Rhoda, a white foster mother, and Jimmy, her 17-year-old Torres Strait Islander foster son, arrive from interstate at Rhoda's family home for a Christmas reunion/reconciliation. The Children's Services Department is threatening to re-institutionalise Jimmy ( who suffers from physical and mental disabilities) when he turns 18, and a desperate Rhoda hopes for help in avoiding this from her parents and from Jimmy's birth mother, Flo, who is sick in hospital.

But Rhonda's long-estranged parents, Cake-tin and Theodolite, are less than welcoming. And when Jimmy, his brother Dennis and sister-in-law Dolly return to Rhoda's parental home after a night out, the difficulties - or impossibilities - of such reconciliations become starkly apparent.

'Buyback's pluralist script ... dismantles the walls that divide us and shows how, with its messy and violent history, Australia has become a culture partly in denial. Plays set in kitchens, absent mothers and a history of bloody colonialism: you can't live with them, you can't live without them.' Tony Reck, Realtime, Sept 2006

'It's an upbeat show - tasteful but pressing, hilarious and moving... I for one applauded loudly from my chair with goose-bumps running up my arms.' Daniel Vigilante, Impress, Sept 13, 2006

  • naturalistic black comedy
  • 90
  • 7 total
  • 3 female identifying, 4 male identifying
  • 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Female | 50s | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 62

EXTRACT: we mightn't have had any money in those days but by gee one thing we were never poor we lived no better than the blacks when we were first married - the things I had to do. I've never breathed this to another living soul and I never will it's something I'll take to the grave with me boiled choko mashed choko baked choko choko rissoles choko salad and choko stewed in sugar choko choko choko

Adult themes

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