From fantails to ferrets, local fauna on stage

Some cast members from Way of the World which will be performed at the Te Anau’s Fiordland Community Events Centre later this month. Photo: Supplied

THE animals of Fiordland are stirring.

Fantails, morepork, silvereyes, kaka, rats, possums, bats and even the evil weasels, stoats and ferrets will take to the stage in Way of the World at the Fiordland Community Events Centre on April 17 and 18.

Written and directed by former professional actor Brian Johnston, he said writing the script had been a long process. “It started off as a tale after I was inspired by Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows and George Orwell’s Animal Farm.”

“I liked the themes… be kind, be strong.”

However, instead of the traditional British animals, such as moles and foxes which had human characteristics, he decided to use local fauna which were abundant in Fiordland.

Basically, the story goes: Sly Stoat gets banished from the animal community due to his overkilling tendencies. Stoat is not okay with the banishment, so returns with his gang to wreak havoc on the normally peaceful animal community. He is on a crusade to get rid of the and deadbeats

“How will the community react when their very existence is under threat?,” was the most important dilemma, Johnston said.

An independent theatre production, Johnston said he had developed the play with input from the children and young adults.

Twenty-two young people, aged from 6 to 18 years old, would be performing as various animals and help bring Way of the World to life on stage, aerobatics, dance, drama, songs and some martial arts would be incorporated, he said.

  • Way of the World, Fiordland Community Events Centre, Te Anau, Saturday, April 17, 7.30pm, Sunday, April 18, 2pm. Tickets: