'In the introduction to her seminal book Creating Frames: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre, Mary Rose Casey observes:
Indigenous Australian activists and artist have consistently utilised the potential for theatre… to create different frames… of Indigenous Australians… In a show like Basically Black (1972), the “gaze” as an expression of racial objectification was returned… Following this work, writers such as Robert Merritt, Kevin Gilbert, Gerry Bostock and Jack Davis individually and collectively altered the range of representations of Indigenous Australians in Australian theatres and writing. In doing so, they increased awareness of issues affecting Indigenous people and related those issues to [them] as human beings.
Indigenous Australian culture is one of the oldest on the planet, stretching back thousands of years. Indigenous engagement with colonially derived theatre is of shorter duration, and it is only in the last 50 years that Indigenous playwrights, in the European sense, have emerged. Robert Merritt, author of The Cake Man, is one of this cohort. Written in 1975, his play comes after Kevin Gilbert’s The Cherry Pickers (1971) but before Jack Davis’s No Sugar(1985)'. (Introduction)