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Troilus & Cressida | Ngakau Toa

Kōmingo kau te ngākau; e amio ana i te wawata

'I am giddy, expectation whirls me round'

The distance from Ngakau Toa in Auckland to Shakespeare's Globe in London is 11406 miles.

The 2012 production of Troilus and Cressida, translated by Te Haumiata Mason will feature the first full length translation of the play in Māori.

Shakespeare's plays arrived in New Zealand in 1769 aboard the Endeavour when Captain James Cook claimed New Zealand as a British territory. A copy of Shakespeare’s works was included in Sydney Parkinson’s library on the ship.

British touring companies visited New Zealand in 19th century, performing Shakespeare in English

The first complete Shakespeare translation in Māori took place in 1944 by Pei Te Hurinui Jones.  His transcript of Othello, titled Owhiro: Te Mua o Weniti [Othello: The Moor of Venice] remains unpublished and resides in the University of Waikato Library in Hamilton.

To date, the only translations besides those of Jones are nine of Shakespeare’s sonnets under the title Love Sonnets by Shakespeare (Nga Waiata Aroha a Hekepia), translated by Merimeri Penfold in 2000; and Te Po Uriuri (The Enveloping Night), based on Sonnet 147, ‘my love is as a fever, longing still,’ as a performative piece directed by Toby Mills in 2001.

Māori is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori and has the status of an official language in New Zealand.

Whilst only a minority of self-professed speakers use Māori as their main language in the home, Māori is still a community language in some predominantly-Māori settlements in the Northland, Urewera and East Cape areas.