Australia’s first Aboriginal stage musical, Bran Nue Dae, is to return to the stage in 2020 for a 30th anniversary production. Australia’s premier opera companies announced today that they have joined forces under the Opera Conference banner to produce the first major revival of the show, directed by Andrew Ross, who led the original 1990 production.

Bran Nue Daein 1993, Black Swan State Theatre Company. Photograph © Jeff Busby

Bran Nue Daewas written by the late Jimmy Chi in collaboration with the band Kuckles, with whom he played for 15 years. It  premiered as part of the Festival of Perth in 1990, with a cast including Ernie Dingo and Maroochy Barambah, and then toured nationally over a three-year period. Described as “a beacon of light” in Aboriginal and Australian cultural history, the musical is set in 1960s WA and tells the coming-of-age story of a young Aboriginal teenager, who hitchhikes his way from his mission school back to Broome to win the heart of the girl he left behind. The irreverent, joyous show – which Chi based on his own life – is full of humanity and humour, yet still...

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