19 May 2024

Feeling icky: What makes us uncomfortable with Viki Moananu

From Culture 101, 2:05 pm on 19 May 2024


Viki Moananu as Icky

Viki Moananu as Icky Photo: supplied

You know those embarrassing uncomfortable thoughts and feelings you have you usually keep inside? Pōneke playwright and comedian Viki Moananu uses theatre and comedy to let them out. He calls them ‘Icky’.  

Viki Moananu

Viki Moananu Photo: supplied

Moananu performed his character Icky in the premiere of his award-winning play of the same name at the New Zealand Fringe Festival in March. 

Moananu describes Icky as “young, brown, fat, loud, sad and dealing with it”. But the play also explores the process of grief on the death of a parent.  

Icky won Moananu the national Best Play by a Pasfika Playwright award in 2023, and the production is returning for a season at the Auckland Fringe Festival in September. 

This month Moananu is also back on stage in the New Zealand Comedy Festival with his debut solo comedy show Puka

It’s billed with no less frankness. Moananu’s writing is described as "bold, brazen and belligerent” and the comedian introduced via his bus driver's assessment of him, "fat, lazy, aggressive and rude."

Moananu was the 2023 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University. In 2022 his play Beard won Best Play Performance in a Short Play, and The Ghost Show saw him awarded the Most Promising Emerging Pasifika Artist at the New Zealand Fringe. He has also hosted the weekly podcast Minority Alert on Wellington Access Radio.

Puka is at Pōneke’s BATS Theatre 21-25 May, and ahead of that Moananu appears as part of the The Wellington Comedy Club Rainbow Showcase on Wednesday 15 May, hosted by James Mustapic.  

Viki Moananu

Viki Moananu Photo: supplied