Black Cockatoo

by Geoffrey Atherden

Inspired by the true story of legendary First Nations cricketer Jonny 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.

$29.95

Description

Inspired by the true story of legendary First Nations cricketer Jonny 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 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.

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 Sydney Festival Artistic Director Wesley Enoch (Black Diggers).

Production History

Black Cockatoo was first produced by Ensemble Theatre in association with Sydney Festival and premiered at Ensemble Theatre 4 January – 8 February 2020.

ISBN: 978 1 922424 00 6

Education Notes

The education notes included in Black Cockatoo aim to augment student understanding of the play. These education notes contain Q&A with the playwright and the creatives in order to provide students with insights into the creative processes, design choices and approaches to making the work. Additionally, the engaging classroom activities offer students an opportunity to analyse, explore, discuss and reflect on the narrative structure, the use of role and character, costume design and the issues and concerns in Black Cockatoo.

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

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