Katie Beckett is a talented actor (Kill the Messenger, Coranderrk) and a compelling new voice in Australian playwriting. Which Way Home is her first play to be produced, directed by Rachael Maza for ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Belvoir and Sydney Festival. Beckett is also the 2015 winner of The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award.
Tash is on a road trip, going back to country with her dad. He is getting older and the time is right for the trip, and maybe there are a few things she is getting away from too.
Tash and her dad are really close. After her mother died, Tash was raised by her dad, away from country and in a mostly white suburb, where they forged a tight bond. Which Way Home is a work of fiction, but Beckett was also raised by her much-loved father after the death of her mother.
Beckett is joined on stage by acclaimed actor and theatremaker Tony Briggs (Cleverman, ABC1, writer of The Sapphires stage and screenplay).
Indigenous theatre at Belvoir is supported by The Balnaves Foundation. Chair of the Foundation Neil Balnaves said:
‘All too often, the narrative around Indigenous Australians in the public sphere is negative and politicised. Indigenous theatre provides an opportunity for compelling new voices, such as Katie’s, to offer a positive and different perspective that is not heard enough. Which Way Home presents a refreshing view on Indigenous family relations and we are pleased that The Balnaves Foundation, particularly through our Indigenous Playwrights’ Award, can provide a platform for these stories to be heard.
‘The arts sector is the cultural heart of our country and adequate funding is essential for our future. Recent funding changes in relation to the Australia Council and the Catalyst fund are extremely short-sighted and are threatening the small to medium arts organisations, already a few have had to close their doors. We are pleased that partnerships, like Belvoir presenting this work by ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, can help offset the impact of these funding cuts to the small to medium sector, but we need government to value what the arts bring to the health and the economic prosperity of our community and to nurture the sector at all levels.’
At a time when Indigenous fatherhood is firmly on the national agenda, Which Way Home offers an affirming perspective on a father-daughter relationship in an Indigenous family.