Red Leap Theatre

Kororāreka - The Ballad of Maggie Flynn

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There is a story crying out to be told. It is a re-telling of our history through the eyes of a fiery and unforgettable woman.

This is not your average story. It is a sea shanty, a coarse and vulgar rhyme. It's a tall and fathomless tale and this is your chance to be part of it.

This Boosted campaign is really important to us and we ask you to join us to fund our three week development workshop.  For the first time, Red Leap will be working with a script and we are so excited about it. The script is now in its third draft and written by the critically acclaimed writer Paolo Rotondo  (Orphans and Kingdoms, Strange Resting Places).

During our development workshop we will be unpicking the script, diving into it and playing with how it meets with Red Leaps visual and physical style. We will be fine tuning storytelling techniques to set the time and themes of this story being historical but not literal, theatrical and limitless and a captivating mix of language, accents, style and song.

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 continuing to twist and turn Maggie becomes a force facilitating the burgeoning trade between Māori and European settlers, the publican and madam of the notorious King Edward Hotel. One day culture and history collide and her ultimate undoing is the very world she sought to escape.

We are taking to the rehearsal floor a powerful all female cast  including Victoria Abbott (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever), Miriama McDowell (Mahana, Dark Horse), Alison Bruce (Dust Pilgrim, The Events), Awhina Rose Ashby (The Mooncake and Kumara, Marama) and Toi Whakaari intern Katrina George.


Set Designer, John Verryt to prototype set ideas, Costume Designer, Elizabeth Whiting to bring characters to life, Robin Kelly to create beautiful sound and Poppy Serrano and Owen McCarthy  to build props and create live drawings for projection.

Help our creative team do what they do best and embark on this rough and wild voyage with us.

No donation is too small, it all counts!






  • We made it!


    A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to our Boosted campaign! Your help has been invaluable in getting this incredibly exciting show on its feet.

    Our workshop was a great success - we generated a huge amount of ideas and images, and tore into Paolo's wild script.

    Now the designers will take what we have discovered to create their vision for the show, and Paolo and Julie will continue to explore the script before the company comes back together next year.

    Thank you again for your support!

    We made it!
  • We have made it to a smashing 101%


    Whoo hoo! It's happy days in the Red Leap office today!

    We woke up this morning to see we have made it to 101%. What a surge of momentum we have built since the Open Rehearsal on Saturday. Its so exciting for the creative team and all of us here at Red Leap to have your support it means the world to us all.

    If you know anyone else who might be interested and would like to jump on board Maggie's journey they have until tomorrow midnight, every little bit makes a difference!

    We have made it to a smashing 101%
  • Saturday and 66%


    On Saturday we opened our doors and shared what we have been up to over the last 3 weeks. To those of you who joined us it was something special to have you here at our home and part of this journey which is Kororāreka - The Ballad of Maggie Flynn.
    Our Boosted campaign has 57 HOURS LEFT and sitting on a huge 66%. We are so incredibly heart warmed by the donations we have received so far. Please spread the word far and wide so we reach our target. We can do this together!

    Saturday and 66%
  • Open Rehearsal this Saturday


    We are opening our doors on Saturday and welcome you to come and watch the work that you have contributed to. We have had an incredible time in the rehearsal room and have created so many devices that we love. The future holds so many possibilities and they have been made possible because of you!
    Spread the word to your networks and help us sail this campaign to shore. We look forward to seeing you here this weekend!

    Open Rehearsal this Saturday
  • WOW 35% Let's do this!


    Thanks so much to everyone who has donated so far, we’re at 35% of our target with $1770 raised of $5000 from 41 donors with 9 days to go!

    What an incredible feeling to see this campaign getting so much support….we know we are going to get to 100% with the help of you spreading the word!

    Here is a sneak peek into the mischievous minds of Alison Bruce and Victoria Abbott playing with the many accents of this play!


    The Red Leap team!

  • There’s a tale in my bones


    Maggie Flynn is a working-class Irish woman. She is fierce, attractive, brilliant, charismatic, and dangerous. She thanks you from the bottom of her fiery heart for your donations.

    You may like to share this campaign with someone who is interested in supporting a women's story in New Zealand's history.

    Thank you so much for your support, this story couldn't be told without you.


    There’s a tale in my bones
  • A treasure chest of characters have been unleashed!


    Paolo Rotondo's rambunctious characters have been brought to life this afternoon with the help of Elizabeth Whiting's costumes. The cast are having a blast playing with accents and bold characterisation. Stay tuned to meet our characters.... they all have there very own story to tell. 

    A treasure chest of characters have been unleashed!
  • Inside the rehearsal room.


    It's Tuesday and it's all action here in the Red Leap rehearsal room. Everyone has a skip in their step because of your support and belief in our work!

    Join us for a tour inside the rehearsal room.

  • Thank you for your Boosts they are the best!


    This week has been abundant with ideas, laughter, generosity and creativity. Here is a sneak peek at what AV designers Poppy Serrano and Owen McCarthy have been up to with sound composed by Te Aihe Butler.
    This work is important to us as New Zealanders and it wouldn’t happen without your support so a huge thankyou to you all from all of us out here at Shed 2 Corban Estate Arts Centre. We can’t wait to get stuck in to next week and sail the ship to shore!

  • We are off and away!


    Bright and early this morning we gathered and read Paolo Rotondo’s script, it was such a treat to hear Maggie’s story come to life. There is a feast of characters telling wild tales within tales, and all the while Maggie’s strength and power carry her through. The storytelling scope is broad and we are already mapping the way with our fabulous creative team.

    In any Red Leap development there is always newsprint involved, we roll it out and get ideas out of our heads and onto the wall. At the beginning of every process we write a contract about how we work will together and what the purpose is for the work….

    Let these ladies loose with a marker and newsprint and look what happens. It’s going to be a wild week and we want you to join us.

    Give us a Boost and you are one step closer to finding out about a little bit of our history you may never have known.

    We are off and away!
  • Bring on Monday morning when our voyage begins.


    Thank you to all of you wonderful people for getting us one step closer to our target by giving us a boost!

    Things are getting excting in the Red Leap office we are getting ready for 8am Monday morning when we all hit the rehersal floor. The company will all gather, bless the workshop, drink coffee, write a big company contract full of aspiration and purpose and read the 3rd draft of the script for the first time! 




    Bring on Monday morning when our voyage begins.

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