"Our people are dying. Wake up."

About

Young actor Breythe left Kalgoorlie dreaming of a dazzling career.

Now he’s found himself starring in a controversial Australia Day ad that pays big, but draws the ire of his mob. Racism is subtle but persistent in an industry where directors request he darken up for ‘authenticity’ and typecast him as ‘tracker,’ ‘drinker’ or ‘thief.’

Returning home, Breythe’s just as alienated from country and lore. His cultural capital distances him from furious brother Mateo and activist sister Carina, all of them struggling with regret and responsibility after their father’s death.

Meyne Wyatt burst onto the acting scene in 2011’s Silent Disco at Griffin, going on to grace our screens (The Sapphires, Redfern Now, Mystery Road) and star on the Broadway stage (Peter Pan). Now he returns to the Stables as a playwright who is as courageous as he is merciless. It may be unclear where character ends and creator begins.

City of Gold is a howl of rage at the injustice, inequality and wilful amnesia of this country’s 21st century. It’s an urgent play for our moment from a vital new voice. As Childish Gambino sings across the Pacific ‘This is America,’ Meyne Wyatt calls back loudly ‘This is Australia.’

A co-production with Queensland Theatre

Warnings
This show contains adult themes, theatrical haze, strobe lighting and the smoking of herbal cigarettes.

Want to go deeper?
View the program

 

Cast & Creatives

Director Isaac Drandic
Assistant Director Shari Indriani
Set Designers Simone Tesorieri & Simona Cosentini
Lighting Designer Jason Glenwright
Composer/Sound Designer Tony Brumpton
Costume Designer Nathalie Ryner
Dramaturg Paige Rattray
Fight Director Nigel Poulton
Directorial Observation ​​Hannah Belanszky
Stage Manager Khym Scott
Assistant Stage Manager Ella Griffin

Acknowledgements 
Uncle Gary Cooper
Aunty Rayma (McGrath) Morrison

With  Jeremy Ambrum, Mathew Cooper, Maitland Schnaars, Shari Sebbens, Anthony Standish, Christopher Stollery, Meyne Wyatt

Performance Times

Preview 26 – 30 July
Opening Nights 31 July & 1 August
Season 2 August – 31 August

Performance Times
Monday – Friday 7pm
Saturday 2pm & 7pm
Wednesday 28 August 2pm & 7pm

Meet The Artists
Tuesday 6 August

Captioned Performance
Tuesday 27 August

Run Time
Approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes including a 15 minute interval

Video

Lee Lewis on City of Gold

Trailer for City of Gold  

Blog Posts

A Note from Lee, 29 August

29.08.19

The sun was shining, the sausages were sizzling, the gin was icy, the puppies were cute, the neighbours were friendly, the street was full, Don Harwin was gracious, the bunting was flapping in the spring breeze and the plays…the plays…the...

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A Note from Lee, 15 August

15.08.19

Hello from the deep, dark rehearsal room for Hilary Bell‘s Splinter. Threads of fairy tales, changelings, dark nights and branches tapping against windows are keeping me up at night. Fortunately it is a lot of fun building this kind of...

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A Note from Phil, 1 August

01.08.19

Two years ago, I sat outside on the balcony of the Nimrod Street office to read Meyne Wyatt‘s City of Gold, printed out on re-used yellow paper. At that point, it was not called City of Gold, it was titled (only half-jokingly)...

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A Note from Lee, 18 July

18.07.19

Last Thursday night, with a small group of friends and family gathered, Poppy Lynch turned on the switch that lit up the new sign naming the bar in the Griffin foyer ‘The Penny Cook Bar’ in honour of her mother....

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A Note from Lee, 4 July

04.07.19

Hello from Brisbane, I’m up here for the first Opening Night of Meyne Wyatt’s City of Gold. The team have been rehearsing the play up here at Queensland Theatre for five weeks now. It is always exciting collaborating with other...

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Reviews

“…fast-paced and full of contrasts, a perfect tempest of heartbreak and rage, guilt and grief. This is contemporary Australian theatre at its finest – urgent, honest, and unmissable.” ★★★★1/2 Elise Lawrence, Limelight

“The swift pacing is masterful and the dialogue – peppered with Wongi words – is a joy.” ★★★★ Kate Hennessy, Sydney Morning Herald

“It goes for the throat. It goes for the heart. It’s breathtaking.” ★★★★ Cassie Tongue, Time Out

“A bold and exciting new voice in Australian playwriting has been discovered and unleashed.” ★★★★ Larissa Behrendt, The Guardian

“A powerful, relevant and timely production.” ★★★★ Suzannah Conway, ArtsHub

“Wyatt’s script combines piss-take humour, feisty family drama and scalding diatribe into a kinetic two hours expertly managed by director Isaac Drandric…Stormy in its moods and provocative in its observations, City of Gold is compelling and necessary theatre.” ★★★★ Jason Blake, Audrey Journal

“It’s tough and craftily uncompromising and also wickedly entertaining. Recommended without reservation.” ★★★★  Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise

“…a howl of rage and pain that just happens to be hilariously funny…It’s a latter-day version of Hamlet where the ghost of the ­father haunts the younger generation with confusing demands both for action and yet wisdom in the face of injustice. Add to that the casual uber-violence of Childish Gambino’s This is America, and you get a genuine play for our times, and an audience leaping to its feet at the end.” Martin Buzacott, The Australian

“As leading man, Wyatt is a compelling presence, entirely persuasive with all that he brings to the stage. Charming in humorous sections, but it is in explicit moments of political confrontation that he absolutely devastates. Wyatt’s monologue at the beginning of Act 2 ranks as one of the most important theatrical moments in our stage history.” Suzy Wrong, SuzyGoesSee

Supported by

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Supported by Griffin’s Production Partner program:

Production Patrons
Bruce Meagher & Greg Waters
Julia Pincus & Ian Learmonth
Malcolm Robertson Foundation
The Sky Foundation
Kim Williams AM and Catherine Dovey

Ann & Brian O’Connell (in memoriam)

Production Supporters
David Marr & Sebastian Tesoriero

Supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and by Playwriting Australia as part of its Muru Salon and National Script Workshop programs.

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