Black is the New White

5 MAY - 17 JUN

Wharf 1 Theatre


Black is the New White is returning in 2018! More info.

Sydney Theatre Company and Allens present
By Nakkiah Lui

World premiere

Love, politics and other things you shouldn’t talk about at dinner

Black is the New White is a laugh-out-loud, provocative new romantic comedy by fearless columnist and an award-winning playwright Nakkiah Lui.

Charlotte Gibson (Shari Sebbens) is a lawyer on the up. She won a landmark Native Title case, she’s making her parents proud, she could have her own TV show tomorrow. As her father Ray (Tony Briggs) says, she could be the next feminist Indigenous Waleed Aly. But she has other ideas. First of all, it’s Christmas. Second of all, she’s in love.

Charlotte's fiancé, Francis Smith (James Bell), is not what her family expected. He's an unemployed experimental classical composer… and he's white! Bringing him and his conservative parents to meet her family on their ancestral land is a bold move. Will he stand up to the scrutiny? Or will this romance descend into farce?

Love is never just black and white. It’s complicated by class, politics, ambition, and too much wine over dinner. But for Charlotte and Francis, it's mostly complicated by family. Secrets are revealed, prejudices outed and old rivalries get sorted through. What can’t be solved through diplomacy can surely be solved by a good old-fashioned dance-off. They’re just that kind of family.

This incisive comedy is newly commissioned by STC, and writer Nakkiah Lui shows why she is one of this country’s most in-demand young voices. A writer and star of Black Comedy on ABC, Lui delivers cutting satire that is both seductively subversive and thoroughly delightful. 

Paige Rattray (Boys will be boys) directs a wonderful ensemble, featuring James Bell (Children of the Sun), Kylie Bracknell (ABC’s Redfern Now) Tony Briggs (ABC’s Cleverman), Luke Carroll (The Hanging), Vanessa Downing (Power Plays), Geoff Morrell (Vere Faith), Melodie Reynolds-Diarra, Shari Sebbens (Battle of Waterloo) and Anthony Taufa (The Golden Age).

With a toe-tapping soundtrack and an array of brilliant, eccentric, loveable characters, don’t miss the world premiere of this beguiling Australian story. 

​"A bustling, astute and questioning social comedy on identity politics" ★★★★ The Sydney Morning Herald

Duration 2hrs 30min (including interval)
Content warning Adult themes, strong language, nudity and drug use

Supported by The Donor Syndicate


Black is the New White was commissioned with the support of the Malcolm Robertson Foundation.

Pricing information

Season Ticket prices
Pick 6 or more plays to create your Season Ticket package. More info.

Saturday evening A Reserve $79
Adult A Reserve $75
Concession $60
Seniors cardholder $68
Preview $60
Under 30 $60

Single Tickets
Saturday evening $99
Adult $94
Seniors cardholder $86
Concession $75
Preview $75
Under 30 $75
Groups (10+ people) $79
Restricted view $45*
Standing room (no seating) $20

*Restricted view seats have an impeded view of certain scenes. Please call Box Office on (02) 9250 1777 with any questions

Transaction fees may apply
Season Ticket bookings (packs of 6 or more plays): no fees
Single ticket bookings: ​$7.50 online; $8 telephone; $0 Box Office counter

Dates & Prices
Creative Team