By: Sep. 11, 2019

Following sell-out seasons in Sydney and Brisbane, Nakkiah Lui's Black is the New White arrives in Melbourne starring Miranda Tapsell alongside Tony Briggs, Luke Carroll, Vanessa Downing, Geoff Morrell, Tuuli Narkle, Melodie Reynolds-Diarra, Tom Stokes and Anthony Taufa.

Directed by Paige Rattray and opening on Saturday 5 October at Southbank Theatre, this hit Australian satire is a layer cake of politics, privilege and parental expectation.

Nakkiah Lui said, 'I wanted to present a family of Aboriginal people that hasn't been seen before in the Australian canon - not just in theatre, but in any form. That is, an Aboriginal family who have money, who are not oppressed but who are culturally quite strong. For me, that is quite similar to what I grew up with - a regular family who were political and culturally connected to their community.'

Paige Rattray said, 'Black is the New White is a play that comes along once in a lifetime. It has been an incredible privilege to work on. The cast is ridiculously talented, as well as being hilarious, and Nakkiah is a downright genius. We are very lucky to have her writing for our stages.'

After a whirlwind romance, hotshot lawyer Charlotte Gibson and penniless experimental cellist Francis Smith are engaged. Only one thing stands in their way - Charlotte is the favourite daughter of Australia's most charismatic Indigenous politician, and Francis the son of his stridently conservative rival. When the families come together for Christmas at the Gibson's ritzy holiday retreat, the stage is set for a riotously funny struggle for dominance where insults fly, secrets come flooding out and sacred cows are mercilessly skewered.

Black is the New White is a Sydney Theatre Company production presented by MTC in association with the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Nakkiah Lui is a writer/actor and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. She was a co-writer and star of ABC's Black Comedy. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company (2013) and was Playwright in Residence at Belvoir from 2012-2014. In 2012, Nakkiah was the first recipient of The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council. In 2014, Nakkiah was the recipient of the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production. Most recently, Nakkiah won the NSW Premier's Literary Award 2018; Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting for Black is the New White. Nakkiah has appeared on Q&A and The Drum on ABC and is a regular guest and presenter on ABC Local Radio in Sydney. Nakkiah co-hosts the BuzzFeed podcast series, Pretty for an Aboriginal, with Miranda Tapsell. Most recently, Nakkiah has appeared as a regular guest on Screen Time on ABC and her six-part comedy series, Kiki & Kitty, premiered on ABC Comedy in December 2017.

Paige Rattray is currently Associate Director at Sydney Theatre Company. Prior to that, she was Queensland Theatre's Associate Artistic Director. Directing work for STC includes Black is the New White, Australian Grafitti, Power Plays and Boys will be Boys. She worked as Dramaturg on The Golden Age, Assistant Director on Speed-the-Plow, Arms and the Man, Battle of Waterloo and Travelling North and Director on the script workshops Rough Draft #31: Martyrs and Rough Draft #13: Underland. Paige was Richard Wherrett Fellow at Sydney Theatre Company in 2015-2016, is a co-founder of independent theatre company Arthur, was the 2011 Resident Director at Griffin Theatre as well as its 2010 Affiliate Director. Other directing credits include Scenes From A Marriage, Hedda, Switzerland (Queensland Theatre), Bright World, The Sea Project, Return to Earth, The Myth Project: Twin, The Mesh, The Midlands, Dirtyland, Cut Snake (Arthur), and Heartbreak Hotel (Griffin Theatre Company).

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