City of Gold
By Meyne Wyatt
'Urgent, honest and unmissable.'
'Commands your attention … It’s breathtaking.'
Presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA and Sydney Theatre Company
Breythe is never just an actor. Always an Indigenous actor. Always in the black show, the black play. Put him in that Australia Day lamb ad. Get that ‘authenticity’. That’s what the people want. Give them what they want. Get that big payday. Even if it draws criticism from your community.
But a messenger bird comes for him. His father is dead. Head home. Back to Kal to grieve. Back to his family shattered by pain and violence that won’t be laid to rest.
City of Gold is an unflinching force of drama that urgently questions injustice and racism in Australia today, and asks: have things changed?
After critically acclaimed productions in Brisbane and Sydney, and an explosive four minutes of television on Q&A, this semi-autobiographical story written by and starring proud Wongutha-Yamatji man, Meyne Wyatt (The Sapphires, Redfern Now, Mystery Road) is coming home to WA in a new co-production with Sydney Theatre Company. Meyne’s sharp and breathtaking dialogue will stay with you long after you leave and is matched only by the powerhouse cast.
’This show cuts right to the core of Meyne’s lived experience as a young Black man in Australia. It is unrelenting and honest.’ Shari Sebbens, Director
DirectorShari SebbensAssistant DirectorDaley RangiCastMathew Cooper, St John Cowcher, Simone Detourbet, Ian Michael, Myles Pollard, Trevor Ryan, Meyne WyattSet & Costume DesignerTyler Hill
Shari Sebbens – Director
Shari is a Bardi, Jabirr Jabirr person and one of Sydney Theatre Company’s Resident Artists. The production of The 7 Stages of Grieving marked Shari’s directorial debut with STC. In 2020 Shari directed Superheroes for Griffin Theatre and this year she directed Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Her credits as an actor include: Sydney Theatre Company: A Cheery Soul, Black is The New White, The Bleeding Tree, Battle of Waterloo. Other Theatre: Belvoir: Back at the Dojo, Radiance. Griffin Theatre Company: City of Gold, The Bleeding Tree, Hoax. QT: An Octaroon. Black Swan: Our Town. Her film credits include The Sapphires, Top End Wedding, Australia Day, Teenage Kicks, The Darkside. Her TV credits include Black Comedy, Redfern Now, The Gods of Wheat Street, The Heights, Little J & Big Cuz. She is currently Sydney Theatre Company’s Richard Wherrett Fellow. Her awards include; 2013 Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Newcomer (Redfern Now), 2020 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Mainstage Production (City of Gold). Shari studied at NIDA and WAAPA.
Meyne Wyatt – Writer & Performer
Meyne Wyatt is an award winning Wongutha-Yamatji performer, writer and director.
Meyne’s first short film, which he wrote and will direct, is produced by Bunya Productions and supported by Screen Australia. He is currently developing his smash hit debut play City of Gold for television with Bunya Productions. This year, Meyne wrote a one-hour episode for Season 1 of Fremantle/Netflix’s reboot of Heartbreak High shooting soon; and is currently working in many writing teams for television projects, from drama to comedy. In addition, Meyne is under commission by Sydney Theatre Company to write a new play. In 2020, Meyne was awarded the Packing Room Prize in the Archibald Prize, the most prestigious award for visual art in Australia, for his self-portrait.
Meyne’s debut play City of Gold, which he also starred in, had a stunning world premiere at Queensland Theatre and transferred to Griffin Theatre Company where it sold out. City of Gold has been described as a howl of rage at the inequality, injustice and wilful ignorance of this country’s 21st century. It is an urgent play for our times from a vital and exciting new voice. It was shortlisted for the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Prize for Drama and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award. At the Sydney Theatre Awards, as well as the City of Gold being nominated for Best New Australian Work, Wyatt won Best Male Actor in a Leading Role and Shari Sebbens won Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role for their performances. City of Gold is published by Currency Press.
After graduating from Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art as an actor, Meyne’s performance in Lachlan Philpott’s Silent Disco (Griffin Theatre Company) earned him an award for Best Newcomer at Sydney Theatre Awards. Other theatre performances have included King Lear, Bloodland (Sydney Theatre Company), Peter Pan, Buried City (Belvoir) and Gloria (Griffin Theatre Company).
Meyne’s television credits include the tele-movie The Broken Shore, and Redfern Now, for which he earned nominations for Most Outstanding Newcomer at the 2014 Logie Awards and an AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama. From 2014 to 2016, Meyne appeared in Neighbours, making history as the first Indigenous actor to join the main cast. Following this, Meyne appeared in Black Comedy, The Leftovers (HBO), the AACTA award winning series Mystery Road. Les Norton and Preppers. For film, Meyne has featured in The Sapphires, The Turning and Strangerland opposite Nicole Kidman and Hugo Weaving.
