Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Great Experiment - Guest Blog on the Devising Process by Rosanna Lowe

How can theatre bring history to life? Who writes the history? Who is written about?  Who is it written for? In re-telling stories from history, can we truthfully embody figures of the past or can we really only narrate them? Who are we entitled to represent? How much liberty can we take? How much can we invent? How authentic can we be?

These were the questions that arose, as we began the month-long research period for Border Crossings’ current theatre piece, an exploration of the indenture system in Mauritius. Previously I knew nothing about ‘The Great Experiment’, the attempt to see whether the British Empire’s economic interests could be preserved by replacing newly abolished slavery with a system of ‘free’ labour, bound by a contract called an indenture. This experiment was first trialled in the small island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, primarily to prop up sugar plantations, and saw one of the largest migrations in history - almost half a million indentured labourers, mainly from India, crossed the Kala Pani, the Black Water, to Mauritius. As a company, we set out on our own journey across unfamiliar waters –  devising a piece with no pre-established characters or storyline.

What we did have, however, were delicate fragments of historical narrative, a bewildering jigsaw puzzle of facts, figures, faces and stories.  Quickly the rehearsal room transformed into a kind of exhibition space, with mounds of related reading and articles on everything from Gandhi’s campaign against indenture in the early 20th century to contemporary Mauritian poet Khal Torabully’s concept of ‘the coral imaginary’ and of ‘coolitude’, reclaiming the identity and dignity of the ‘coolie’, a formerly derogatory word for the indentured labourer.

Often the absence or distortion of information was poignant and powerful – reading out the ship records of the names and ages of the migrants felt like a moving litany to ghosts of the past whose stories we could only imagine. Probably the most challenging and gaping absences were the stories of people of African origin in Mauritius – we had none, apart from the compelling story of the mixed race journalist Remy Ollier, who founded a newspaper, campaigned for the rights and political involvement of people of colour in the early nineteenth century and who was poisoned at a relatively young age.

The most powerful aspect of our rehearsal-room-come-exhibition space was the sea of faces that began to people the wall. These photographic portraits, required by indentured labourers for their identity documents, were amazingly diverse - whiskered or shaven headed, wizened or youthful, bejewelled or naked, sometimes with a story or information attached and sometimes not. We were of course examining these people and their stories, but with the watchful eyes of these extraordinarily striking portraits overlooking us, it felt there was a kind of additional duty to honour these people’s stories and their presence.

It was fascinating to see how our own lens on the world, on our own identity and on history shaped the way we saw the material. Even the seemingly static faces on the wall could change, as we looked at them with different eyes. One morning Nisha, our Mauritian actress, looked at our wall of faces and exclaimed with typical exuberant warmth ‘Look! They’re smiling!’ For me, something of a miserabilist, the faces had always seemed grave – perhaps because of the lives they’d lived or because of the enforced formality and stillness of photography at the time. But as soon as Nisha had said this, the faces changed in front of my eyes – suddenly smiles, life, liveliness seemed to be hovering at the corners of their mouths.

Our other incredible resource and one of the most unique parts of the process was the involvement of three eminent historians, creators of the academic research project ‘Becoming Coolies’, which aimed to break down some of the stereotypes of Indian indentured labourers, examining their diversity and their personal agency in migration. Initially I think we were curious and a little concerned about how an interaction between performers and historians might work, as was Professor Crispin Bates, when he declared to us over Skype: ‘My fear is that this could end up as a Mauritian Les Miserables…’ But once in the room together, there was a great generosity in the sharing process, with the performers benefitting from the historians’ extraordinary expertise and the historians delighting in the performers’ ability to bring history to life in unexpected ways.

Very quickly in the rehearsal process the issues of theatrical representation arose – as a group of 5 performers, two Mauritian, one Rwandan, one Irish and one British, what would or could we play? We began by playing roughly to ‘type’, in terms of gender or race. But it quickly became apparent that this was not only limiting, but also potentially problematic. Does a black actor playing a slave perpetuate a disempowering narrative? Does playing someone from a different race or culture represent a type of appropriation? Eventually, we decided that anyone could play anything and experimented with a range of modes of representation. Sometimes the jarring of the performer and the character threw up something interesting and sometimes the dividing line disappeared – whenever Ery played any character, something truthful and authentic shone through. For me, an amazing moment of alchemical transformation was when Tony took a photograph of an indentured labourer who had died of malaria and spoke from behind, using the face as a mask – suddenly the face became voiced, embodied, dignified.

