'Like a smack in the face. That’s how I’d describe it.
'On the precipice of something life changing, a young Palawa man plunges into an exploration of self and Country.
'Carried with the winds of a metaphysical Flinders Island, the land of his mob and the place where it all happened, he is drawn back to the dawn of colonization. To a woman who bore the brunt of the oppressors’ violence and then forward to her granddaughter, who buried the truth as a means of survival. Stirring up stories together, with parts both achingly sad and unexpectedly funny, what unfolds reveals by slow degrees painful but important truths.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'On the banks of the Georges River, Radha and her son Siddhartha release the ashes of Radha’s mother – their final connection to the past, to Sri Lanka and its struggles. Now they are free to embrace their lives in Australia. Then a phone call from Colombo brings the past spinning back to life, and we are plunged into an epic story of love and political strife, of home and exile, of parents and children
'Counting and Cracking is a big new play about Australia like none we’ve seen before. This is life on a large canvas, so we are leaving Belvoir St and building a Sri Lankan town hall inside Sydney Town Hall. Sixteen actors play four generations of a family, from Colombo to Pendle Hill, in a story about Australia as a land of refuge, about Sri Lanka’s efforts to remain united, about reconciliation within families, across countries, across generations.'
Source: Belvoir St Theatre.
'Anna is coming of age. Possibilities are unfurling in front of her and she’s ready to take control. But her mother’s been standing guard all these years, taking care, editing the choices.
'When Anna makes a decision that could affect the rest of her life, can Renee stand by and watch?'
Source: Royal Exchange Theatre.
'Charlotte Gibson is a lawyer on the up. She won a landmark Native Title case, she’s making her parents proud, she could have her own TV show tomorrow. As her father Ray says, she could be the next feminist Indigenous Waleed Aly. But she has other ideas. First of all, it’s Christmas. Second of all, she’s in love.
'Charlotte's fiancé, Francis Smith, is not what her family expected. He's an unemployed experimental classical composer… and he's white! Bringing him and his conservative parents to meet her family on their ancestral land is a bold move. Will he stand up to the scrutiny? Or will this romance descend into farce?
'Love is never just black and white. It’s complicated by class, politics, ambition, and too much wine over dinner. But for Charlotte and Francis, it's mostly complicated by family. Secrets are revealed, prejudices outed and old rivalries get sorted through. What can’t be solved through diplomacy can surely be solved by a good old-fashioned dance-off. They’re just that kind of family.'
(Production summary: Sydney Theatre Company: https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2017/black-is-the-new-white )
'If anyone can write a full-throttle drama of our colonial past, it’s the indomitable Leah Purcell.
'We all know Henry Lawson’s story of the Drover’s Wife. Her stoic silhouette against an unforgiving landscape, her staring down of the serpent; it’s the frontier myth captured in a few pages. In Leah’s new play the old story gets a very fresh rewrite. Once again the Drover’s Wife is confronted by a threat in her yard, but now it’s a man. He’s bleeding, he’s got secrets, and he’s black. She knows there’s a fugitive wanted for killing whites, and the district is thick with troopers, but something’s holding the Drover’s Wife back from turning this fella in…
'A taut thriller of our pioneering past, with a black sting to the tail, The Drover’s Wife reaches from our nation’s infancy into our complicated present. And best of all, Leah’s playing the Wife herself.' (Publication summary)