Anahera

by Emma Kinane

3 September - 28 September 2019

“Our children do as they’re told. That’s our family dynamic”

A European debut for an exciting new voice from New Zealand. 



★★★★★ Five Stars, Breaking the Fourth Wall
★★★★ .5 Four and a Half Stars, The Reviews Hub
★★★★ .5 Four and a Half Stars, London Pub Theatres
★★★★ Four Stars, The Stage
★★★★ Four Stars, Broadway World
★★★★ Four Stars, ReviewsGate
★★★★ Four Stars, The Arts Desk
★★★★ Four Stars, Close-up Culture
★★★★ Four Stars, A Younger Theatre

11-year-old Harry Hunter is missing.

While they wait for news, Anahera – a newly qualified Māori social worker – supports Harry’s distraught parents.

But as the hours pass and the situation pushes everyone to their limits, Anahera is forced to take a stand.

Anahera returns to the Finborough Theatre where it was originally given a staged reading in Vibrant 2018 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. In New Zealand, it was chosen for Auckland Theatre Company’s workshop Next Stage in 2015 and was a finalist in the Adam NZ Play Awards in 2016. It premiered in September 2017 at Circa Theatre in Wellington, receiving rave reviews, and won Most Outstanding New New Zealand Play at the Wellington Theatre Awards 2017

About the Playwright Emma Kinane

Playwright Emma Kinane is an award winning writer and actor. She is a graduate of Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School and has worked as an actor, writer and director in theatre, television, film and radio. She has a Master's Degree in Scriptwriting from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Her writing includes co-writing the plays Turbine, Paua and The December Brother with the SEEyD Collective, her radio play Clouds which aired on Radio NZ in 2014, and short film Bastard, part of the 2018 anthology feature Encounters. Her latest play Micronation Street recently had a workshop and rehearsed reading at Circa Theatre, Wellington.

About the Director Alice Kornitzer

Director Alice Kornitzer began her career as an actor at the Berliner Ensemble in Germany, before returning to the UK, where she gained a Drama BA from the University of Bristol. Direction includes Chummy (White Bear Theatre) which was nominated for four OffWestEnd Awards including Best Director, Wuthering Heights (National Tour), Apocalypse Laow (Katzspace), Sir Walter’s Women (The Great Hall, Winchester, for Hampshire Heritage Trust), The Taming of the Shrew (Petersfield Shakespeare Festival and Theatre Royal Winchester), Tejas Verdes (The Court Theatre Training Company), Broke Britannia (Bridewell Theatre) and The Accidental Caregiver (Robert Moss Theatre, New York City). Assistant Direction and Dramaturgy includes Die Präsidentin (Theater Magdeburg), Happy New (Trafalgar Studios), Tejas Verdes and Allotment (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and Das Fieber (Theater Unterm Dach, Berlin). She was the recipient of the 2018 European Theatre Conference Artist Residency Award.

Anahera received development assistance from Auckland Theatre Company, New Zealand, as part of Next Stage  2015.

The Press on Anahera in New Zealand

“Anahera is right up there, one of the best pieces of theatre I’ve seen and heard and experienced...A must-see event, a world-class piece of theatre.” Off The Tracks

"A vital and provocative work capable of instigating change." Regional News

"A play for today that will resonate with audiences long after they have left the theatre." Dominion Post

"It’s not merely a technical tour-de-force, it’s important ." Off The Tracks

"The play braids questions of responsibility, irresponsibility, guilt and forgiveness...You’d have to be unconscious not to be gripped by Anahera." Theatreview

"Absolutely heart-wrenching...I know I won’t be able to stop thinking about Anahera for a long time, perhaps forever, as if I’m not the same person I was two hours ago." Art Murmurs

"Brilliantly destabilizing...It steers us straight into psychological thriller territory and, like a rip in the ocean, it grabbed me." The Pantograph Punch

"The script wrestles with questions many of us are not brave enough to ask." Regional News

"A taut, electric script.... a must-see experience." Off The Tracks

The Press on Alice Kornitzer

"Alice Kornitzer complements Foster’s ripe written style with spirited direction, which has moments of great lucidity." The Stage on Chummy