Another wonderful resource for us was the presence of the three Mauritians in the room - David and Nisha as performers and Shiraz as visual artist. We heard the sound of the ravane, the goatskin drum and various variants of sega, traditional Mauritian music, from Bhojpuri sega to seggae (sega and reggae’s lovechild). We heard personal stories of the continuing difficulties of cross-cultural relationships, competing narratives of pride and shame in ones origins, of both togethernesses and tensions between the many Mauritian cultures. Shiraz’s video images showed the beauty of the island – an exquisite moonrise over lush green mountains – but they also whispered with ghosts of the past, as faces of those who had actually worked the land hovered superimposed over the sweeping miles of sugar plantation.

Rehearsals consisted of a series of games and exercises, but also an incredible amount of discussion of the material. Our director Michael often sat scribbling in a corner – and a mosaic of post-its emerged on which we heard (sometimes to our own surprise) the comments we had made, which were then rewoven into improvisation. One fantastic exercise had us creating an enormous map of nineteenth century global capitalism, drawn on the floor in chalk, tea leaves, sugar and loose change, showing the movement of goods and capital under empire. While the English craved sugar, the British Empire fostered the Chinese craving for opium, which contributed to the devastating famines that factored in many migrations from India. Rehearsal breaks subsequently took on a peculiar significance, as we all scuttled off to indulge our own personal cravings for caffeine, nicotine or sugar.

Unbeknown to us, our director Michael had envisioned from the start that the piece itself would slide between the contemporary rehearsal room and the historical scenes. A beautiful theatrical moment we created was the literal sliding between worlds – as we sat round the rehearsal table discussing the space allocated per person on the indenture ships, our own space became destabilised, our minds and stomachs began to lurch, our tabletop books began to slide and we slipped into the destabilising world of the ship itself, making its epic and hazardous journey across the Indian Ocean.

We had started rehearsing not long after events at Charlottesville – a powerful reminder of what can happen as a result of an attempt to redress racist historical narrative by removing a controversial statue. As the devising process continued, the echoes of the history we were examining seemed to ripple everywhere in the world around us. Halfway through the rehearsal process, the Evening Standard launched its campaign against ‘modern slavery’ in present day London. We were rehearsing in London Bridge, at the edge of the Thames, not so far from the docklands area that had sailed so many of the ill-gotten gains of Empire in and out. At one point in the process David realised that the building where we were rehearsing, in Exchange Theatre’s performance space, had a very old industrial chimney and a hook for hoisting goods – what was processed there? Could it have been sugar? A quick google revealed that a South African sugar company are currently housed in part of the building.

A stone’s throw from the rehearsal space was Becket House, one of the UK Border Agency’s immigration main reporting centres, also housing two ‘secure cells’ for those arrested while signing on or brought in by snatch squads operating from the centre. As I walked past to rehearsals in the morning, there was always a huge queue of people snaking round the block, holding paperwork and ID, waiting to sign on. It was a modern day reminder of the huge wave of arrivals at the Aapravasi Ghat, the immigration depot in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis, where the identity papers of new arrivals were processed by the supposed ‘Protector of Immigrants’.

One morning on the way to rehearsals, I saw a gardener moving in and around the immigration queue. He was wearing a T-shirt saying ‘Putting Down Roots’, which reminded me of Shiraz’s extraordinary photography of the gnarled roots of the banyan, a resourceful tree which begins life as an epiphyte, seeding itself in a crevice of a host tree or building. We kept returning to this theme of roots, to the physical and emotional relationship to the new land and the old, to the rootedness and uprootedness that comes with the experience of migration and which continues through subsequent generations, as the family tree grows and branches out.

