Kororāreka: The Ballad of Maggie of Flynn


This is a story unique to us as New Zealanders, unravelling the legacy of the women in our past and stirring the ones too wild to be captured. It is a sea-shanty, a coarse and vulgar rhyme that will make you laugh and cry to smell the sea again after so long.

Set in the era of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Kororāreka (Russell) was a lawless outpost in a wild country.

Maggie Flynn leaves Ireland a convict and arrives in Kororāreka the captain of a whaling ship. When burying her husband on the shores of this land she is captured by a Māori chief and becomes his mōkai, a prestige slave more akin to a pet. An unthinkable intimacy burns between her and the chief until her fateful rescue where she loses all she has held dear. Her fortune continues to twist and turn as Maggie becomes a force facilitating the burgeoning trade between Māori and European settlers, the publican and madam of the notorious Duke of Marlborough Hotel. One day culture and history collide and her ultimate undoing is the very world she sought to escape.

Kororāreka – The Ballad of Maggie Flynn will be touring New Zealand later in 2018.

"Director Julie Nolan has a sharp eye for that sense of a frozen waterfall – the crystalline moment of first encounter with an image." - Kate Prior, Pantograph Punch


Julie Nolan

Paolo Rotondo

Alison Bruce
Miriama McDowell
Awhina Rose Ashby
Victoria Abbott
Katrina George

Elizabeth Whiting

Set Design
John Verryt

Imagery Design
Poppy Serano
Owen McCarthy

Sound Design
Robin Kelly
Te Aihe Butler

Performance History

Premiere - Auckland
Q Theatre
June 2017

Town Hall, 7pm
June 2017

The Turner Centre, 7pm
June 2017

OneOneSix, Fri 7pm. Sat 2pm & 7pm
June 2017

Supported By