“Director Alice Kornitzer promises to bring a certain cinematic feel, nodding strongly to the neo-noir genre rarely seen on stage, for a unique exploration of this psychological thriller.” Broadway World on Chummy

"Alice Kornitzer's commendable direction finds space for more moving moments." - ActDrop on Apocalypse Laow

The Press on Anahera

★★★★★ Five Stars, Breaking the Fourth Wall
★★★★ .5 Four and a Half Stars, The Reviews Hub
★★★★ .5 Four and a Half Stars, London Pub Theatres
★★★★ Four Stars, The Stage
★★★★ Four Stars, Broadway World
★★★★ Four Stars, ReviewsGate
★★★★ Four Stars, The Arts Desk
★★★★ Four Stars, Close-up Culture
★★★★ Four Stars, A Younger Theatre

Anahera is one of the best plays of the year so far, and we can only hope that any new work from writer Emma Kinane makes it way here from New Zealand. This is too good to miss.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“A gripping story about child abuse.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“A gruelling, brilliantly acted, engrossing play. See it intimately before it gets a bigger stage.” Katherine Waters, The Arts Desk

“Emma Kinane’s taut new play explores how physical and emotional trauma can seep down through the generations.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“Gripping viewing.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

Everything comes together quite wonderfully in Anahera, the new production at The Finborough.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“This production at the tiny Finborough, imaginatively expanded in its playing area with added ingenuity is worth the trip to this ever fulfilling theatre.” Blanche Marvin

“The audience is plunged right into the heart of this domestic drama.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Very often a play won’t come up with the answers, but for me, at least, this play did come up with important basics of good parenting and therefore was very clear on its stance. This along with fine acting, excellent direction and a wonderful music score made quite a riveting evening of theatre.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Beautifully paced throughout.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

Anahera never drags. It grips from start to finish.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

Anahera is truly not an easy watch – a play that evokes genuine fear and raises controversial and uncomfortable questions, the audience are witnesses to this horrific case study into the age old debate surrounding the battle of nature versus nurture.” Olivia Kiely, A Younger Theatre

This European premiere of Emma Kinane’s multi-award-winning new play Anahera takes us through a debate driven play about parenting.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

Emma Kinane's searing new play about a child runaway in New Zealand.” Katherine Waters, The Arts Desk

“There is much to be admired in this play, from its intensity to its tension-building.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“A whiff of abuse lies at the heart of Anahera, a bold play from the pen of Emma Kinane, currently showing at the Finborough Theatre.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

Anahera is a beautifully crafted and powerful play that serves up its troubling themes with even-handedness and painful clarity.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“The play teases out issues of class and race with delicious satire and deftness.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“Emma Kinane’s script, both realistic and symbolic, is tightly wrought, and under Alice Kornitzer’s direction, as sharp and dangerous as a knife’s edge.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Kinane sprinkles instances of dark humour that act as a coping mechanism for the characters as much as create a diversion to lighten the mood.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“The playwright carefully grafts themes of patriarchy, race, class, gender and identity on to a family drama with chilling effect.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“Taboo-breaking questions are asked of motherhood.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“The script addresses various highly charged debates that many watching will have an opinion on, but it is able to drop such bombshells without letting them clumsily blow up in the audience’s faces.” Olivia Kiely, A Younger Theatre

“Switching between the present and the future, Kinane’s play ensures that we never know enough, and we wait, engrossed, for the two time periods to collide.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Kinane works on two main timelines, alternating the chilling confrontation between Anahera and the parents with an equally disturbing family reunion twenty years later, giving the company a profound script that drives them to deliver earnest and intense performances.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Technically it is quite something to construct the play this way and the result is a deeply disturbing and enlightening evening.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“This portrayal of family relationships contains echoes of Ibsen and Cocteau as a seemingly perfect household is revealed to be a hotbed of lies and fears.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“The smartly plotted tale stretches out along two timelines – from 10 years in the past and 10 years into the future. It keeps the reveals coming and perspectives shifting, while delivering gut-wrenching emotional blows.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“Emma Kinane’s New Zealand play explores and interweaves the themes of patriarchy along with class and gender and how they cause emotional traumas within the character of a family that follows generation after generation.” Blanche Marvin

