Where We Once Belonged
by Dave Armstrong
Lively, spirited and fiercely written, where we once belonged is an unflinchingly honest, sometimes brutal yet wildly funny coming-of-age story set in 1970s Samoa. As young Alofa navigates life in her village of Malaefou, she comes to terms with her own changing sense of identity and the price she must pay for it.
where we once belonged is a hilarious yet moving version of the 1994 Commonwealth Prize-winning novel by Sia Figiel, Samoa’s first female novelist. It is brought to life on stage by playwright Dave Armstrong (Niu Sila, Le Sud) in an adaptation that won Dave and Sia the 2008 Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Best New New Zealand Play.
In this production, 16 beautiful and talented young Pasifika performers brilliantly recreate the Samoan village of Malaefou, a sort of Pacific Llareggub, whereteenage girls gossip, dream about their weddings, tease boys, misbehave at school, and worship American TV shows like Charlie’s Angels. Yet interspersed with this seemingly idyllic life lie dark issues of family violence, religion, and colonisation.
Told with a passion and vitality that only a young cast can bring, where we once belonged is an unforgettable singing, dancing, drumming, laughing, crying-out-loud, warts-and-all celebration of Pacific life.