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Pioneering Indigenous Musical 'Bran Nue Dae' Will Return to the Australian Stage in 2020

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the original production.
By Sarah Ward
April 21, 2019
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Pioneering Indigenous Musical 'Bran Nue Dae' Will Return to the Australian Stage in 2020

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the original production.
By Sarah Ward
April 21, 2019
  shares

When Bran Nue Dae started singing and dancing its way across Australia back in 1990, the production made history, becoming the world's first Aboriginal stage musical. In the years since, it has won awards, inspired a making-of documentary and been adapted into a film of the same name. Now, the show is returning to the country's stages for its 30th anniversary.

In January 2020, a new production will open in Sydney, followed by seasons in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. While exact dates haven't been announced, the revival is being spearheaded by Australia's premier opera companies under the banner of Opera Conference — with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, State Opera South Australia and the West Australian Opera all collaborating on the national tour.

If you need a refresher on the story, Bran Nue Dae heads back to 60s-era Western Australia, with teenager Willie hitchhiking his way from his mission school back to Broome — all to reunite with the girl he loves. As written by Jimmy Chi and his band Knuckles, it also features two hippies, a wily Uncle and a German priest. While Chi sadly passed away in 2017, Knuckles will once again direct the musical component of the show.

Original production director Andrew Ross is also returning, but just who he'll be gracing his stage hasn't been determined. Bran Nue Dae will feature a 15-performer cast, all except one of whom will be Indigenous, with auditions set to be held in Broome, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.

Check out the trailer for Rachel Perkins-helmed, Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Dan Sultan, Deborah Mailman and Ernie Dingo-starring 2009 movie version below:

Bran Nue Dae will play in Sydney from January 2020, then tour to Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, with dates yet to be revealed. For more information and to join the ticket waitlist, visit the production's website.

Image: Bran Nue Dae, the film adaptation.

Published on April 21, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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