It’s not often that one finds a play as wacky and as full of unexpected surprises as Black is the New White, it is the story of a family Christmas where a smart and successful young Aboriginal lawyer, Charlotte Gibson, brings her surprise fiancé, Francis Smith – unemployed, white, experimental classical composer – and his family home to meet her parents. What could possibly go wrong?
I would highly recommend seeing this as it is so funny and is entertaining. The story grabs your attention from the first five minutes and is one of those plays that you wish would go longer. Available 01 February – 17 February Playhouse, QPAC
Filled with family tensions, political divisions and complex interracial tensions, Black is the New White provides a Meet the Fockers influenced examination of the hierarchies of race, class, privilege and power in Australia.
Charlotte is the favourite daughter of Australia’s most charismatic Aboriginal politician, and Francis is the son of his dour and stridently conservative rival. It’s been mutual hatred for decades, sparked by an infamous shoe-throwing incident on the floor of parliament. As the two bitterly entrenched families collide in the Gibson’s glitzy holiday mansion over an Aussie Christmas dinner, the long-standing feud comes to a head. Cue a sharp-witted and riotously funny struggle for dominance where barbed insults fly, secrets come flooding out and hypocrisies of all kinds – race, gender, religion, status – are mercilessly skewered.
“I wanted to create a play that could explore race and politics and modern Australia in a way that was quite warm and joyous, and celebrated family. I want it to be genuine in its emotions – while also being quite critical of ideas of aspiration and success, and how we embody our oppressors in some ways,” said Lui.
Director Paige Rattray said audiences could expect to experience a range of feelings and thoughts, often conflicting ones as they watch the on-stage debacle. “Uniting two families can be quite complex, and this play explores all facets in the complexity of bringing two families together with differing values, opinions and history. Audiences can also expect powerhouse performances from our actors, they’re all theatrical beasts and have worked together before with this play – it’s going to be a wild ride,” she said.