The Undertow

Through the 180 year journey of six generations of one family, pivotal moments in Aotearoa New Zealand's history are brought to life in Helen Pearse-Otene's critically acclaimed quartet of plays.

It is the story of Māori, Pākehā and tauiwi; of ordinary people who lived during extraordinary times. From the arrival of the first settler ships and the gentrified Port Nicholson, to our complex war history and current day urban development, The Undertow is a bold and fearless journey into our past, present and future.

"Helen Pearse-Otene is a consummate dramatist whose work is, I believe, destined for classical status." Theatreview

"...something distinctively New Zealand, not only in the stories it tells but the way they are told." The Dominion Post

"It's audacious, often beautiful and a welcome antidote to the state-of-the-nation plays that too often avoid wrangling with the colonial pollution of New Zealand's history. It's an uncompromising communication of the poison that runs deep in our land, a powerful challenge to remember a history that never stopped living, and a stirring invitation for us to come together, to connect, and to start healing." The Pantograph Punch