His First Ball

Posted Sunday 29 Jun 2014

Here's an Auckland production to lighten up a dark winter's night....

WIFT members can purchase tickets for the reduced price of $20 for the Thursday July 17th performance of His First Ball. Read on for more information...

"An exuberant physical theatre/dance performance showcasing thirteen extraordinary young Auckland performers.

Set in the 70's, factory worker Tuta Wharepapa receives an unprecedented invitation to The Governer's Ball.

With the paint barely dry on his shoes, he proves that he can dance through life his own way."

Written by Witi Ihimaera

Directed and adapted for theatre by WIFT member Ruth Dudding

Choreographed by Kat Walker

Produced by Manukau Institute of Technology and Struth Productions


In the early 1960s, the South Auckland Maori Club was given a single invitation to a ball at Government House.

The invitation, rejected by all other members, found its way into the hands of a young Manurewa man, Witi Ihimaera, who discovered he was to represent the rest of his whanau at a swish occasion, seemingly well out of his league.

Witi's family rallied to make sure he was kitted out for the ball and he was given a crash course in the requisite etiquette (they got some of it right), before duly being escorted by his uncle (in a borrowed car) to the ball, to 'represent'.

Twenty years later, and inspired by Katherine Mansfield's 'Her First Ball', Ihimaera (now an acclaimed author) wrote an hilarious account of his own first ball, through the eyes of his fictional character, Tuta Wharepapa. The resulting short story, His First Ball has now been adapted for stage by Ruth Dudding.

Maidment Theatre, Musgrove Studio Auckland

July 16-19

Wed & Thur 8pm

Fri & Sat 4pm & 8pm



For more information please visit:

His First Ball