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Theatre Review: Scattergun: After the Death of Rūaumoko

Scattergun: After the Death of Rūaumoko is an intriguing and stylish one-woman show conceived, written, and starring Ana Chaya Scotney. 

Set over one day and night, it is the story of a woman called Agnes aka Scattergun. The moniker arises partly because of her history of slam poetry, but also perhaps, her inability to control her impulses and the things she says in social situations. 

Its main setting is a memorial service for her brother Rūaumoko who died five years ago but then continues into the succeeding night. Scattergun narrates and re-enacts encounters with old acquaintances and family and shares pertinent and poignant memories. Interspersed in this quirky, wandering and at times hilarious narrative are vivid symbolic references to the creation stories of her iwi Ngai Tūhoe.

The story unfolds as a poetic and visceral stream of consciousness where Scotney superbly evokes and parodies both Agnes and the archetypes she encounters. She eviscerates politics and capitalism and makes pithy observations on the state of our judicial system and injustice with comedic flair.

What Scotney manages to do with Agnes is create a woman who is insecure and at times awkward, but at the same time fearless and honest. We see the deep grief within her and the sense of loneliness she feels. Ultimately this is a journey of healing, and the healing occurs through her connection to whakapapa and whenua. 

When combined with the wonderful staging, sound, and lighting, Scotney’s exceptional expressiveness, strength and willing vulnerability creates memorable characters, hilarious parodies, and a beautiful story woven expertly within and around the stories and history of her people.


18th April – 4th May 2024

Q Theatre Loft 

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