A fast-paced comedy that tackles the Australian myths of multiculturalism and a ‘fair go’, Sydney Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Nakkiah Lui’s How to Rule the World in the Drama Theatre – Sydney Opera House from 15 February 2019.
An Aboriginal, an Asian and an Islander walk into a bar. It’s not a racist joke but the catalyst for this stinging satire. Vic, Zaza and Chris are political insiders hustling their way to the top. They want influence, change, and to take over Parliament House. They leave that bar drunk on power, with a plan to take over the world. First step: find a likeable white guy to use as a political puppet. What could possibly go wrong?
STC Associate Director Paige Rattray has assembled a stellar cast which includes Nakkiah Lui, Michelle Lim Davidson, Anthony Taufa, Rhys Muldoon, Vanessa Downing, Gareth Davies and Hamish Michael for this hilarious tale of sex, lies and the balance of power.
“How to Rule the World has enabled us to examine our current power structures through humour,” says Director Paige Rattray. “And that has enabled a fearlessness which has in turn enabled an incredibly deep examination into who is allowed to function and succeed in that system.”
Following the smash hit success of Black is the New White and Blackie Blackie Brown, award winning playwright Nakkiah Lui returns to STC with the play she had to write. “I couldn’t not write How To Rule The World,” says Lui.
“The world and rhetoric of how we talk about our community has changed drastically in the last few years, equally, lines of division feel like they’ve become bigger. I wanted to be able to talk to those who are different to me and that felt more and more impossible.”
“I wrote this play because I wanted to talk to people and urgently want to at least ask the questions I had on mind. I wanted to explore the theme of Aboriginal politics as being inclusive to other people who hold different values to the mainstream myth of Australia. I wanted to ask the question, what does Aboriginal equality in the future mean for everyone in this country?”
“I wanted to try and understand how politics gets away with being so removed from the people and how democracy can be used for individual power as opposed to the progress of the majority. So often in Australia, political satire is the realm of White men: Whiteness gets to be invisible. The rest of us non-Whites are just politics. I wanted to satirise politics and powerful, rich white men.”
While How to Rule the World is a biting political satire, Lui says it is above all a play about resistance and duty, which she wants to give audiences a sense of hope. “One of theatres greatest attributes is that it is inviting, it welcomes thought and when it tells a story it embraces an audience into a space,” says Lui.
“I want the audience to feel like they are able to talk about politics and the world without our difference of opinion. I hope that How to Rule the World makes people feel valued, that enables and provokes people to engage in change. I hope it encourages them to look at those next to them and to believe in their hope.”
Director: Paige Rattray Featuring: Gareth Davies, Vanessa Downing, Michelle Lim Davidson, Nakkiah Lui, Hamish Michael, Rhys Muldoon, Anthony Taufa Set Designer: Marg Horwell Lighting Designer: Emma Valente Composer & Sound Designer: Paul Mac, Steve Francis Assistant Director: Kenneth Moraleda Choreographer: Kurt Phelan Fight Director: Nigel Poulton
How to Rule the World
Drama Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Season: 15 February – 30 March 2019
For more information, visit: www.sydneytheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Nakkiah Lui, Anthony Taufa and Michelle Lim Davidson star in How to Rule the World – photo by Rene Vaile