Tame Iti hits the stage in London

  • 29/06/2008

Controversial activist Tame Iti is taking centre stage again, but this time he is being praised for his performance, not criticised.

He is part of the production of The Tempest, a role that has already struck a few storms.

Mr Iti is on bail for charges from the so called 'anti-terror raids', and had to get High Court approval to travel to London.

London is a long way from Ruatoki but the perfect place to perform a work based on Shakespeare's play The Tempest, and Tame Iti has had to battle a storm of his own just to make it in.

"The high court realised that the police had nothing to show that I was a risk here in this part of the world," says Mr Iti, "so the High Court said 'let Iti go and travel the world'."

And travel the world he has, but even armed with the necessary documentation Iti himself was not sure he would make it through.

"I said 'I don't speak English, can u read it me?' So he read it to me, and so he just signed the paper and there it was, that easy."

Iti's tour of Europe has stirred a buzz of media interest, the circumstances of his arrest last October the very subject of his performance with the dance troupe Mau, a piece centering on a world post-9/11.

"You see all of me," says Mr Iti. "I'm not acting, so I'm performing me. So it's not a play, so it's a drama, it's just like being on the marae."

Drama on the marae is something Mr Iti is well known for.

"The powhiri that occurred in 2005 was a performance... I think the real stage is on the marae, is on the street."

But a bit of distance has offered Mr Iti the chance to swap the tag of terrorist for tourist, and on London's Southbank he is been able to blend in to the crowd. Well, almost.

"I noticed a person looked like, middle east or Spanish, and then she went past and she said, 'kia ora, cuz'."

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source: newshub archive