Our ongoing rehearsal room discussions of race, privilege, identity, economic injustice and migration in the contemporary world became a kind of framing device for the historical scenes, which were often stark and simple, sometimes wordless, sometimes abstract, leaving space for the audience and for the complexity of interpretation. In the contemporary scenes we ended up playing slightly heightened versions of ourselves, exaggerating the tensions between us to create the conflicts and revelations of the piece. As a middle class white person, who has never reflected much about identity, origin, ancestry or white privilege, working on The Great Experiment was a powerful wake up call. I’ve always been very interested in history – my father was a history teacher who told us historical tales as bedtime stories and I’ve worked as a writer on history projects, including the TV series Horrible Histories. But it shocked me to discover how little I knew about British imperial history and how little consideration I had given to the links between Britain’s current wealth and Britain’s colonial exploitation. For all of us, finding our personal relationship to the material by examining our own identities was sometimes humbling or challenging, but ultimately eye-opening.

Border Crossings always creates work that crosses cultural, geographical and linguistic borders, as does Exchange Theatre, co-producer of The Great Experiment. The piece that we created felt like it also crossed the borders of the historical and the contemporary, the academic and the performative, as well as crossing some personal boundaries. It was about the possibilities and challenges of communicating across centuries, cultures, continents and worlds. In some modest way we went on a journey together as ‘jihaji-bai’, as ship-mates, in what felt like a fantastic theatrical experiment.

- Rosanna Lowe
Rosanna Lowe is an actor and writer.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

The Great Experiment begins!

For the last four weeks, we’ve been locked in Exchange Theatre’s rehearsal space at London Bridge, developing our next devised production.  THE GREAT EXPERIMENT will reach the stage next year, and is already looking like one of the most exciting pieces we’ve ever done.  It’s part of our SEASON OF MIGRATIONS, and is rooted in the history of indentured labour – the huge movement of Indian workers through the British Empire in the aftermath of the abolition of slavery.  One of the best aspects of the month has been having no less than three expert historians visit us for several days each to help us get a stronger, more nuanced sense of the history.  Working together on the Research project “Becoming Coolies”, Crispin Bates is an expert on Indian history, Andrea Major on imperial history, and Marina Carter on the indentured labourers themselves, particularly in relation to the island of Mauritius, where the whole process really began.  Having them in the room took us way beyond the usual process of reading a few books and watching YouTube videos: they took us right to the archival sources – to the real words of people who had made the perilous journey across what they called the Kala Pani – the Black Water.

The creative team encountering this material included several of our regular collaborators, which also helped to make the process so rich – there wasn’t any need for introductions to ways of working or for overcoming trust issues.   Tony Guilfoyle (who was in both DIS-ORIENTATIONS and RE-ORIENTATIONS, as well as helping us devise CONSUMED) was back, as was Rosanna Lowe (Assistant Director on DOUBLE TONGUE), Nisha Dassyne (our Mauritian performer in MAPPA MUNDI and the translator of TOUFANN), David Furlong (another Mauritian performer and director at Exchange, who has been part of our recent training workshops).  They were joined by Mauritian visual artist Shiraz Bayjoo; and by the wonderful Rwandan actor Ery Nzaramba, who I first saw in Peter Brook’s extraordinary piece BATTLEFIELD.  The key was that all these performers work as writers, directors and visual artists as well as actors – something key to the whole process.

Amazingly, by the Friday of the fourth week there was enough material readily shaped to be shown to a small invited audience.  The response was astonishing.  This isn’t just a show about the history – it’s a show about how we relate to the history, how it reflects our contemporary realities, how it has made us who we are.  These aren’t easy subjects, but the company has been very brave in the level of personal encounter.  The resulting piece is going to be very delicate, very fragile, and, as a result, profoundly moving.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Gauri Lankesh

Some twenty years ago - in what now seems a more innocent, humane, compassionate time - I spent several months in the Southern Indian city of Bangalore, directing THE TEMPEST for Mahesh Dattani's Playpen company.  It was a life-changing experience for me, leading to the creation of Border Crossings as a company committed to intercultural work; and I believe it was also an important production for the cultural environment in which it took place.  One of the great pleasures of that time was to be surrounded by an extraordinary group of creative, committed and questioning young Indians - actors, writers, artists, film-makers and journalists. Young people who cared about what was happening in the world, who understood the historical forces that had shaped and were shaping their country, who longed for justice and who believed they could make a difference.  For a short time, I felt as if I was one of them - and that sense of hope has remained with me ever since.  From time to time I have seen or exchanged emails with many of them.  I still do. We have all retained some sense of the young people we once were and have clung to the dreams we once dreamed.

