View all Artists

Festival Event


View Show

Artist Profile

Maiava Nathaniel Lees

Despite having one of the most impressive baritones in New Zealand acting, Lees got his first paid acting job thanks to “being brown”. In 1975 Auckland’s Mercury Theatre were killing Captain Cook for a production of The Naval Officer, “and they needed 'brown' people to run on stage and kill him.” Fresh back from time overseas, “flat broke” and completely new to theatre, 20-something Lees auditioned - which involved walking through a door, and being 
told he had the job. So began an acting career that has encompassed more than 50 screen roles, and seen him become, as David O’Donnell puts it, “one of the driving forces behind the development of Pacific Island theatre in Aotearoa”. 

Join Us