1 Oct 2018

Talune – based on the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Tragedy in Samoa

From , 5:01 am on 1 October 2018

The world premiere of Talune, commemorating the centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic in Samoa, will debut at the Penthouse of the NZ High Commission in London on November 12.

The SS Talune was the name of the New Zealand cargo and passenger ship that docked in Apia in November 1918 carrying passengers infected with the deadly influenza virus. The sick were allowed to disembark which resulted in the deaths of 8,500 people or 22 percent of the population of Samoa - the highest death rate of any nation during the pandemic.

The concept is the brain child of Siliga Sani Muliaumaseali'i (English National Opera, Royal Opera House); creative director of London's first Samoan arts group - the GAFA Arts Collective (GAC).

He spoke to Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor from London about the process of developing the play.

The steamship Talune at the Napier breakwater in 1908.

The steamship Talune at the Napier breakwater in 1908. Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library Reference: 1/2-080543-F