classic that is performed frequently and inspires a generation of actors, singers, writers…” – Metro Magazine (NZ)

The Factory tour is produced by Arts Projects Australia with the support of Creative New Zealand’s Touring Australia Initiative and is currently playing at the following venues: Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (9 – 12 July) and Arts Centre Gold Coast (15 & 16 July),

Image: The Cast of The Factory