Two teenage boys meet under a lemon tree. After a rough start, a fragile friendship fruits into a heady romance. If history had played out a little differently, they might have stood a chance. But it’s the early 19th century, Ty is River Mob, Neddy is Mountain Mob, strangers from a far distant land are on the march, and the land they stand together on is about to be declared ‘Australia’.
Starring Biripi/Worrimi man and Helpmann Award-winner Guy Simon (First Love is the Revolution, Wakefield) and Wiradjuri man Callan Purcell (Hamilton); Whitefella Yella Tree is a gripping and heartbreaking tale exploring how the development of queer Aboriginal identities was impacted by British colonisers importing their ideas (and laws) surrounding homosexuality.
Directed by Griffin Theatre’s artistic director Declan Greene, this is the mainstage debut of award-winning playwright Dylan Van Den Berg. A playwright on the rise, he has won the Griffin Award in 2020, the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2021, and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award this year.
Whitefella Yella Tree plays at Griffin’s SBW Stables Theatre, Potts Point, from August 19 to September 17.