Fringe World family welcomes Wellington’s Kasiano Mita in Talofa Papa

Kasiano Mita as Papa in Talofa Papa.
Kasiano Mita as Papa in Talofa Papa.

TALOFA Papa stands out as one of the most heart-warming offerings on this year’s Fringe World program.

Written and performed by Wellington’s Kasiano Mita, the interactive show was inspired by the 26-year-old’s dad in 2016, the same year he graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Performing Arts).

“It started off with a conversation I had with my own father,” Mita said.

“Back in 2016 my older brother used to live at home with my parents and he had his kids with him. Then when my brother and his kids moved out, my dad was upset the house was so quiet and there weren’t any children running around any more.”

Mita, who has Samoan and Cook Islands Maori heritage, took this and created his title character Papa, complete with old man characteristics including a hunched back and prosthetic nose to assist the transformation.

“It’s a family show that’s about a grandpa who brings his family back home for one big celebration,” he said.

“It’s like a big family reunion and there’s a few twists and turns within the show with what the event actually is. It’s about an old man who is lonely and just wants to see his family again.

“The story is universal where everyone can relate and if you’re in the audience and don’t have grandparents, here’s your opportunity to be a part of our family and just enjoy the moment for yourself and create something with Papa.”

The physical theatre piece relies heavily on audience interaction to control the direction of the show, with Papa acting as a guide along the way, beginning by greeting guests as they arrive.

“People are still asking for Papa so it’s pretty cool when you can say, ‘yes we can come to Perth’ or ‘yes we can come to Adelaide’,” Mita said.

“This is my first time to Perth. Our team is really excited and we hear the weather is crazy hot right now. We can’t wait to meet the Perth branch of our family.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Talofa Papa

Where: The Blue Room Theatre

When: February 12 to 16

Tickets: www.fringeworld.com.au