Set in 1970s New Zealand, The Factory by Kila Kokonut Krew is a heartwarming and exuberant musical about the Samoan migrant experience. It was created in honour of the brave immigrants who left home to carve a better life for themselves and their families.
The strength of this production relies a lot on the ability of the cast to deliver and they do so effortlessly.
Losa and her father Kavana arrive in New Zealand with big hopes and dreams for their future. This is quickly dashed when they get jobs at a textile factory which is run by Mr Wilkinson, a crooked businessman and an overt racist. Losa and Kavana’s journey is conveyed through poignantly written and effectively arranged tunes teamed with some well-crafted choreography.
We also get to know the other factory workers along the way.
The strength of this production relies a lot on the ability of the cast to deliver and they do so effortlessly. The ensemble are extremely talented and well-rounded performers, each portraying their characters with great fervour all while delivering pitch perfect vocals. Milly Grant-Koria (Losa) and Ryan Bennett (Losa’s love interest) in particular deliver impressive vocal performances.
Occasionally the fast-paced nature of the numbers (and possibly the setup with the cordless mics) does result in the words getting drowned out which is a bit of a shame. This, however, is a tiny criticism for what is otherwise a superbly executed production.
The Factory is a vibrant and inspiring piece of musical theatre that at its core celebrates the soul of the Pacific. It is deeply moving, full of heart and an absolute joy to behold.