Nakkiah Lui’s smash hit, incisive romantic comedy Black is the New Whitehas won the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at this year’s NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. The Nick Enright Prize recognises a play or music drama that is first premiered in Australia, and comes with a $30,000 cash prize for the playwright. Centring on a disastrous dinner, Black is the New Whiteexplores Indigenous identity and how it interacts with and is shaped by class, as well as the complexities of contemporary Indigenous and white relations.
In her acceptance speech, delivered by her mother as Lui was overseas, she says “I wrote Black is the New Whitebecause I wanted to show love and laughter. I wanted people to see Aboriginal people on a stage who aren’t characters from history, whose experiences aren’t excusable as being of the period. I wanted to show Aboriginal people who are of the now. Who, above being Aboriginal, are people. People that, when watched by the audience, are just like them.
The cast of Sydney Theatre Company’s Black is the New White ,2017. Photo © Prudence Upton