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Trans-Tasman collaboration between First Nations artists

[by Suzanne Robson]


Hide The Dog at Sydney Festival 2023. Photo by Pat Stevenson.

Audiences will delight in a joyful celebration of adventure, friendship and the power of culture when Hide The Dog sails into Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse on 16 - 17 June, 2023.


Co-presented by RISING and Arts Centre Melbourne, this production marks the first ever Trans-Tasman collaboration between First Nations artists for a children’s work.


Co-written by Tasmanian playwright Nathan Maynard (pakana) and Aotearoa writer Jamie McCaskill (Māori), Hide The Dog is the magical and hilarious tale of besties Niarra and Te Umuroa, who are out playing in the bush. It’s just another day in paradise for the two – until they glimpse what can only be the world’s last Tasmanian Tiger.  


Dodging hunters, Niarra and Te Umuroa set sail for Aotearoa to hide their new friend. But hunters aren’t the only ones on this Tiger’s tail. They’ll have to outwit Māori gods and palawa spirits to save their furry friend.  


Hide The Dog is a richly realised tale bursting with nimble puppetry and colourful costumes that takes the audience on the friends’ adventure via stunning scenic projections and a spectacular set by Māori designer Jane Hakaraia.  West Australian director Isaac Drandic (Noongar) steers the ship a in a true trans-Tasman First Nations collaboration.


The work celebrates the profound connections between the two cultures, sharing a boatload of all-ages fun along the journey.


“We are so excited to welcome Nathan Maynard back to Arts Centre Melbourne after his successful 2019 season of A Not So Traditional Story which was part of our Families and Children Program. Being the first trans-Tasman First Nations work for children, there has been much anticipation for this cross-cultural collaboration between Nathan Maynard and Jamie McCaskill,” said Mary Harvey – Creative Producer, Families and Children, Arts Centre Melbourne.


“Over the past few years Hide The Dog has undergone much development and planning in the face of the pandemic, lockdowns and postponements, and we are thrilled to finally be partnering with RISING to present this long-awaited family show as part of their 2023 festival and Arts Centre Melbourne’s Families and Children’s program.  We are looking forward to welcoming community, schools, families and young people to witness this adventurous new important palawa and Māori work.”


The Performing Lines TAS production ventures to Arts Centre Melbourne for RISING following premiere seasons at Sydney Festival, Perth Festival and Ten Days on the Island.


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