Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner Of Death

Photo by Phoebe Powell
Currently on at the Malthouse Theatre, Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death is the latest play by writer Nakkiah Lui. In this tale of revenge, Dr Jacqueline Brown (Dalara Williams) is on an archaeological dig for a company when she discovers a human skull that turns out to belong to her great-great-grandmother. After learning about the massacre of her ancestors on the site by four white men, she is tasked with avenging their deaths by killing all 400 of the men's descendants within 28 days.

The superhero Blackie Blackie Brown is born, and as she goes on her killing spree and gains notoriety across Australia, she has to deal with the reality that some of these descendants (all played by Ash Flanders) are more innocent than others. The set design is a slanted white floor and wall with numerous trap doors and hidden compartments, and it allows for the fantastic animations and projections by Oh Yeah Wow to shine through and bring the action hero/comic book vibe of the production to life. The play is really well done and despite its humor does not shy away from detailing the atrocities of the past and their continuing impact on the present.

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