Black is the New White: Feel good theatre at its best

Black is the New White
Written by Nakkia Lui, directed by Paige Rattray.
Starring Kylie Bracknell [Kaarljilba Kaardn], Tony Briggs, Luke Carroll, Vanessa Downing, Geoff Morrell, Melodie Reynolds-Diarra, Tom Stokes, Miranda Tapsell, Anthony Taufa
Black Swan Theatre Company, Perth until September 22; Southbank Theatre, The Sumner, Melbourne from October 2 to November 6

Black is the New White is a hilarious farce that throws everything at the audience to get a laugh. There is physical clowning, outrageous nudity, family feuding and piss-takes of innumerable sacred cows.

The basic plot is of a Christmas family gathering, a classic setting for bringing conflicts to the surface. A young Aboriginal woman wants to introduce her fiancé to her parents — but he is white and her father is scathing.

Add in the fiancé’s reactionary white parents and other crazy characters — plus Luke Carroll as narrator floating around the action — and you have hilarity coming at you every couple of moments. There is terrific ensemble work in the pacing of the comedy and pathos as long-denied feelings get aired.

The script manages to bring in real debates about Aboriginal culture and class divisions in Aboriginal culture. So, there is real meat on the bone of the humour.

This is feel-good theatre at its best.

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