Theatre Tours International Ltd
Theatre Tours International Ltd
What's On NOW!
To: No.2
  • Written by Toa Fraser
  • Performed by Madeleine Sami
  • European Premiere: Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh 2000
  • WINNER: The Scotsman Fringe First Award 2000
  • Nominated: The Stage. Best Actress Award 2000


An ancient, cantankerous Fijian matriarch decides at 4 am one morning that her time is up and, in true Fijian tradition, orders her drunken grandson to organise a feast so that she can name her successor. As preparations ensue the rest of the family slowly arrive and there the tensions unfold...

Toa Fraser, at 23, New Zealand's was most exciting new playwright, followed the sensation his 1999 production Bare with NO. 2 and created another rich, moving, hilarious celebration of family life down-under.

Madeleine Sami, who won Best Actress, Best Newcomer (NZ Theatre Awards 1999) for Bare gave another virtuoso solo performance for which she received a nomination for The Stage Best Actress Award and the show won a Scotsman Fringe First.

Fast moving, tender and acclaimed down under as "utterly brilliant" the show arrived in the UK after sell-out runs in Auckland and Wellington.

Scotsman Fringe First Winner 2000
Nominated Best Actress: Stage Awards 2000

"Madeleine Sami's outrageously versatile performance in Toa Fraser's one-woman play No. 2 one of the most humorous, moving and downright flawless pieces of the Festival! This is an affectionate portrayal of first and third generation Fijian immigrants to New Zealand. Sami..alternates between old and young, female and male with impressive ease. She creates stage portraits which are utterly convincing characters, but also social types.. No. 2 is a subtle, humanistic and engaging piece of new theatre... A beautifully structured, exquisitely acted play.. Sami takes our breath away with the sheer cleverness and athleticism of her performance.." (Mark Brown, Scotland on Sunday 27/08/00)

"A class performance from the very first movement that Madeleine Sami makes in this fascinating one-woman show.. Sami..helped by having a versatile voice that is as easy with native Fijians who have moved to New Zealand, as it is with cut-glass English.. The script moves unceasingly through Maria's day, laughing easily at the foibles and idiosyncracies of the characters..The mix of melancholy and relief create a real sense of purpose to the production.. Its presentation is subtle enough to allow Sami to people the stage with a huge cast - every one of them perfectly observed.." (Thom Dibdin, Evening News 22/08/00)

"The first (and, so far, the only) standing ovation I have seen at this year's Fringe. And well deserved too... All in all, there are nine characters, and Madeleine Sami plays every one of them. She is superb: a change of stance or facial expression, a different voice, and she's another character. She even manages the seemingly impossible feat of having a fight with herself! It is an astonishing performance which shows the amazing virtuosity of this young actress who is still in her early twenties." (Peter Lathan,

"The magically self-transforming Madeleine Sami is part Fijian Indian. A gradually unwinding story of family quarrels and closeness is told through dreams and legends, sharp gossip and hip-hop.. Sami plays all the contenders.. She's the crosspatch, sentimental old woman, with clipped vowels and crooked arms. She's the precocious infant with a big chin and a comprehensive knowledge of island legend. She's a lovesick rugby player - her voice shifting into a husky male register...and an eerie English girl. She's a marvel who could only happen on the Fringe. (Susannah Clapp, The Observer 20/08/00)

"This one-woman show; equally, lone actress, Madeleine Sami, could be admitted for multiple personality disorder, so convincing is her portrayal of ...this Fijian/New Zealand family...Madeleine's performance, both physically and vocally, is a joy to behold and her transitions between characters appear effortless. So much so, in fact, that it is almost a surprise to see the actress at the end of the show." (Fiona Campbell, Three Weeks 13/08/00)

"Nine characters fill every inch of the stage, and astonishingly there is just one twenty-year-old woman, Madeleine Sami, doing the acting, and her performance is dazzling. She flies in and out of character with skilful precision ... and it is Fraser's hilarious romp of a script, full of insight and compassion, that gives this superb performer a great vehicle in which to shine." (Viv Franzmann, The List 10/08/00)

"More extraordinary still is the talent of the 20-year-old actress Madelaine Sami. Only New Zealand born Sami - teamed with writer Toa Fraser and director Catherine Boniface - has ever succeeded in sending me away with the heart-warming memory of eight fully-nuanced characters. Sami has energy and humour in bucketloads, teamed with the kind of physical self-control that marks her out as one of the best. This is solo performing at its very best. Don't miss it." (Nick Thorpe, The Independent 10/08/00)

"New Zealand's Toa Fraser has written a play tantamount to a Fijian soap opera in one instalment - and it is glorious. The whole Maria brood is performed by Madelaine Sami. She segues effortlessly between the ancient Nana's desert-dry gin-lubricated humour and the roles of her numerous offspring. The production is a slice of Fijian life with a lot of spice." (Max Szalwinska, The Scotsman 08/08/00)

"Toa Fraser, at the terrifyingly young age of 24, has created a marvellous soap opera of family tensions that unfold through the even more impressive 20-year-old acting talent of Madeleine Sami. Sami's performance is magical as she shifts from creaky, cantankerous grandma to playful 10-year old in a beaming grin. No.2 possesses that elusive feel-good factor." (Ann Donald, The Herald 08/08/00)

"This show is fabulous... No. 2 is a thrilling theatrical experience." (The Dominion NZ)

"If you have time, money and energy for only one show... this is the one" (Capital Times NZ)

"A richness of life, indeed a veritable feast!" (Theatre News NZ)

"Sami gives an astonishing performance... from male to female, young to old and back with an adroitness that leaves you beaming with pleasure. A performance and a play to treasure." (Wellington Evening Post NZ)

"This is theatre as thrilling as it gets... See it." (The Listener NZ)

"It's bloody funny, and also moving, and real and true. Brilliant. Magical. Every superlative in the book." (Lava NZ)