The Sapphires single work   drama  
Issue Details: First known date: 2004 2004
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Meet the McCrae sisters - four gorgeous singers from country Victoria whose biggest dream is to become as famous as their Motown idols. It is 1969, and their Supremes cover band is performing in St Kilda's Tiki Club when the sisters are spotted by a talent scout. Soon they are dreaming of fame, fortune and glamorous international careers.

Instead, these Koori divas find themselves in the war zone of Vietnam, entertaining the troops. Based on the true story of his mother's and aunts' showbiz careers, Tony Briggs has created a steamy and swinging medley of the highs and lows of family, love, war and the hottest soul music in the jungle of 'Nam!' Source: /www.bsstc.com.au (Sighted 27/01/2010).

Adaptations

form y The Sapphires Keith Thompson , Tony Briggs , Australia : Goalpost Pictures , 2012 Z1809626 2012 single work film/TV (taught in 1 units) 'Gail, Cynthia, Julie and Kay are sexy, black, young and talented - and they've never set foot outside Australia. Until, in the chaos of 1968, they're plucked from the obscurity of a remote Aboriginal mission, branded as Australia's answer to The Supremes, and - grasping the chance of a lifetime - dropped into the jungles of Vietnam to entertain the troops.' Source: www.encoremagazine.com.au/ (Sighted 26/09/2011).

Production Details

  • First produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company at The Playhouse, Melbourne 17 November- 18 December 2004 - directed by Wesley Enoch with Deborah Mailman, Rachael Maza, Lisa Flanagan and Ursula Yovich in the leading roles. Subsequently produced at Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney 9 January - 20 February 2005.
  • New co-production by the Black Swan State Theatre Company and Company B Belvoir, as part of the 2010 Perth International Arts Festival at the Playhouse Theatre, Perth, 23 January-10 February 2010 - directed by Wesley Enoch with Christine Anu, Casey Donovan, Hollie Andrew and Kylie Farmer playing the lead roles.

  • First overseas production scheduled for the Barbican, London in March 2011.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

