The first production of Green Fire Islands was in March 2008 in New Zealand. The cutting edge concept of bringing the two cultures of Ireland and New Zealand/Maori together, which had been previously untested, was an outstanding success. Every performance of Green Fire Islands received sustained standing ovations. All of the performers from both sides of the stage (Irish and NZ/Maori) are considered top performers within their respective countries.
Green Fire Islands was the main-stage opening act at Womad, and a favourite of critics at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts playing at the Michael Fowler Centre. It also performed at the Aotea Centre on St Patrick’s Day, after which the Finn brothers, Hinewehi Mohi, Anika Moa, Anna Coddington and King Kapisi demonstrated their support for the philosophy behind Green Fire Islands by performing to a surprised and delighted audience.
Since 2008, work has gone into developing the structure to take Green Fire Islands onto the international touring stage. The planned film will be about the story behind Green Fire Islands, and will be edited from the considerable footage taken of the first tour by Alun Bollinger. This film will be completed after gathering footage of the performance in London. The essence of this film will be its ‘from grass roots to the world stage’ story, and the passion and considerable community interaction that made it happen.
Many observers have commented that Green Fire Islands has the potential to become one of the worlds most desired and loved stage shows. This has been a response to the first production that had the effect of drawing consistently strong emotional responses from its audiences.
Culturally speaking New Zealand is a synthesis of the cultures, (the values and attitudes) of the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere, specifically Polynesia. The best of New Zealand is the success of these two strongly contrasting cultural realities mutually influencing each other and bringing out the best in each other.
Green Fire Islands has been invited to perform at the River of Music, which is a major project of the Cultural Olympiad leading up to the Olympic games in London July 2012. This will be our entrée onto the International touring stage, and represents a huge opportunity in respect to global awareness. A tour small European tour has been planned around this prestigious invitation to perform at the London River of Music Olympiad.
Green Fire Islands is a creative spotlight, giving a glimpse into the deep undercurrents behind the collaboration of these contrasting cultures. The exciting invitation to perform in London in 2012 is due to the power of this collaboration, which culminates in a celebration of the common humanity shared by both.
Green Fire Islands represents not only a redefining of New Zealand for New Zealanders, but an inspiration for the world in this changing time.