New contemporary Samoan play uses traditional elements

A play combining Samoan oral traditions, adornment, movement and sound opens at Basement from August 15-19. Fa’aafa invokes cultural knowledge and translates Samoan knowledge within a contemporary art language of movement and audio visuals for modern audiences



Created by digital native Pati Solomona Tyrell the piece unveils a world known only to Samoans through whispers.


Fa’aafa was developed in 2015 as a solo performance and fine-tuned over the last two years and is hard to label due not only to it being an interdisciplinary piece of work but also because of its fluidity.


As indicated by its very name, fa’aafa (Samoan concept of half) exists in two worlds within the art scene, a live performance and also digital moving image artwork.


Tyrell’s reimagining of the work for Basement Theatre will see Fa’aafa expand on its cultural mythology and narrative universe.


Juxtaposed against the colour and contrast of modern digital projection, Fa’aafa will create a gripping and responsive Samoan fagogo (fable) for young urban polynesians.


Featuring a new cast of emerging and established performers, and an entirely new soundscape and visual design, with poetry by award winning Samoan poet Tusiata Avia, Fa’aafa will be a new outline for a new audience.


Get tickets here, and look out for our review.


Watch the show’s promo video: