One of your earlier shows at STC was Calpurnia Descending, which featured live video projection and some pretty crazy animations. Is Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death building on that or a different beast?
I think "crazy" is pretty generous! There's a particular kind of deliberately lo-fi, crappy animated aesthetic that I've always loved – like 90s Flash Player videos and Geocities GIFs and MS Paint-Art and stuff like that.
In Calpurnia Descending, I really got to indulge that, which I think looked like the internet took ipecac and vomited all over the stage (i.e. Beautiful). But, unfortunately, Oh Yeah Wow! and Emily Johnson have far better taste than me, so I'm sorry to say that Blackie Blackie Brown will probably look extremely impressive and professional. The actors and the animations will interact and, while I don’t want to give away any spoilers, we intend on making this show feel every bit like a live-action comic book.
You’ve only got two actors, but there are a lot of different characters. How’s that going to work?
There are a lot of characters, but the labour isn’t exactly divided equally between the actors Megan Wilding and Ash Flanders. Megan plays one character: our hero, Blackie Blackie Brown. But Ash plays 30-or-so characters, 95% of whom are Blackie Blackie Brown’s victims, and therefore meet quite grisly ends. Suffice to say, after working with Ash for eleven years in our theatre company Sisters Grimm, I’m relishing the opportunity to kill him over and over and over again.
You've worked with Nakkiah Lui before in a couple of different capacities. What do you enjoy about working with her and what brought you together for this project?
Well, Nakkiah and I were friends before we ever worked together – we met at a young playwrights' camp a million years ago and bonded immediately, because we have pretty much exactly the same f**ked sense of humour. Like, Nakkiah is a genius but she's also probably the only person who loves intensely stupid stuff like early South Park and Strangers with Candy and the seminal Tom Green film Freddy Got Fingered as much as I do.
We both love anything that goes way, way beyond the boundaries of good taste. And that’s something that will definitely be on full display in Blackie Blackie Brown.
But yeah, this will be the fourth project we've officially worked on together, and we're both pretty psyched. I totally love working with Kiah because I think she's probably the most fearless artist (and person!) I've ever met. When making her argument, she genuinely has no fear of pissing people off, which I'm always in awe of – and she does it with this amazing combination of comedy and rage, irony and passion, irreverence and respect.
What are you hoping audiences will talk about after the show?
No one thing, because hopefully the play will be a lot more complex and provocative than that – but I think it's going to spark some really interesting, difficult conversations about reconciliation, reparation, and atonement for the crimes of the past.
Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death, 12 May – 30 Jun 2018, Wharf 2 Theatre
Seeing the show? Let us know your thoughts. Tag @sydneytheatreco and #sydneytheatreco