National Award for Sapphires Creator 2013 single work column
— Appears in: Deadly Vibe Magazine , 9 August 2013;
Songbirds Bare Their Soul Garry Maddox , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 15 July 2012; (p. 6)
'Australia's answer to the Supremes entertain the troops with Motown Groove in The Sapphires...'
Oh, For a Cultural Revolution Julian Meyrick , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 10 August 2012; (p. 11)
'Art is a major measure of civilisation because it enriches society and tells us myriad stories about ourselves, yet Australia doesn't invest in it nearly enough. Unlike sport.' Julian Meyrick.
Saluting the Sapphires: Moment in Time: Tribute Recognises Pioneering Achievement to Music 2012 single work column
— Appears in: Deadly Vibe Magazine , 6 November no. 188 2012;
Life and a War While Singing Diana Streak , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 29 January 2011; (p. 6-7)
Gem of a Story behind Sparkling Musical Jacqueline Williams , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 10 February 2011; (p. 5)
Windmill Turns on Tragedy Andrew Taylor , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 17 July 2011; (p. 31)
We'll Have to Wait for This Gem 2011 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , no. 513 2011; (p. 5)
New and Liquid Modernities in the Regions of Australia: Reading Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu [Wrong Skin] Denise Varney , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , no. 58 2011; (p. 212-227)
'Story-telling, autobiography, documentary and musical theatre are some of the ways in which Indigenous artists and theatre companies critique decades of invasion, dispossession, misrepresentation and silencing. Since the 1960s, Indigenous theatre and performance have represented diverse urban and regional perspectives on important historical and contemporary issues - especially the Stolen Generation, deaths in custody and land rights. These issues relate to the forced removal of "light-skinned‟ Aboriginal children from their families from the late nineteenth century until the 1970s, the disproportionate number of Indigenous deaths in police custody relative to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, and Indigenous claims for the recognition of prior occupation of the land and the award of Native Title. More recently, the impact of British nuclear testing at Maralinga in outback South Australia is explored in a new work, Ngapartji Ngapartji, that situates Indigenous experience within the wider context of the bombing of Hiroshima and the Cold War-led nuclear arms race of the 1950s and 1960s. Maryrose Casey and Helena Grehan have published thoughtful and challenging essays on the new political and aesthetic terrain uncovered in this performance. Ngapartji Ngapartji's linking of Maralinga and Hiroshima signifies a shift from a national to a more global perspective that is also reflected in the multi-cultural characters and cast. Critiques of the policies and practices of successive state and national governments give way in this work to a more international perspective reflecting the globalising forces of the contemporary era. The recent engagement with the global intensifies in two new Indigenous works at the 2010 Adelaide Festival: Tony Briggs' The Sapphires, a multi-cultural cast play which tells the story of an Indigenous "Motown‟ singing group that entertains the troops in Vietnam in the late 1960s, and Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu [Wrong Skin], which deals with global entertainment culture including hip-hop and Bollywood. By drawing out the global influences in Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu [Wrong Skin], this article discusses the issues of modernity, digital media, globalisation and identity in contemporary Indigenous theatre that look beyond the nation to the new horizons of the global.' Denise Varney.
Hidden Gems Shine on Stage Daniel Sanderson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 11 February 2011; (p. 11)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Performance Market Sells Acts With Its Perfect Pitch Michaela Boland , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 26 February 2010; (p. 16)
Shining Through Steve Dow , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 23 May 2010; (p. 5)
Steve Dow writes about the original 'Sapphires' - the group that inspired the stage show 'The Sapphires'.
Glitter Girl Elissa Blake , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 23 May 2010; (p. 12)
Motown Goes to a War Zone and Inspires Musical Louise Schwartzkoff , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 25 May 2010; (p. 12)
Musical Sapphires Set for the Big Screen Michelle Griffin , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3 June 2010; (p. 16)
Director Wayne Blair plans to adapt Tony Briggs's stage production 'The Sapphires' for film.
Supreme Show as the Sapphires Shine : Moving Show is a Gem 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 2 June no. 477 2010; (p. 55)
Search Is On for the Sapphires 2010 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 16 June no. 478 2010; (p. 19)
Gem of Musical Heads 2011 Theatre Season Diana Streak , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 October 2010; (p. 5)
Diana Streak reports on the inclusion of The Sapphires in the 2011 Canberra Theatre season.
Belvoir Magic Reaches Out to Global Audience Clare Morgan , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 23-24 October 2010; (p. 4)
The Sapphires to Open in London 2010 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 3 November no. 488 2010; (p. 53)
'The Sapphires' toured to Korea to take part in the 2010 Daegu International Music Festival and will play at the Barbican 2011 Bite program in London. The Bite program presents new work that combines dance, theatre and music in unexpected ways, and will run from 2-12 March 2011.
Sapphires Shine Again : The Vietnam War Adventure of Two Young Aboriginal Performers Has Inspired a Play Georgina Safe , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 11 November 2004; (p. 12)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Songs of Celebration, Not Discrimination Thuy On , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 22 November 2004; (p. 7)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Black is Beautiful in Show that Sparkles Helen Thomson , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 19 November 2004; (p. 7)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Sparkle, in Any Colour Robin Usher , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 15 November 2004; (p. 7)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Soul Girls Fight Their Own War Bryce Hallett , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 10 January 2005; (p. 9)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
The Girls Who Shook Off Their Troubles Bryce Hallett , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 11 January 2005; (p. 17)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Shining Mix of Women and Song Colin Rose , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 16 January 2005; (p. 28)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Second Life For Acclaimed Show Michaela Boland , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 19 January 2010; (p. 14)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Singers Save the Show John Kinsella , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 1 February 2010; (p. 17)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Sass, Soul and Old-School Panache in Musical Gem Jason Blake , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 29-30 May 2010; (p. 15)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Untitled Elissa Blake , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 30 May 2010; (p. 14)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Hidden Gems Shine on Stage Daniel Sanderson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 11 February 2011; (p. 11)