Central to that inspiring group of people was the journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was murdered last week.  The three men who shot her as she arrived home from work have not been traced, and there is no definite proof of who they may have been - but those who knew her well are convinced that her death must have been related to her fierce and honest journalism; and to her activist stance against the power of Hindu nationalism, against the racist ideology of the BJP and its vigilante offshoots, in support of equal rights for the Dalits and the Muslims.  Mari Marcel Thekaekara's Guardian piece deals with the politics very well.  The Hindu right has been given free rein to enact its own idea of justice, and Narendra Modi preserves an ominous, acquiescent silence.  In what claims to be the world's largest democracy, mob rule is permitted.  Have we any idea of just how dangerous our world is becoming?  We stand on the edge of an abyss.

I remember Gauri as a young woman - energetic, attractive, full of wicked humour.  She liked to be in the thick of controversy: the piece she wrote about me in the magazine SUNDAY responded to the way that THE TEMPEST had divided opinion so deeply, with some people embracing its Indian setting and the post-colonial resonances, while others steadfastly refused the connections.  It wasn't a pre-publicity piece: Gauri sought me out after she had seen the piece, precisely because she wanted to engage with the anger it had provoked from conservative voices.  I don't think any of us realised that this cultural controversy was symptomatic of something so much more dangerous, so much more vindictive, something that would become so bloody and so tragic.

Gauri was killed because she dared to speak the truth, and her death makes it all the more incumbent on the survivors to continue that moral quest.  The voice of justice must not be silenced.  It must not.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Festivals and Healing

Remembering Pocahontas
It was very sad that we had to cancel PASIFIKA.  It would have been the second ORIGINS event to be held at Emslie Horniman's Pleasance, after the amazing Voladores da Papantla and Grupo Sotz'il in 2015.  Those performances and ceremonies had created a real bond between the Festival and the very vibrant communities of North Kensington - a bond that we were building on in this year's celebration of Pacific cultures.  But then Grenfell Tower happened - and the Council, I suppose rightly, felt that they couldn't do anything "fun" in the area.  It might look like fiddling as Rome burned.

At the same time, the Festival's presence might have helped build some bridges and heal some wounds.  It may, of course, be too soon - we should probably be content to wait for 2019 before we return to the area, at which time we can work with the community to do something affirmative.  There were many who felt the Ariana Grande commemorative concert in Manchester came too soon after the event - and that was in a place where the community had been united by the tragedy.  In North Kensington, there is great anger.

For all that - there is a genuine role for Festivals in healing wounds and building bridges.  On Monday, Marcia Langton talked about this aspect of indigenous festivals in Australia as part of her ORIGINS Lecture - and last week we saw it in action at our REMEMBERING POCAHONTAS event at Syon House.  The visit of Pocahontas to the London home of the Percy family was a full 400 years ago, of course, and was a diplomatic mission, not a catastrophic inferno.  But the arrival of three Native American women to commemorate a Native American woman was still a highly significant moment, precisely because they have been so shut out from history. As Graham Harvey said at our AFTERNOON OF TALKS, the Pocahontas 400 events so far have concentrated not on where she lived but where she died, not on her indigenous but her Christian identity.  A ceremony of smudge, drum and dance felt like a redressing of the balance, an invitation to bring previously excluded voices to the centre.

I hope we will be able to go back to North Kensington soon, and to offer a contribution to that community's healing.

