"We never asked for money.
We asked for justice.
Maybe we shouldn’t have asked.
Maybe we should have just taken it."
Project AimEuropean première production of the acclaimed play, written by Nakkiah Lui, and directed by Laura McCluskey at The Finborough Theatre, London, in August and September. Money raised will go towards 1. Supporting a programme of education and outreach work alongside the production for young people and marginalised communities 2. The staging of this important production, including creating stylish and evocative sound, lighting and set designs, which draw inspiration from aboriginal cultures 3. Supporting a cast and creative team of emerging artists to work on the production "This Heaven is an important voice for modern times. Almost every day we see reports in the news about police negligence, brutality or misunderstandings, but what about the families and loved ones left behind? They rarely have a voice over the shouting of the news reports or those in charge. This Heaven puts them centre stage, and it needs to be seen."
About the Project
In a new production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre and originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, the European premiere of This Heaven by Nakkiah Lui runs at the Finborough Theatre, playing Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from Sunday, 30 August 2015 (Press Night: Monday, 31 August 2015 at 7.30pm).
Telling a universal story and evoking recent events in Ferguson, Baltimore, and the London riots of 2011, This Heaven is the story of an indigenous Australian family at breaking point.
Sissy Gordon’s father, an Aboriginal man and pillar of the community, has died in custody at Mount Druitt Police Station, New South Wales. But the justice that Sissy and her family were certain was coming to them is suddenly snatched away. Sissy is about to qualify as a lawyer, but tonight, the law seems irrelevant to her. Tonight is dirty and heavy, and the moon is swollen and bright. Everyone knows that on nights like this things happen…
Burning with a wild rage, the streets and parks of Mount Druitt are transformed into a fierce public forum where anger explodes onto the street. What does justice look like? And what happens when you push someone so far they take the law into their own hands?
This Heaven received its world premiere in February 2013 at the Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney. It was an instant hit, with a sellout production that was extended twice.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to share the story of one Aboriginal family’s experience of a system that fails them through the stories and music of an ancient and beautiful culture.
About the Team
Playwright Nakkiah Lui is Playwright-in-Residence at Belvoir Theatre, Sydney. Along with many other awards, in 2012, Nakkiah was the first recipient of 'The Dreaming Award' from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council and the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright award. In 2014 she made her television debut by writing and starring in Black Comedy (ABC and Scarlett Pictures). Nakkiah is also a young leader in the Australian Aboriginal community and has contributed to 'The Guardian', been a featured panellist during 'Sydney Writers Festival' and has appeared on The Drum (ABC).
Director Laura McCluskey directed the staged reading of This Heaven as part of Vibrant 2014 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Along with directing a variety of work she is also a playwright and directed her own work Cake and Congo (Theatre503) and Nina and Shaz (Brockley Jack Theatre and London Tour). Laura also currently works as Education Manager at Clean Break, a theatre company that works with women affected by the criminal justice system.
What's Been Said
“(Nakkiah Lui’s) first full-length work burns with anger and passion and explodes in its final moments…an astonishing debut.” ★★★★ Four Stars, Time Out Australia
“The tragedy of an Aboriginal death in custody is all too common and so there’s a real poignancy to the anger, frustration and helplessness the protagonists display” The Daily Telegraph
“The structure of the work, its arc, the complexities and contradictions of the characters, are all very real, very believable” Crikey.com
The Press on playwright Nakkiah Lui
“Mount Druitt’s answer to Lena Dunham” Time Out Sydney
“If there's such a thing as a rockstar playwright, Nakkiah Lui is it” Books and Arts, Radio National
The Press on director Laura McCluskey
On Cake and Congo –
“Cake and Congo is loaded with important and exciting material, and McCluskey writes with a great understanding of characters and drive.” Camilla Gurtler, A Younger Theatre
On Nina and Shaz –
“It’s great when a theatre experience can successfully combine education and history with entertainment and humour and Nina and Shaz does just that...a well written and directed piece by Laura McCluskey” Afridiziak
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 30, 31 August, 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 September 2015
Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm.
Tickets £18, £16 concessions.
Performance Length: Approximately 90 minutes with no interval.