Early settler story told in epic scale and writing
Dominion Post | 23 January 2015
The Undertow is a quartet of plays from Te Rakau Theatre documenting the settlement of Wellington, past, present and future. The Ragged is the first of the four plays.
Epic in scale and writing, it has numerous threads running through it showing various aspects of life in Wellington in 1840.
Out in Owhiro Bay a newly arrived settler Samuel Kenning (Matthew Dussler) is washed ashore, while around in the village of Thorndon the New Zealand Company representative Ranulf Spooner (Regan Moyes) and Governor Hobson's man Crippen (Louis Tait) are dishing out land parcels to other newly arrived settlers.
Kenning rejects an offer from Spooner to be part of the new Wellington settlement, deciding they are no better than the aristocracy he has left behind in England, and instead decides to stay in the bay.
He is welcomed into the local Māori village Te Miti by the old chief Te Waipouri (Jim Moriarty) even though his feisty daughter-in-law Peata (Martine Gray) is against this Pakeha intruder.
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