All Breythe ever wanted was to be an actor, but this is not how he imagined his first big television gig – as a young Aboriginal man, being the face of a disastrous misfire of an advertisement that will get him roasted by his mob. When a messenger bird suddenly brings Breythe tragic tidings from his family, it spurs him on a journey of grief and duty. Returning home to Kalgoorlie, he is thrust headlong into family conflict and the reality of what it means to be an Indigenous youth in today’s Australia.
Rising star Meyne Wyatt’s debut play is as riveting and unflinchingly honest as his stage presence. Urgent, wryly funny and politically incendiary, City of Gold is a call for change that will sound out for years to come. Picking up and expanding on some of the themes in QT’s last production, Barbara and the Camp Dogs, City of Gold explores the sense of ‘other’ experienced by marginalised groups in Australian society. At times uncomfortable, the play holds a mirror up to society, challenging the audience to examine their own prejudices and beliefs.
The production is gripping and fast paced. In the final scenes, the full extent of Meyne Wyatt’s skill as a playwright is revealed. Things become clear and yet unclear; questions are answered yet so many remain. Audibly gasping in the final moments, the audience was collectively shocked by the play’s conclusion. Perhaps the best part of the production is the imprint it will leave upon your brain. For days and weeks following, you will find yourself running the play through in your head, thinking it through and realising what you have missed. And, without a doubt, you will want to see it again.
City of Gold is now playing at Bille Brown Theatre until 20 July.
Read more about Queensland Theatre’s 2019 season here.