Black Comedy (ABC1) star (and writer) Nakkiah Lui has been called Mount Druitt’s answer to Lena Dunham. She’s certainly prepared to bare all (literally).
When Lui found herself unable to keep writing after the death of her grandmother in 2011 she came up with a novel idea – insert herself into the work. The result is a deeply funny, sometimes shocking, often angry play that refuses to give easy answers. It asks how a man with undiagnosed stomach cancer could be refused care and looks at the series of seemingly innocuous events that led to an old woman falling through the unrepaired floor in her house and dying.
Along the way it proves that if you want to keep your dirty bedroom conversations private it’s best not to sleep with a playwright, and if you’re an administrative worker called Rita you might need to take security precautions. Kill the Messenger is a refreshing addition to an important national conversation. It asks why we persist in bingeing on stories of Indigenous suffering, but changing nothing. Lui invites the audience to join her on another path. One that insists on the value of laughter, inclusivity and action.
Indigenous Theatre at Belvoir supported by The Balnaves Foundation.
By Nakkiah Lui
Director Anthea Williams
Set Designer Ralph Myers
Costume Designer Mel Page
Lighting Designer Katie Sfetkidis
Composer Kelly Ryall
Dramaturg Jada Alberts
Photographer Amanda James
Voice Coach Alistair Toogood
Fight Director Scott Witt
Stage Manager Isabella Kerdijk
Assistant Stage Manager Kirsty Walker
Stage Management Secondment Kaytlin Petrarca
Rehearsal Room Observer John McCallum
Fierce and often funny, Kill the Messenger swirls with complex currents of anger, indignation, shame and guilt…Jason Blake | The Sydney Morning Herald
This is a compelling, taut, provocative piece of theatre.Jodi McAlister | Australian Stage
Hugely funny, heartbreaking and very personal…Chris Hook | The Daily Telegraph
Lui is sharp, funny, passionate and compassionate. Kill the Messenger draws you in and keeps you on your toes.Deborah Jones | The Australian
If that sounds all a bit too serious, don’t worry. Lui is canny enough to know that the best way to get people thinking is to have them laughing firstPolly Simons | Time Out
Kill The Messenger is an extraordinary play in so many ways: poignant and hilarious, it’s uniquely Australian and uniquely Lui.
★★★★★Suzanne Rath | Arts Hub