'The spirited story of the Millimurra family’s stand against government ‘protection’ policies in 1930s Australia.' (From the publisher's website.)
Unit Suitable For:
AC: Year 12 (English Unit 3)
First performed three years before the bicentenary of the white settlement of Australia in 1788, the Jack Davis play No Sugar protests against the control of white government policy in Aboriginal lives. In particular, Davis' play deplores the destructive effect of the West Australian government's forced removal of families from traditional country during the Depression. While showing the government's damaging power, Davis uses parody and irony to ridicule and undermine this authority, revealing a resilient Aboriginal family structure that defies attempts at separation and decimation.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
First produced by the Western Australian Theatre Company at the Maltings, Perth, Western Australia, in association with the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust for the Festival of Perth, 18 February 1985. Directed by Andrew Ross.
Revised version produced at the Expo '86 World Theatre Festival in Vancouver, Canada, 1986 and in London in 1988.
Director: Andrew Ross.
Cast: Jim Holland, Dorothy Collard, Lynette Narkle, Morton Hansen, John Pell, Lynley Narkle, Kelton Pell, Shane McNamara, Bill McCluskey, Dibbs Mather, Annie O'Shannessey, Sally Sanders, Charmaine Cole, Brooke Michael, Jedda Cole, Ernie Dingo, Richard Walley and Colin Kickett.
Designer: Steve Nolan.
Choreography and Music: Richard Walley.
The play was revised and remounted for participation in the Expo '86 World Theatre Festival in Vancouver. It was first performed on 15 May 1986 at the West End Community Centre, Vancouver.
Anna Haebich investigates how the West Australian Department of Indigenous Affairs archives (1898-1972) have been utilised by Indigenous writers/researchers.
'Insight Text Guide – No Sugar is designed to help secondary English students understand and analyse the text. This comprehensive guide to Jack Davis' play contains detailed character and scene analysis and explores context, genre, structure, themes and language. Essay questions and sample answers help to prepare students for creating written responses to the text. ' (Publisher's blurb)
From publisher's blurb (back cover): Creating Frames provides the first significant social and cultural history of Indigenous theatre across Australia. As well as using archival sources and national and independent theatre company records, much of this history is drawn from interviews with individuals who have shaped contemporary Indigenous theatre in Australia - including Bob Maza, Jack Charles, Gary Foley, Justine Saunders, Weley Enoch, Ningali, and John Harding...
Creating Frames traces the history of production of texts by Indigenous Australian artists from 1967 to 1997. It includes productions in theatres of texts by Indigenous Australian artists, collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, and adaptations of texts by Indigenous artists. The focus is public urban commercial productions and includes national and international premieres and tours. 'Commercial' is used here in the sense of public presentations open to any potential audience member as distinct from closed community productions. The focus does not include radio plays, millennia of traditional practices, performances devised and performed within communities, or community outreach/education theatre initiatives such as HeatWorks in the Kimberley. Even within these limits the constraints of space have affected the number of productions that can be covered in detail.
Throughout this thirty year period, particular themes recur, these themes relate to the ways in which the external framing of the work either facilitates or blocks production. These themes often relate directly or indirectly to concepts of 'authenticity' and/or 'Aboriginality' - in effect the 'acceptable' face of Aboriginality within government and social narratives at any point in time. The strength and power of these themes as frames for the work has drawn on generally accepted understandings of Australian history and the ways in which these are manipulated in the service of political agendas. These frames fall into three main categories within the thirty year period - assimilation, multiculturalism and reconciliation. This production history reveals that, rather than Euro-Australian theatre practitioners creating an environment that enabled Indigenous theatre practice, Indigenous artists have taken their own initiative. An initiative they continue to take whilst simultaneously contesting the primarily external frames that define their work and affect their production possibilities.
(Abstract courtesy the author.)