— Review of The Sapphires Tony Briggs 2004 single work drama
Musical Gems Glow As Sisters Keep Doing It for Themselves Clare Morgan , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 8-9 January 2005; (p. 9)
Soundtracks of Our Lives Bryce Hallett , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 22 October 2009; (p. 6)
Bryce Hallett previews 2010 musical theatre offerings in Sydney. Planned shows include the Wesley Enoch-directed Sapphires.
Performance Market Sells Acts With Its Perfect Pitch Michaela Boland , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 26 February 2010; (p. 16)
Shining Through Steve Dow , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 23 May 2010; (p. 5)
Steve Dow writes about the original 'Sapphires' - the group that inspired the stage show 'The Sapphires'.
Glitter Girl Elissa Blake , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 23 May 2010; (p. 12)
Motown Goes to a War Zone and Inspires Musical Louise Schwartzkoff , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 25 May 2010; (p. 12)
Musical Sapphires Set for the Big Screen Michelle Griffin , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3 June 2010; (p. 16)
Director Wayne Blair plans to adapt Tony Briggs's stage production 'The Sapphires' for film.
Supreme Show as the Sapphires Shine : Moving Show is a Gem 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 2 June no. 477 2010; (p. 55)
Search Is On for the Sapphires 2010 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 16 June no. 478 2010; (p. 19)
Gem of Musical Heads 2011 Theatre Season Diana Streak , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 October 2010; (p. 5)
Diana Streak reports on the inclusion of The Sapphires in the 2011 Canberra Theatre season.
Belvoir Magic Reaches Out to Global Audience Clare Morgan , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 23-24 October 2010; (p. 4)
The Sapphires to Open in London 2010 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 3 November no. 488 2010; (p. 53)
'The Sapphires' toured to Korea to take part in the 2010 Daegu International Music Festival and will play at the Barbican 2011 Bite program in London. The Bite program presents new work that combines dance, theatre and music in unexpected ways, and will run from 2-12 March 2011.
Life and a War While Singing Diana Streak , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 29 January 2011; (p. 6-7)
Gem of a Story behind Sparkling Musical Jacqueline Williams , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 10 February 2011; (p. 5)
Windmill Turns on Tragedy Andrew Taylor , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 17 July 2011; (p. 31)
We'll Have to Wait for This Gem 2011 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , no. 513 2011; (p. 5)
Songbirds Bare Their Soul Garry Maddox , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 15 July 2012; (p. 6)
'Australia's answer to the Supremes entertain the troops with Motown Groove in The Sapphires...'
Oh, For a Cultural Revolution Julian Meyrick , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 10 August 2012; (p. 11)
'Art is a major measure of civilisation because it enriches society and tells us myriad stories about ourselves, yet Australia doesn't invest in it nearly enough. Unlike sport.' Julian Meyrick.
New and Liquid Modernities in the Regions of Australia: Reading Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu [Wrong Skin] Denise Varney , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , no. 58 2011; (p. 212-227)
'Story-telling, autobiography, documentary and musical theatre are some of the ways in which Indigenous artists and theatre companies critique decades of invasion, dispossession, misrepresentation and silencing. Since the 1960s, Indigenous theatre and performance have represented diverse urban and regional perspectives on important historical and contemporary issues - especially the Stolen Generation, deaths in custody and land rights. These issues relate to the forced removal of "light-skinned‟ Aboriginal children from their families from the late nineteenth century until the 1970s, the disproportionate number of Indigenous deaths in police custody relative to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, and Indigenous claims for the recognition of prior occupation of the land and the award of Native Title. More recently, the impact of British nuclear testing at Maralinga in outback South Australia is explored in a new work, Ngapartji Ngapartji, that situates Indigenous experience within the wider context of the bombing of Hiroshima and the Cold War-led nuclear arms race of the 1950s and 1960s. Maryrose Casey and Helena Grehan have published thoughtful and challenging essays on the new political and aesthetic terrain uncovered in this performance. Ngapartji Ngapartji's linking of Maralinga and Hiroshima signifies a shift from a national to a more global perspective that is also reflected in the multi-cultural characters and cast. Critiques of the policies and practices of successive state and national governments give way in this work to a more international perspective reflecting the globalising forces of the contemporary era. The recent engagement with the global intensifies in two new Indigenous works at the 2010 Adelaide Festival: Tony Briggs' The Sapphires, a multi-cultural cast play which tells the story of an Indigenous "Motown‟ singing group that entertains the troops in Vietnam in the late 1960s, and Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu [Wrong Skin], which deals with global entertainment culture including hip-hop and Bollywood. By drawing out the global influences in Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu [Wrong Skin], this article discusses the issues of modernity, digital media, globalisation and identity in contemporary Indigenous theatre that look beyond the nation to the new horizons of the global.' Denise Varney.
Saluting the Sapphires: Moment in Time: Tribute Recognises Pioneering Achievement to Music 2012 single work column
— Appears in: Deadly Vibe Magazine , 6 November no. 188 2012;
Last amended 27 Sep 2016 09:25:01
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