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Marlene Stars in Black Drop Effect for Sydney Festival 2020

Marlene Stars in Black Drop Effect for Sydney Festival 2020

BLACK DROP EFFECT | BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE | AUSTRALIA | WORLD PREMIERE 14-18 JANUARY 2020.

Hold your index finger and thumb close together against a bright background, then bring them together. They seem to touch before they actually do. That, in its simplest form, is the Black Drop Effect.

It’s also a new play by Yuwaalaraay woman Nardi Simpson; storyteller, performer, and songwriter with Stiff Gins. Black Drop Effect is an immersive, multi-layered exploration of black and white, generational conflict, and the ongoing effects of colonisation.

Binno (William McPherson) is an Aboriginal elder and erstwhile member of a community dance group who is asked to present a series of traditional dances, alongside an actor reading extracts from Captain Cook’s diaries, for a 26 January celebration.

Binno is unsure, until his straight-talking sister Beenie (Marlene Cummins) convinces him to teach the dances to three young men seeking connections with culture, country and their place in the world. As they learn the dances and understand their meanings, a bigger plan emerges.

Produced by Bankstown Arts Centre, and directed by Felix Cross, Black Drop Effect is an immersive, multi-layered experience that draws audiences into the contested space of ideas and emotions inspired by the 250 years of Australia’s colonial history.

© Text and image Sydney Festival 2020

Reviewed by John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald.

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March 10th, 2020

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