“The realism portrayed is disquieting and the displacement of fault from one family member to the next leaves all ends untied, offering a truthful (and perhaps even too real) window onto reality.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“The cast navigates these choppy waters with ease, slipping effortlessly back and forth between moments of emotional fracture and impermeable authority.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“The cast are astonishing.” Blanche Marvin

“Caroline Faber…and Acushla-Tara Kupe…are terrific.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Faber and Wickham vividly bring to life a couple who are multilayered and have different ‘faces’ for the public and in private.” Michael Davis, Breaking The Fourth Wall

“Caroline Faber and Rupert Wickham pack the biggest punch emotionally.” Olivia Kiely, A Younger Theatre

“The cast of five also give detailed performances with Caroline Faber, in her understated portrayal of Liz, exuding sympathy and horror in equal measures.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“The play is enhanced by some fine acting with Faber leading the way.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Superlative acting, especially from Caroline Faber, guarantees that this play about parenting is as tense as a courtroom drama.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Caroline Faber…delivers an astounding performance.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Rivetingly played by Faber.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“A splendid performance from Caroline Faber.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Faber is utterly credible.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Faber is often disturbingly disconnected as mum Liz.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“Faber conveys all Liz’s contradictions, virtues and vices quite brilliantly. An exceptional performance.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Acushla-Tara Kupe is the title character; subtly expressive in her stance, she hides Anahera's strength under a stoic and only apparently naïve persona.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Kupe is believable and vulnerable as Anahera.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“Acushla-Tara Kupe is touching.” Blanche Marvin

“Acushla-Tara Kupe makes a touching, out of her depth, but utterly determined to do what she feels she must, young woman.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Kupe gives a memorable performance, and her presence on stage, too, is ominous.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Kupe brings an empathic quality to the role.” Michael Davis, Breaking The Fourth Wall

“Fine support from Wickham.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Rupert Wickham's imposing and thundering Paul.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Rupert Wickham…is a menacing presence on the Finborough stage.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Rupert Wickham as Peter holds the fort with his gradual slide from discipline to chaos.” Blanche Marvin

“Wickham’s Peter is…An imposing figure towering over all before him. Utterly convincing as is Waggott’s Harry.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Jessica O’Toole…and Paul Waggott…give great support ensuring that the ensemble is a strong one.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Alice Kornitzer’s…direction successfully delivers sucker-punches.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“Anahera is an important play, expertly directed by Alice Kornitzer. Worthy of life post Finborough.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Well made decisions from Off West End nominated director Alice Kornitzer. Let us hope we will see more of her work soon.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Kornitzer directs with an impressive attention to detail.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Particular praise to director Alice Kornitzer.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Director Alice Kornitzer has handled the difficulties the play presents with great assurance and it moves at the right speed as doubts are planted, the evil doing slowly revealed.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“Alice Kornitzer’s direction builds and sustains the tension.” Blanche Marvin

“Movement director Natasha Warder…deserves praise.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Slickly designed by Emily Bestow.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Emily Bestow's elegantly upper-class set.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Emily Bestow’s sleek set perfectly captures the interior design choices of a generically successful power couple.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“Emily Bestow’s simple set deftly defines the home of a chicly powerful family and opens the playing area to Finborough’s best advantage ever.” Blanche Marvin

“Emily Bestow’s canny design.” Katherine Waters, The Arts Desk

“Superb music composed by Kate Marlais.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres

“Atmospheric music by Kate Marlais.” Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub

“Gregory Jordan’s lighting cleverly cues timeframes.” Sally Hales, The Stage

“Gregory Jordan’s mood lighting enticingly catches the timeframes.” Blanche Marvin

3 September - 28 September 2019

Tickets and Times

Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm
7:30pm
Sunday 3:00pm

2hrs and 30mins with an interval of 15 mins