In 2011 Gamilaroi/Torres Strait Islander playwright/law student/performer Nakkiah Lui started writing a play. It was based on a true story about a man in her home suburb of Mount Druitt.
One day, in unbearable pain due to undiagnosed stomach cancer, he went to the local hospital where he was refused care. The emergency department had a policy of not providing painkillers to patients they suspected of using drugs, and Indigenous patients were high on this list.
He went to a nearby park and hung himself.
The theme of the play: institutionalised racism.
Then, in 2012 Lui’s grandmother fell through the unmended floor of her public housing home and died. Homes provided by the government through Aboriginal Housing Office, are not routinely maintained the way public housing is: more institutionalised racism.
Lui found herself at the centre of these stories. The resulting play lays it all out – her dodgy sex life, a dead man’s second chance, and a granddaughter’s sense of duty.
Lui (pictured below) is a force to be reckoned with. She is a commentator and truth teller. She is genuinely hilarious, but matches her humour with fierce anger and intellect.
Her sharp and searing vision of racism and violence, This Heaven was described as an ‘astonishing’ and ‘ferocious’ debut in 2013.
Kill the Messenger sees her graduate to the Upstairs Theatre and make her professional stage debut playing herself.
Anthea Williams, Belvoir’s Associate Director – Literary, champions new writing at Belvoir by mentoring playwrights and with her assured direction of new plays like the beautiful and touching family dramas Forget Me Not and Old Man.
She will direct a cast of outstanding performers alongside in this game-changing rethink of what black theatre could be.
* New Matilda has two double passes to give away to paid subscribers. To enter CLICK HERE and tell us in 25 words or less your idea for the best way to tackle institutionalized racism in Australia. The two winners will be the most creative entries as judged by New Matilda, and will be notified by email later this week. Please note, you must be a paid subscriber of New Matilda to qualify for entry. Entries close 5pm Wednesday February 18, and Belvoir will work with the winners to pick a suitable night.
Dates 14 February – 8 March 2015
Previews Saturday 14, Sunday 15 & Tuesday 17 February
Opening night Wednesday 18 February
Unwaged Performance 2pm Thursday 5 March
Sunday Forum 3pm 8 March
Times Tuesday 6.30pm | Wednesday to Friday 8pm | Saturday 2pm & 8pm | Sunday 5pm
Tickets Full from $72* | Seniors/Industry/Group $62 | Concession $49 | Previews $50
Venue Belvoir St Theatre | 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills
Bookings 02 9699 3444 or belvoir.com.au
* Ticket prices can be dynamically adjusted, either up or down, based on real-time market demand, and without notice.
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