Sierra Tasi Baker, Gabe Hughes, Stephanie Pratt

Monday, June 05, 2017

Pathways Through the Festival 4: Indigenous Women

Sierra Tasi Baker
Since ORIGINS was first established a decade ago, it's been really striking how many of the most important indigenous artists and thinkers we have featured have been women - and this year's Festival is no exception.  There has always been an energy and a power in indigenous women: and the challenges of the contemporary world are focussing that energy into creative and artistic responses, political activism, and a particular kind of feminist thought.
Prof. Marcia Langton
As with all indigenous ideas, indigenous feminism stands outside the mainstream, and offers balances and correctives to more "established" approaches.  This year's ORIGINS LECTURE is being given by Prof. Marcia Langton, the newly appointed Vice-Provost of Melbourne University, and probably the world's most distinguished indigenous academic.  A few years ago, Marcia famously took on the white Australian feminist icon Germaine Greer, in a widely publicised spat over Greer's essay Whitefella Jump Up.  So don't expect Greer-style feminism from her.  As well as her lecture, Marcia will be taking part in the TALKS programme over the first weekend, including a panel on INDIGENOUS WOMEN TODAY.
The 7 Stages of Grieving
Also from Australia comes the "Indigenous Everywoman" play THE SEVEN STAGES OF GRIEVING, in a powerhouse performance from Chenoa Deemal.  Here's an interview Chenoa did about the production, shortly before performing it at Sydney Opera House last month.  We're also delighted to be welcoming visual artist JULIE GOUGH, whose powerful re-readings of Australian colonial history have recently been acclaimed at the National Gallery of Australia's remarkable exhibition Defying Empire: the Legacy of 1967, which marks the 50th anniversary of the referendum making indigenous Australians citizens in their own country.
Tanya Tagaq
From the opposite side of the globe, but sharing many of the same colonial experiences, Inuk throat singer TANYA TAGAQ is our last-night star at ORIGINS.  Her music often deals with directly feminist themes, including all forms of rape — of women, of the land — while demanding justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women, as well as Indigenous peoples who’ve had their land and rights removed over centuries of abuse.  Her approach to feminism embraces the indigenous movement and its allies across the world.  "The act of feminism, it's not a female thing, it's a human thing," she says.  Tanya's feminism and activism are complemented by her friend Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, director of ANGRY INUK - an activist film par excellence, dealing with the seal hunt controversy, in which Tanya has been a very vocal participant.  When Alethea was nominated as Samara's Everyday Political Citizen, Juror Margaret Atwood said: "I nominate Alethea Arnaquq-Baril for bravely opening the door to a conversation that needs to happen."
White Lies
New Zealand and Pacific women aren't neglected either, with the UK premiere of WHITE LIES - a Māori film built around three very different women, and featuring a great performance from Whirimako Black.  The screening is followed by a Q&A with Dr. Ian Conrich, an expert in New Zealand film.
The New World
Behind it all lurks the elusive, semi-mythic figure of Pocahontas, who visited London a full 400 years ago.  ORIGINS marks the anniversary with a screening of Terrence Malick's visionary film about her life, THE NEW WORLD at Picturehouse Central.  The screening is followed by a Q&A with Stephanie Pratt, an art historian whose Dakota Sioux name approximates to Pocahontas, and whose life in some ways reflects her Powhatan predecessor's.  Stephanie will also be present at Syon House, the London home of the Dukes of Northumberland, where Pocahontas lived for a time, for our special commemoration REMEMBERING POCAHONTAS.  In the grounds where she once walked, three Native American women will commemorate and celebrate her.  Accompanying Stephanie will be Sierra Tasi Baker, of the Kwakwaka’wakw people, and our Indigenous Associate, Wampanoag scholar Gabe Hughes.

How wonderful to meet such an extraordinary group of modern indigenous women!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pathways Through the Festival 3: Environment

Are We Stronger Than Winston?
"Where is the Environment?" asked Caroline Lucas yesterday.  She's quite right to challenge the major parties - neither of whom have said anything about this most crucial of issues during the current election campaign.  Across the Atlantic, it now seems that Donald Trump aims to withdraw from the Paris deal on climate change.  It's a scary moment, and no mistake.

