A Musical from New Zealand, is that a first? The Kila Kokonut Krew bring us this show which tells the story of immigrants to New Zealand from Pacific islands in 1974. They were looking for “milk and honey”, but they found themselves exploited as cheap labour in factories. The big appeal of the show is its very distinctive music, full of vibrant rhythms and lovely melodies, which come across particularly strongly in several beautifully harmonised chorus numbers. Also, the performers have freshness and enthusiasm which are always appealing and help us to overlook staging and choreography which are a little rough around the edges. However, it is impossible to overlook the book and lyrics, which are unbearably trite and bogged down with cliches. This is a great shame, because there is a natural inclination to show good will to everyone involved with this project. Let’s hope that they can do some more work on it and bring it back in better shape, because it has a lot of potential.
Performance date: 12 August 2014