From Hector to haka

A new Maori version of a Shakespeare tragedy proves that quality content can transcend boundaries and language

New Zealand theatre company Ngakau Toa is currently wowing London audiences with its full Maori version of Shakespeare�s tragedy Troilus and Cressida. The are performing the play as part of the �Globe to Globe� element of the World Shakespeare Festival that sees all 37 of Shakespeare�s plays performed in 37 languages, from Swahili to sign language.

Ngakau Toa�s Troilus and Cressida opens with the text being performed in the style of a haka. Which sounds incongruous and horribly gimmicky, until you consider that the play is about the Trojan war (and the heroics of Hector et al) and nothing quite encapsulates the pre-battle psych-up like the legendary Maori challenge.

Demonstrating that great content transcends language, geographical boundaries and even different mediums, this clip shows the effectiveness of the interpretation:


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