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Our Season 2022

Black Cockatoo

An Ensemble Theatre Production | Our Season 2022

Black Cockatoo

By Geoffrey Atherden
Directed by Wesley Enoch

Inspired by the true story of legendary First Nations cricketer Johnny Mullagh and Australia’s first-ever international sporting team, this is not just about cricket. This is a story of strength, resistance, hope and possibility.

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 a 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 teammates, 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).

Cast Billing

  • Cast Joseph Althouse (Wunujaka)
  • Cast Phoebe Grainer (Djungan)
  • Cast Mema Munro (Merriamu)
  • Cast Mark Nannup (Yamaji/Noongar)
  • Cast Kyle Shilling
  • Cast Colin Smith (Jagera)

Credits

  • Producer Ensemble Theatre
  • 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
  • Stage Manager Michelle Sverdloff
  • Assistant Stage Manager Fiona Lloyd Harding
  • Touring Production Manager Jason Thelwell
  • Costume Supervisor Sara Kolijn
  • Image Christan Trinder

Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund - An Australian Government initiative
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.




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Performances

Ticket prices

  • Full Price $64
  • Senior $58
  • Concession $58
  • Group (10 or more) $54
  • Student $58
  • Child $42

Venue

Studio 4

Duration

90 mins, no interval

Post Show Q&A

The performance held on Fri, 25 Mar 2022 at 7:30pm is inclusive of a Post Show Q&A.

Note

All e-tickets will be sent out 3 days prior to the performance.

Warning

• This production contains some strong language
• Theatrical haze is used throughout the performance
• No photography or filming is permitted during this performance

Content Warning

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audience members are advised that this show contains depictions of cultural materials and people who have died