Inspired by the true story of legendary first nations cricketer Johnny Mullagh.

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BLACK COCKATOO
An Ensemble Theatre Production

By Geoffery Atherden
Directed by Wesley Enoch

Over 150 years ago, 13 brave Aboriginal men in Western Victoria picked up their cricket bats and embarked on a treacherous voyage to England and into the unknown – all in the name of sport. Risking illness and persecution, Australia’s first international cricket team – including Australia's first Indigenous sporting hero, Johnny Mullagh – amazed the English crowds with astonishing talent, personality and grit. They should have returned to Australia as celebrated heroes. Instead they came back to find the world they once knew was no longer there.

This is not just a story about cricket – this is a story of strength, resilience, hope and possibility. When a group of young present-day activist’s sneaks into the Wimmera Discovery Centre to expose the truth of what happened to Johnny and his team mates, a hidden legend of triumph and tragedy unfolds. Funny and incredibly moving, Black Cockatoo is a collaboration between iconic Australian writer Geoffrey Atherden (Mother and Son, Babakiueira) and Sydney Festival Artistic Director Wesley Enoch (Black Diggers).