Little Black Bitch Season & Tour 2019 (Auckland, New Zealand)
1 Jul 2018 - 31 Dec 2019
Winner of the 2018 NZ Adam Playwright Award for Best Play by a Māori Playwright, Little Black Bitch is a thrilling new Māori theatre work utilising bilingual dialogue (both kōrero and monologue in English and Te Reo Māori), contemporary dance and haka fusion, with a live Aotearoa roots soundtrack.
When Matiu took his own life, his little dog Toto took off too… with the suicide note. The whole community has been turned upside down. Rangi and his friend George desperately want to know why. Tommy Te Kapua from the Conservation Sanctuary has offered a $500 reward. Rangi’s aunty Marie is desperately worried about everyone but no-one will talk about it, especially Tommy. Everyone is hunting for answers, and the dog.
When Toto turns up outside Rangi’s window he knows he must look after and protect her…whangai. But as he feeds her, his tōtō (blood) begins to run deeper and darker than ever before.
Rangitoto has awoken. The earth begins to dance, and the sky bleeds.
In his quest to find answers, Rangi meets three extraordinary creatures who vow to protect him. He realises he must give her up if he is to survive, but she has other plans.
She’s little, she’s black, she’s a bitch.
A topic that is currently in the media daily, depression and suicide is real. It is an epidemic in New Zealand, particularly for Māori males*. "Black Dog" was the name Winston Churchill gave to "the prolonged fits of depression from which he suffered” in a diary entry in 1944. This analogy has since been used around the world in many different ways to shed some light on this crippling mental health issue. Little Black Bitch will not necessarily find a solution to this problem, but it will at least provide a platform to have an open kōrero, inspire healing, and remind each other that it is the responsibility of the whole whānau to raise our tamariki and encourage them to take their dog for a walk now and then.
*Figures released by Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall (NZ Herald 28/09/17) show provisional statistics found 606 Kiwis took their own life in the 2016-17 year, up from 579 the previous year and 564 the year before that. Men and Māori were highly represented in the figures, both featuring suicide rates well above the national average.