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STC takes new political satire by Nakkiah Lui to Opera House

Right: Michelle Lim Davidson, Nakkiah Lui and Anthony Taufa by Rene Vaile

Award winning playwright Nakkiah Lui returns to STC with How to Rule the World - a new political satire, opening at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House in February.

Following the smash hit success of Lui’s Black is the New White and Blackie Blackie Brown, How to Rule the World is a fast-paced comedy that tackles the Australian myths of multiculturalism and a ‘fair go’. 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.

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 (Nakkiah Lui), Zaza (Michelle Lim Davidson) and Chris (Anthony Taufa) 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 (Hamish Michael) to use as a political puppet. What could possibly go wrong?

“How to Rule the World has enabled us to examine our current power structures through humour,” Director Paige Rattray says. “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.”

For Nakkiah Lui, it was a play she had to write.

“I couldn’t not write How To Rule The World,” Lui says. “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 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,” Lui says. “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."

How to Rule the World, By Nakkiah Lui. 11 Feb - 30 Mar. Opening Night: Fri 15th Feb 2019. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Box Office: 02 9250 1777.