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Event: Po’ Boys and Oysters – Sept 2022

A New Zealand play about a black lesbian couple living in Auckland who wants to adopt a child will finally have its premiere after being forced to shut down twice during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Po’ Boys and Oysters is a comedy written by Estelle Chout, a Caribbean/queer actress who moved to New Zealand seven years ago. The play, which was nominated for an Adam’s NZ Playwriting Award in 2021, will finally have its premiere on September 27, a year after it was supposed to have its original debut. The play deals with family dynamics, a clash of class, politics and cultures and the challenges for a same sex black couple yearning to adopt a child.

“I rarely see someone like myself – a proud black lesbian mother – represented on the stage. I wrote Po’ Boys and Oysters to give these characters a voice and provide a platform to a group that have rarely been seen or represented in our theatre,” says Estelle, who was born in the Caribbean country of Martinique and who moved to New Zealand from London with her family.

Estelle also has the starring role in the play and shares the stage with two other strong black actresses Zimbabwean-born actress Sandra Zvenyika and Layla Pitt, who is from Barbados and raised in Hawkes Bay. Kiwi actors Andrew Johnson and Jack Briden round up the cast.

Po’ Boys and Oysters will be directed by Dione Joseph, founder of Black Creatives Aotearoa, a collective of more than 600 members of black New Zealand artists originally from African and Afro-Caribbean countries who now call Aotearoa home. It’s produced by former US resident Daisy Remington.

The range of talent within the group include playwrights, chefs, entrepreneurs, hair braiders, rappers and visual artists. Po’ Boys and Oysters is the first theatre production produced by Black Creatives Aotearoa. During the past two years, Po’ Boys and Oysters has been written and supported through the organisation’s development program for emerging black playwrights.

Dione says that the team is grateful to finally be putting the show on, after being forced to shut the production down twice during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“I watched my incredible team respond in different ways to not just one but two postponements – and it was extremely hard. For all of us, I cried. But each time, I knew we would get there.”

“Black Creatives Aotearoa was founded upon three distinct values, to connect, create and collaborate. The

production of Po’ Boys n Oysters reflects these core values and brings to the stage a story created, written,

produced and told by Black creatives.”

The Adam’s Playwright Award judges praised the work, saying: “This play is really vital and refreshing. It’s rare
that we’re given the opportunity to see the lives of middle-class queer black women play out. It’s playful, loving, complex and sexual.”

Note – copy for this article provided by Black Creatives Aotearoa.

PO’BOYS AND OYSTERS

27 SEPT – 8 OCT 2022, 8PM

Basement Theatre

Tickets $18 – $38

80 Minutes

Bookings 

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