Taniwha is created by Leon Radojkovic (Dalmatian/Ngāpuhi/Pākehā ) with Sophie Roberts, based on an original story by Leon Radojkovic. Additional lead artists include Daniel Williams, Rachel Marlow and Jon Coddington.
Taniwha is a story set in Aotearoa New Zealand, in a world where taniwha exist, but have been forgotten. It centres on a group of kids who discover the existence of a taniwha in their neighbourhood which has been awakened by new development and construction. This coincides with some strange things happening in the neighbourhood, the ground sometimes shakes, the hill appears to change shape, two shifty men in suits have turned up in town, and huge blue mushrooms start growing out of the portaloos on the construction site…
The taniwha is terrible, beautiful and unknowable, but also vulnerable and in need of protection. The kids know what they have to do, to stop the development and save the taniwha and its home which is under threat. It’s a story of courage, adventure and the power of the natural world for the whole family.
This production is being created by the artistic team who made the critically acclaimed and award winning adaptation of Peter and the Wolf for Silo in 2017.
Taniwha employs multiple performance elements working together on stage to create a richly layered live experience. A narrator, musicians, puppeteers, animated dioramas and videography are all working in tandem as the imagery from the camera is projected onto a large screen that hangs above the performers, producing a visually rich animated film of the shows adventure.
A big part of the delight and thrill of these shows is that the audience are able to engage in the mechanics and design of the work, they can see how the final projected film is being created in real time, live. They can direct their own journey through the story by choosing to engage in a diverse range of performative elements, watching and listening to the Narrator, the nuanced yet fast paced work of the puppeteers, listening to the musicians play the score and watching the live mix film on the big screen.