Matthew Cooper – Performer
Mathew has been seen both on stage and screen, as well as working with school-aged children to devise and develop performance. Stage appearances include: Boy Swallows Universe for Queensland Theatre, City of Gold for Griffin Theatre, Cracked and The Sum of Us for Yirra Yaakin, The Season for Performing Lines, Stolen for National Theatre of Parramatta, Lucky for MTC/Neon, and the Belvoir Street Theatre/Ilbijerri Theatre Company co-production, Coranderrk. In 2015 Mathew shot his first feature film, The Marshes, a psychological horror film directed by Roger Scott. He has also appeared in numerous short films, including Last Drinks at Frida’s for Magpie Pictures. Mathew played Damo in Blackfella Films’ critically-acclaimed television series screened on ABC TV, Redfern Now, and more recently, he appeared in series three of Janet King, also for ABC TV. He graduated from WAAPA acting 2012.
St John Cowcher - Performer
St John is an actor, theatre-maker and puppeteer. He works with many excellent companies including Black Swan, Barking Gecko Theatre, and The Last Great Hunt. He is an associate artist with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Weeping Spoon Productions, Variegated Productions and The Big Hoo-Haa, and a proud Equity Australia member since 2015. Recent credits include; Playthings (Black Swan and The Blue Room Theatre), Ragnarøkkr, Frankie’s (Multi-PAWA & Blue Room Award Winner), My Robot (PAWA Award Winner), Laika: A Staged Radio Play (PAWA & Blue Room Award Winner), Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories (Helpmann Award Winner), and The Man and the Moon (Martin Sims Nominee).
Simone Detourbet – Performer
Simone Detourbet is Perth-based emerging actor, writer and director from Darwin. She is a Malak Malak (NT) and Gooniyandi (WA) woman and attended the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2015-16, completing the Aboriginal Theatre Course and the Screen Performance Course.
She has worked as an actor in Conversations With the Dead with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company (2017), Less Light (2018), Grace (2019) and I Feel Fine (2019) and assistant director Let Me Finish (2018/19). Simone has participated in several artist residencies, recently the 2020 Perth Festival Lab and PLWA CALD residency.
Since 2016, Simone has been developing film and theatre projects with various artists and as part of a creative team with Nicholas Harle, more recently working on various documentary projects.
Ian Michael – Performer
Ian is a proud Wilman Noongar man. As Writer: Black Swan: York; Critical Stages/Paines Plough: Another Day in the Colony; She Said Theatre: HART. As Curator: Black Swan: Maali Festival. Artistic Associate: Black Swan (2021); Resident Artist: Black Swan (2018-2020); Besen Family Artist Program: Malthouse Theatre (2017). As Actor: Black Swan: Cloudstreet, Our Town, Let the Right One In; Malthouse Theatre: Cloudstreet, Blak Cabaret; Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company: The Noongar Shakespeare Project; She Said Theatre: HART; Ilbijerri Theatre Company: Flashblaks; Melbourne Theatre Company: The Kid. As Assistant Director: Sydney Theatre Company: The 7 Stages of Grieving, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Black Is The New White (Directing Placement); Black Swan: The Cherry Orchard; Black Swan/Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company: Skylab. Awards: 2019 and 2017 Best Actor PAWA Awards (Nominated); 2019 CHASS Australia Prize for a Future Leader; 2019 Western Australian of the Year (Finalist); 2016 Best Emerging Artist Adelaide Fringe; 2016 Best Production (Independent) Green Room Awards (Nominated); 2013 and 2015 Most Outstanding Indigenous Performer Melbourne Fringe. Training: WAAPA.
Myles Pollard - Performer
Myles Pollard is perhaps best known for playing the lead role of Nick Ryan in the long running Nine Network’s series McLeod’s Daughters - voted Australia’s most popular television series of all time. Myles leading television credits include Underbelly, Sea Patrol, Packed to the Rafters, Home and Away, Mystery Road and The Heights. Myles’s feature film credits include: Drift opposite Sam Worthington, XMen Origins: Wolverine opposite Hugh Jackman, Looking for Grace opposite Richard Roxburgh and Odessa Young, Jasper Jones opposite Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving, Love You Twice/The Gateway opposite Jacqueline McKenzie, Danger Close opposite Travis Femmel, and the upcoming film Before Dawn.
Black Swan Theatre Company of WA
Black Swan Theatre Company of WA is a leader in creating connections that empower and uplift multiple voices. Black Swan exists to create brave and playful conversation. For you. About you. With you. We provide an annual program of inclusive and accessible theatre productions, commissions and learning experiences, live and on-line, for the people of Perth, across the state of Western Australia, and increasingly nationally and internationally.
Sydney Theatre Company
One of the world's largest not-for-profit theatre producers, Sydney Theatre Company is at the heart of Australia's cultural landscape. It owes its world class creative pedigree to a history of ground-breaking productions. Since 1978 the company has produced work that is – in the words of founding Artistic Director Richard Wherrett – "grand, vulgar, intelligent, challenging and fun". Sydney Theatre Company is proud to have produced work with some of Australia's – and the world's – most exciting performers, writers, directors and creative teams and that they continue to invest in the artistic legends of the future.
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|Time & Location||
4 – 26 Mar
2hrs 10mins including interval
Eligible for package discount
Recommended for ages 15+
Contains coarse language, adult themes (Intergenerational trauma), violence (racial violence and police brutality including racial slurs, violence against disabled people), haze effects, strobe lighting and herbal cigarettes
Preview Performances: Fri 4 & Sat 5 Feb
Post Show Q&A Tue 22 Mar
Stay in your seats after the performance to hear from the creator in a Q&A session.
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