Supporting Minority Voices: Sydney theatre to watch in 2019
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Supporting Minority Voices: Sydney theatre to watch in 2019

by Joel Burrows See Profile
Sydney NSW, Australia
12th Feb 2019
Supporting Minority Voices: Sydney theatre to watch in 2019

(AUTHOR DISCLAIMER: Joel Burrows has previously worked for the Australian Theatre for Young People and Belvoir Street Theatre.)

February is shaping up to be an excellent month considering all the 2019 hype. Did you know there are more articles about upcoming movies, shows, and music than there are people named Kevin? The real question is: how many of these articles focus on Sydney made theatre? How many of them champion local and diverse artists? Spoiler alert: not many.

So let’s roll out the red carpet and erupt in delightful applause for the ones that do. It’s time for my list about the shows upcoming this year that support minority voices:

5) The Happy Prince – Griffin Theatre Company

The Little Ones Theatre is bringing a queer reimagining of The Happy Prince to Sydney. But what exactly does this mean? It means romance, a roller-skating sparrow, a golden statue falling in love! Need I say more? And in all seriousness, if you are looking for some queer positive theatre then this is the show for you. Cameron Woodhead remarked that this performance was a "flawless little jewel” and has “the soul of the fairytale and the body and breath of a lesbian love story”. The Happy Prince sold out its 2018 run and I hope it’s just as successful this year.

4) How to Rule the World - Sydney Theatre Company

How to Rule the World is written by one of this country’s most hilarious artists: Nakkiah Lui. Nakkiah starred in the ABC’s incredible Black Comedy and wrote the smash-hit Blackie Blackie Brown. Her latest play focuses on three politicians of colour trying to puppet a white man into power. How could that plan possibly go wrong? Lui’s How to Rule the World promises to be gut-busting, focuses on multiculturalism, and I cannot wait to see it for myself.

3) Skyduck: A Chinese Spy Comedy – Belvoir Street Theatre

Skyduck may have the best theatre production name of 2019. This show is the brain-child of Sam Wang. Wang described Skyduck as, “a parody of China’s top secret agents trying to steal America’s top fighter jet software in the early nineties. It’s basically a Chinese wannabe version of Top Gun, with 007, and a J-Pop backing track”. He also went on to say, “It’s a bilingual, feel-good, free-for-all… Objectively speaking, I think Belvoir have taken a huge risk with us. As creators, we’re relatively fresh to the game so this is an amazing opportunity”. Skyduck is going to be funny, fresh, and you are not going to want to miss it.

2) Brown Skin Girl – The Old Fitz Theatre

Brown Skin Girl is a show that keeps leaping from success to success. This production was part of the first ever Festival Fatale, sold out at the Griffin Theatre, and is now ready to take on The Old Fitz. This performance is about three women of colour and explores how they relate to the city of Sydney. It tackles racial discrimination, representation, and doesn’t hold back a single punch. Brown Skin Girl also features an amazing dance sequence to a song by Destiny’s Child. And if that doesn’t sell you the show, then the incredible stories told will.

1) Arrivals – Australian Theatre for Young People

Arrivals is a play that has everything. It is written by a group of ten young and diverse playwrights from across Australia. It jumps between black comedy, magical realism, and meta-theatrics. As it does it features stories that explore the nuances of being seventeen. This latest Australian Theatre for Young People production is directed by Sophie Kelly who describes the work as a “fight to change the status quo”. She then went on to say, “there is no one experience that defines what it means to be seventeen. It is an absolute privilege to share the diverse dreams, desires, and fears of this age group with an audience”. This production explores a transgender student narrative, the thrills of a first kiss, and eight other stories that are most certainly worth your time.

And there you have it, my minority-inclusive Sydney theatre hype list for 2019. If you have your own top five, or think I missed an important upcoming show, please throw it into the comments. The more diverse and inclusive local theatre the better this entire year will be.

Immerse yourself in theatre celebrating minority voices in 2019.

Skyduck How to Rule The World
Joel Burrows

About Joel Burrows

Joel Burrows is a journalist and playwright. His writing has been featured on Homer, Tone Deaf, and this very website. In 2019 he is writing a new play with support from the Merrigong Theatre Company.

More from Joel Burrows

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Minority Voices
Sydney NSW, Australia
12th February 2019

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