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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

White Pearl

This dark comedic play is an astute examination of capitalism and casual racism — and will have you in stitches.
By Matt Abotomey
June 17, 2021
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By Matt Abotomey
June 17, 2021
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In terms of products that are equally cruel and stupid, skin-lightening cream would have to be up there. And now, thanks to Anchuli Felicia King's White Pearl, it's now also brutally satirised.

Fictional cosmetics company Clearday, based in Singapore, turns a very tidy profit exploiting customers' insecurities about the way they look. When one of its ads for skin-lightening products goes viral, the disapproving eye of the digital world settles on the company's pristine open-plan office. Amidst the buck-passing and fallout containment, a transformation begins to occur — what playwright King has referred to as "the shift from socialised hysteria to primal hysteria".

With comedy that's blacker than bitumen and grimier than a skip in the CBD, White Pearl is here to raise conversations regarding casual racism and corporate culture. It's unlikely you needed another reason to hate on late-stage capitalism, but King will make you laugh while you do.

The play is a co-production between Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta and Sydney Theatre Company, directed by Priscilla Jackman — and it's showing at Queensland Theatre's Bille Brown Theatre from Thursday, June 17–Saturday, July 10.

White Pearl

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