This is the time when, more than ever, we need to be listening to the voices of indigenous people, who experience climate change at the front line on a daily basis.  Not only do they feel its effects particularly acutely - they also have long cultural traditions of living in close harmony with nature.  In indigenous cultures, you do not own the land but care for it - passing it on as a healthy inheritance to the future.  Now, more than ever, we need to be engaging with indigenous people as we try to find a way forward in our relationship with a damaged planet.
Reports from Standing Rock
ORIGINS 2017 has a range of inspiring and provocative events about indigenous ideas on the environment, beginning with REPORTS FROM STANDING ROCK on June 11 - a series of short films that show the realities of the protest and explore the depth of the Native American activists' passion to save their land and waters.  Trump's refusal to engage with indigenous protestors may yet prove to be his political undoing - his failure to engage with environmental issues is certainly very dangerous for us all.
Are We Stronger than Winston?
Just how dangerous is shown in ARE WE STRONGER THAN WINSTON? by VOU Dance Company from Fiji, performing at The Place on June 23 and 24.  Winston was the cyclone that hit Fiji in February 2016: the worst recorded tropical storm in the history of the South Pacific, killing 42 people and causing tens of thousands to flee their homes. In the words of the choreographer, Navitalai Waqavotuwale: "Soon the house that once sheltered us, now threatened our very lives as it collapsed in shreds around us. Soon the ocean that once fed us came pounding at our doors demanding our breath. Soon the wind that once rippled through our children's hair and carried their voices homeward, snatched them from our very arms and hauled them beyond the horizon where their voices were heard no more. And soon, mothers were burying their children, and children were burying their mothers."
Melissa Veszi as Poluknalai
A lighter but equally important take on climate change in the Pacific is offered in  Sani Muliaumaseali'i’s new musical for family audiences, BABA THE BAD BABOON.  In this version of a Polynesian folk tale, Baba is an experienced leader who assures the goddess Poluknalai, the supreme protector of animals and nature, that all will be well under his watch - leading to a dire loss of animals and ecology.
Angry Inuk
It's in the Arctic that the effects of climate change are probably most glaringly obvious, as the ice melts at astonishing speed.  Alethea Arnaquq-Baril's remarkable film ANGRY INUK, which has been winning audience awards at film festivals across the planet, is powered by fury at the world's failure to engage with the people who actually live in the Arctic - the Inuit themselves.  Their environmentally sustainable approach to seal hunting - using every part of a non-endangered species for food and clothing, and to give them traction in the global marketplace - is set in sharp contrast with the insanely wasteful approach of western interests in the Artic region.
Tanya Tagaq
So it seems only fitting that the last voice you will hear at ORIGINS this year is an Inuk voice - TANYA TAGAQ.  More than a traditional throat singer, Tanya seems to embody and to vocalise the Arctic landscape itself.  Her extraordinary improvised soundtrack to the silent "documentary" NANOOK OF THE NORTH is a staggering evocation of the beautiful and bare lands that sustain the planet - and that we are all too close to destroying.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pathways Through the Festival 2: Youth

Three Wise Cousins
Everyone knows the importance of Elders in indigenous cultures - but related to this is the huge emphasis placed on young people, and the passing on of culture to future generations.  ORIGINS 2017 has a whole string of stories to tell about young people growing to maturity in First Nations cultures, and what they learn along the way.  THREE WISE COUSINS is a coming of age comedy, about a young Samoan man living in New Zealand, who hears his potential love interest say that she wants a "Real Island Guy".  Cue the cultural education trip to Samoa...  

Johogoi Aiyy
Other films that treat the same sort of process in less comic way are SPEAR, which follows a young man's attempts to reconcile Aboriginal traditions with a contemporary urban world; and the extraordinary JOHOGOI AIYY (Johogoi God) from the Yakut people of Sakha in the Russian Arctic.  In this remarkable film, like no other, a young man travels to the annual midsummer festival — the Tuymada Ysekh - and we travel with him, learning as he learns about his culture, his spirituality and his destiny.
Youth is also central to our theatre programme, with Cliff Cardinal's HUFF casting an unflinching eye on some of the more horrific aspects of young lives on Native Reservations, where solvent abuse if rife and where the suicide rate is five times that in the rest of Canada.  Oddly enough, it manages to be very funny in the process.  There's light relief to follow with Joshua Warrior's Aboriginal stand-up ABORIGINAL GIGOLO, or hip-hop with the fabulous MAU POWER at the ORIGINS CONCERT.
Island Poké
Younger youth also have lots to look forward to - not least because of our Education programme, which will be taking over two primary schools through the festival, immersing over a thousand children in indigenous culture.  Some of them will be performing at PASIFIKA in Kensington, and that's going to be a great Family Day out on every level, with song and dance from a whole range of Pacific cultures, Maori martial arts, and Hawaiian food from our fabulous partners Island Poké.
Man of the Andes
On Sunday 25 June, there are two shows at Rich Mix aimed especially at young audiences.  MAN OF THE ANDES is José Navarro's puppet extravaganza, introducing children to Andean animals, Quechua music and the Scissor Dance, all without any language to get in the way!  BABA THE BAD BABOON is Sani Muliaumaseali'i’s new family musical, drawn from Samoan mythology, and taking in a few thoughts on climate change.

ORIGINS is a great place to be young....