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Black Is the New White single work   drama   romance   - 1 hour 30 minutes
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Black Is the New White
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Charlotte Gibson is a lawyer on the up. She won a landmark Native Title case, she’s making her parents proud, she could have her own TV show tomorrow. As her father Ray says, she could be the next feminist Indigenous Waleed Aly. But she has other ideas. First of all, it’s Christmas. Second of all, she’s in love.

Charlotte's fiancé, Francis Smith, is not what her family expected. He's an unemployed experimental classical composer… and he's white! Bringing him and his conservative parents to meet her family on their ancestral land is a bold move. Will he stand up to the scrutiny? Or will this romance descend into farce?

Love is never just black and white. It’s complicated by class, politics, ambition, and too much wine over dinner. But for Charlotte and Francis, it's mostly complicated by family. Secrets are revealed, prejudices outed and old rivalries get sorted through. What can’t be solved through diplomacy can surely be solved by a good old-fashioned dance-off. They’re just that kind of family.

(Production summary: Sydney Theatre Company: https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2017/black-is-the-new-white )

Production Details

  • Presented by Sydney Theatre Company. World premiere at Wharf I Theatre Walsh Bay, Sydney : 5 May - 17 June 2017.

    Director: Paige Rattray

    Designer: Renée Mulder

    Lighting Designer: Ben Hughes

    Composer & Sound Designer: Steve Toulmin

    Cast: Tony Briggs, Luke Carroll, Vanessa Downing, Geoff Morrell, Shari Sebbens, Anthony Taufa.


    Performed at the Playhouse, QPAC 1-17 February, 2018


    Repeated in the 2018 Sydney Theatre Company season, 28 February to 10 March 2018, Roslyn Packer Theatre.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

The New Black Is the New White 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 21 March 2018; (p. 9)

Charlotte Gibson is a lawyer with a brilliant career ahead of her. As her father Ray said, she could be the next female Indigenous Waleed Aly.' 

Into the Transpocene : The Future of Indigenous Art Ian McLean , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Artlink , 1 June vol. 37 no. 2 2017; (p. 28-34)
'Black Is The New White is Nakkiah Lui’s romantic comedy commissioned by the Sydney Theatre Company for the May/June 2017 season. It milks laughs from a stereotypical narrative of a privileged young black woman bringing her inappropriate boyfriend home to meet her parents. The twist— although not much of one these days—is that the boyfriend is white. Black Is The New White is also the name of the 2007 autobiography by African American comic genius Paul Mooney. We can reach further back to the early 1990s: to Gordon Bennett’s sweet watercolours of black angels and his more ghoulish messenger between worlds, the large scarified Altered Body Print (Shadow Figure Howling at the Moon) (1994) with its mashed binaries and grotesque white/black, male/female, human/ animal totemic‑like monster. Before Bennett there was Tracey Moffatt’s sweet black angel Jimmy Little on the royal telephone to heaven, an ironic serenade to her grim horror film, Night Cries (1989), which unsettled normative understandings of black/ white relations with chilling effect.' (Introduction)
Black Is the New White Review – Nakkiah Lui Brings Politics to Christmas in Hilarious Family Farce Cassie Tongue , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 12 May 2017;
'A refreshing take on sitcom tropes, this cinematic new play dishes out big social issues with a whole heap of goofball.'
Family Ties Steve Dow , 2016 single work biography
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 29 October 2016;
'Playwright and Black Comedy star Nakkiah Lui has turned her politically aware upbringing into award-winning writing about Indigenous experience.'
Family Ties Steve Dow , 2016 single work biography
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 29 October 2016;
'Playwright and Black Comedy star Nakkiah Lui has turned her politically aware upbringing into award-winning writing about Indigenous experience.'
Black Is the New White Review – Nakkiah Lui Brings Politics to Christmas in Hilarious Family Farce Cassie Tongue , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 12 May 2017;
'A refreshing take on sitcom tropes, this cinematic new play dishes out big social issues with a whole heap of goofball.'
Into the Transpocene : The Future of Indigenous Art Ian McLean , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Artlink , 1 June vol. 37 no. 2 2017; (p. 28-34)
'Black Is The New White is Nakkiah Lui’s romantic comedy commissioned by the Sydney Theatre Company for the May/June 2017 season. It milks laughs from a stereotypical narrative of a privileged young black woman bringing her inappropriate boyfriend home to meet her parents. The twist— although not much of one these days—is that the boyfriend is white. Black Is The New White is also the name of the 2007 autobiography by African American comic genius Paul Mooney. We can reach further back to the early 1990s: to Gordon Bennett’s sweet watercolours of black angels and his more ghoulish messenger between worlds, the large scarified Altered Body Print (Shadow Figure Howling at the Moon) (1994) with its mashed binaries and grotesque white/black, male/female, human/ animal totemic‑like monster. Before Bennett there was Tracey Moffatt’s sweet black angel Jimmy Little on the royal telephone to heaven, an ironic serenade to her grim horror film, Night Cries (1989), which unsettled normative understandings of black/ white relations with chilling effect.' (Introduction)
The New Black Is the New White 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 21 March 2018; (p. 9)

Charlotte Gibson is a lawyer with a brilliant career ahead of her. As her father Ray said, she could be the next female Indigenous Waleed Aly.' 

Last amended 1 May 2018 07:49:40
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