Black Cockatoo by Geoffrey Atherden

Next date: Saturday, 07 May 2022 | 08:00 PM to 09:30 PM

Black Cockatoo

An Ensemble Theatre Production -

Over 150 years ago, 13 brave Aboriginal men in Western Victoria picked up their cricket bats and embarked on a treacherous voyage to England and into the unknown – all in the name of sport. Risking illness and persecution, Australia’s first international cricket team – including Australia's first Indigenous sporting hero, Johnny Mullagh – amazed the English crowds with astonishing talent, personality and grit. They should have returned to Australia as celebrated heroes. Instead they came back to find the world they once knew was no longer there.

This is not just a story about cricket – this is story of strength, resistance, hope and possibility. When a group of young present-day activists sneak into the Wimmera Discovery Centre to expose the truth of what happened to Johnny and his team mates, a hidden legend of triumph and tragedy unfolds. Funny and incredibly moving, Black Cockatoo is a new artistic collaboration between iconic Australian writer Geoffrey Atherden (Mother and Son, Babakiueria) and former Sydney Festival Artistic Director Wesley Enoch (Black Diggers).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences are advised that this show contains depictions of people who have died. 
 
Recommended for Ages 12+
 

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About the Company

Founded in 1958, Ensemble Theatre is the longest continuously running professional theatre in Australia. Ensemble’s extensive history of touring productions include the 20-venue tour of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks in 2007 which won a Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Production, the Drover Award-winning national tour of Tuesdays with Morrie (2011), the acclaimed 26-venue tour of Frankenstein (2013) and most recently Melanie Tait’s heart-warming comedy The Appleton Ladies' Potato Race (2021) which delighted audiences across NSW and Canberra. 


Director’s Note

“Visiting the community of Harrow and talking to descendants of the First XI was a huge honour. These men of the First XI, who travelled across the globe to be the first ever international touring sporting group in the world, opened a path not just for themselves and their families but established a story of sport and Aboriginal advancement that would continue for the next 150 years. Black Cockatoo tells a story that should be part of the national storytelling. Everyone should know this story. It’s about our great national obsession and our great national neglect.” – Director Wesley Enoch 


CREATIVE TEAM

Playwright Geoffrey Atherden
Director Wesley Enoch (Noonuccal Nuugi)
Associate Director Yolande Brown (Bidjara Clan)
Cultural Consultant Uncle Richard Kennedy (Wotjobaluk Traditional Owner and Descendant of First XI Team Member, Dik-a-Dik)
Set & Costume Designer Richard Roberts
Lighting Designer Trent Suidgeest
Composer & Sound Designer Steve Francis
Dramaturg Jane Fitzgerald
Assistant Stage Manager Vanessa Martin
Costume Supervisor Sara Kolijn
Associate Lighting Designer Shiloh Jarrett (Anmatjere /Gumbyngirr)

Sound Design Intern Tim Gray 


CAST

Joseph Althouse (Wunujaka)

Colin Smith (Jagera)


Reviews 

"This amazing Australian story rings with authenticity, humour and quirky compassion" ★★★★ - Stage Noise

"A vibrant, fascinating and challenging production" ★★★★ - ArtsHub

"A sincere and tender proclamation, paying tribute to Indigenous identities past and present"Suzy Goes See

"Commendably and sensitively asks difficult questions... entertaining and informative"Audrey Journal

"Ripe with emotion, wit, and reflection" ★★★★ - State of the Art

"A captivating and inspiring story that reverberates today" ★★★★ - ArtsHub

"A wonderful balance of educating and entertaining... hard hitting honesty and delightful comedy" - Broadway World

When

  • Saturday, 07 May 2022 | 08:00 PM - 09:30 PM

Location

Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, 198 Vincent St, Cessnock 2325  View Map

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