Wesley Enoch staged a reading of part of Dallas Winmar’s new play a few years ago. We only got the first half hour, on a bare stage, but at the end we were uniformly bowled over. As the applause erupted, Stephen Sewell cried out from up the back, “But what happened next?”
Noongar writer Dallas Winmar has a knack for spinning a yarn. Her tough, natural sense of humour and compassion rang out clear in Aliwa! at Belvoir St in 2001, and they’re special ingredients once again in Yibiyung.
Yibiyung was Dallas’ grandmother and this is her growing-up story. She was one of hundreds of girls swept up in the forced removals of the 1920s and trained to become model domestic servants. But it’s Yibiyung’s break from this regime and her extraordinary flight across Western Australia which gives her story its rolling, expansive rhythm of survival.
Yibiyung is about finding a way out of centuries-old cycles of anger and despair. As the Army moves into the Northern Territory and Australia lurches into its next phase of paternalism, Yibiyung is a song of hope and change, a celebration of fronting up and finding place and family.
By Dallas Winmar
Dramaturg Louise Gough
Director Wesley Enoch
Set Designer Jacob Nash
Costume Designer Bruce McKinven
Lighting Designer Niklas Pajanti
Composer & Sound Designer Steve Francis
Assistant Sound Designer Michael Toisuta
Language & Cultural Consultant Roma Winmar
Assistant Director Kyle Morrison
A beautiful story told with a directness and simplicity that is… at the end, exhilarating.The Australian