Bran Nue Dae Background

Bran Nue Dae Background

The play Bran Nue Dae was written by the Australian Jimmy Chi and was published in the year 1990. The play is meant to be performed as a musical and so it contains many musical pieces. Many attribute this characteristic to the fact that the author was a singer himself and so he incorporated elements he knew.

The play was put on state for the first time in Perth and it became popular in Australia. Today, it is acclaimed as being one of the best Australian pieces of literature and was adapted to film in 2009, a film which also became popular in Australia.

The title of the play is the phonetic representation of ‘’Brand New Day’’ and it sets the tone for the rest of the play. The action is set in the year 1969 and it follows a young Indigenous man named Willie who is torn between his desire to follow his mother’s wish and become a priest or follow his own dreams. Willie embarks in an adventure of mythical proportions when he decides to run away from the boarding school he was sent to and return home.

His arrival in his hometown is seen almost as the return of a long lost hero on the seas and at the end he is seen as a hero, returning home and winning the love and attention of the girl he liked.

While the main obvious themes relate to Willie and his quest for happiness, the underline of the play focuses on aboriginal issues and on the struggles the Indigenous Australians had to face. In this sense, the play is both a light-hearted play and also a deeply social and political one because it deals with subjects left untouched until then.

The play remains to this day a classic piece of literature, being played in theaters all over Australia and gaining international recognition at the same time.

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