A story about expectations and the challenges of moving away from family and Country, Billy’s Choice is written by Wamba Wamba man and WAAPA Aboriginal Performance graduate Brodie Murray and is presented as part of the Melbourne Fringe Digital On Demand from 7 October 2021.
Young Billy is facing big decisions about his future and identity as he looks towards life after school. His father John is an Indigenous leader in the Koorie Justice sector who pushes Billy to pursue studies at Uni.
Meanwhile Billy’s uncle, Wumyah counsels Billy to be patient and listen to country to help him think. Buried family secrets emerge and tensions arise as Billy starts to uncover the truth behind John and Wumyah’s strained relationship. What he chooses to do next rests on his uncle’s wisdom, and memories of the past.
Set in Lockdown Victoria 2020 on Wamba Wamba country near present day Swan Hill and in inner city Melbourne, Eastern Kulin Nations, Billy’s Choice explores the conflict that can arise as young people seek independence. Murray focuses on the cultural and political contexts of growing up in modern Indigenous Australia.
It sheds a light on how young people can feel when confronted with big decisions about their future – something that Murray is familiar with having moved from his regional hometown to pursue his career in theatre.
Fresh off the success of Soul of Possum – a play commissioned for YIRRAMBOI in 2021 and supported by the Sidney Myer Fund, Castlemaine State Festival and City of Melbourne, Murray is not slowing down.
This work was written as part of the Yirra Yaarnz play reading series, with dramaturgy by acclaimed playwright Geoff Kelso and presented at Perth’s Blue Room Theatre in 2020. Murray is currently a Castlemaine State Festival Artist-In-Residence.
With the current Victorian lockdown preventing live performances at Melbourne Fringe this year, Billy’s Choice has been adapted for digital presentation by filmmaker, Davide Michielin. Directed by Rachael Maza, the work is performed by Corey Brunskill, Brodie Murray and Dion Williams.
Melbourne Fringe Digital On Demand
Season: 7 – 17 October 2021
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au
Image: Brodie Murray – photo by Denise Martin