Commissioned for the 1985 Perth Festival, this is the spirited story of the Millimurra family's stand against government 'protection' policies in 1930s Australia.
No Sugar is set in Northam, Western Australia. It tells the story of the fight for survival of the Millimurra-Munday family during the Depression years, 1929 to 1934.
First performed in 1985, the play is part of Jack Davis’s The First Born trilogy which comprises three plays that trace the history of Aboriginal people in Western Australia from 1829 to the present.
No Sugar explores the harsh treatment of the Western Australian aboriginal (Nyoongah) people at the hands of white administrators. However, it also celebrates their resilience in the face of brutality and and their determination to maintain their culture.
The play was originally performed in a promenade setting in which the audience followed the players on their journey through the action of the play. Such staging aimed to suggest that 'the lives of black and white Australians are inextricably linked'(Brennan, 2014).
Read John Harding’s response to No Sugar in The Makings of a Man, a free essay from Currency Press.
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Male | 40s | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 85
EXTRACT: Ladies and gentlemen of the Historical Society, it has been a great privilege and pleasure to address your here tonight at a time when, with Mr Moseley's Royal Commission, the welfare of our Aboriginal and coloured folk is somewhat more than usually in the public arena. If I may beg your indulgence for a few more minutes, I shall conclude with a brief word about those early years when that little band of pioneers, fewer than one hundred souls, led by Captain Stirling, laid anchor in the Swan River, little knowing that they faced in the fertile valleys of the South-West, alone some thirteen thousand savages. Stirling's first act was to issue a proclamation regarding the treatment of the native inhabitants.
The preparation of this document was commissioned by Drama Australia to foster access and participation in learning, taking in the broader context of Indigenous educational perspectives and redefining their relevance in the study of Contemporary Indigenou