Malcolm Clarke

Tu Meke Tūī! The Stage Show

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Tu Meke Tūī! is the award-winning, best-selling children's book from Aotearoa New Zealand, written by Malcolm Clarke, illustrated by Flox and published by Little Love. 

There is an English and a reo Māori translation of the book on the market, and in excess of 20,000 copies sold nationwide. The book is currently featured on the top 50 best-sellers lists for children's books at Whitcoulls. The reo Māori version was the recipient of the Te Kura Pounamu Book Award for best book in reo Māori in 2018.

Our kaupapa is to develop this charming, popular story into a vibrant stage-show adaptation for audiences aged primarily between three to eight years of age.  We want to create a high energy, funny, physical theatre work using puppetry and actors that engages, entertains and educates young people about Aotearoa's unique native wildlife through the lens of these charming native birds, the tūī and the takahē.  

In keeping with the book, the work will have an over-arching theme about friendship and the acceptance of 'other'-ness. Our story also provides early awareness about the creatures that pose a threat to our native flora and fauna, empowering young people to actively protect our precious environment.

We'd love your support with Tu Meke Tūī! so if you're feeling generous join our community - you know what to do! And come and see the show at the Herald Theatre in October. 


For tickets:

Follow our journey:

Insta: @tumeketui_book


  • WE DID IT!!!

    3 DAYS AGO

    We made our target!!! THANK YOU all so much - we are all very humbled to have so much support not just with the $$ but all the positive comments and aroha with this project! 

    We start rehearsals early next month and we have the most amazing team! I am so excited to see this happen and I know it's going to be so beautiful. 

    Don't forget to get your tickets sorted for the premier. It's going to be a sell out for sure!

    WE DID IT!!!



    We are over half way to our goal! 

    We really appreciate all the aroha so far! Honestly, so grateful! 

    The creative team have been working really hard to lock down a lot of elements of the show and I (Malcolm) am continuing to update the script/adaptation of the book. 

    Adapting Tu Meke Tūī! for stage has given me the opportunity to fully explore the potential of the luscious world of these delightful, enigmatic characters, forging a journey of discovery of Aotearoa's own unique native flora and fauna.

    The biggest challenge in writing the script was broadening the characters to help illustrate and expand on the main themes in the book without 'humanising' them too much. We are so excited to see these character on the stage! 

    Thanks everyone for helping us out so far!