“Good music will always stand like a monument on the shore weathered by the winds of time.”

In a small coastal village in Sri Lanka, Sangeetha’s life is filled with music. Songs are the glue that binds her family together. And she has a crush on the guy at the general store who plays all the latest hits.

But, as the country slips into civil war, they find themselves caught on the wrong side of history. “I had only ever heard the sounds of gunshots in movies,” she remembers. “This one was different.”

Both a love letter to his homeland and a lament, this powerful new work by Ahi Karunaharan (My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak, The Mourning After) sweeps from 1950s Sri Lanka to modern-day Aotearoa, where Sangeetha is now living with a son of her own, Deepan.

The only remnant of the past is an old mixtape filled with memories. As Deepan plays the 17 songs one by one – Dusty Springfield, La Bamba, the hit single from a Tamil rom-com – the story of what happened to their family unfolds through the music to reach its unforgettable conclusion.

A collaboration between Auckland Theatre Company and Agaram Productions. Developed with the support of Auckland Arts Festival.

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Last updated: 27 November 2023