Black Brass showing: the promise of a new script

Last week, Performing Lines WA presented an intimate showing of  Black Brass, a new work-in-progress by Mararo Wangai.

During the first stage of creative development, Mararo conducted interviews with members of Perth’s Sudanese, Zimbabwean and Kenyan communities. With help from Dramaturgs Afeif Ismael and Matt Edgerton,  Mararo used the collected stories to stitch together a narrative that speaks to the universal themes of resilience, love and loss as diasporic communities root themselves in new soils, and re-imagine their futures in foreign lands.

“We wanted to create something that was authentic from the very beginning.” said Associate Producer Zainab Syed.

“In order to do this, we partnered with the Centre for Stories, to help Mararo develop an interview methodology that would create a respectful and safe environment for all those who shared their stories with him.”

Black Brass explores the story of Sleeper (Mararo Wangai), a jazz musician forced to leave his home country, who now works as a cleaner in a Music Studio. He is joined on stage by a Trumpeteer (Robert Bresland) who uses music as a way to recall memories from Sleeper’s past.

“For me, this brass instrument has two sides.” explains Mararo

“One that was used to lead armies with a colonist way of seeing the world and one that refers to jazz and  evokes freedom, openness and creativity.”

Watch an excerpt of Mararo’s new script >>>



“We’ve loved seeing Mararo perform on stage over the years, and waiting to find an opportunity to work with him” explained Zainab.

“When he came to us with Black Brass, it seemed like a natural fit because not only is this an important piece of work, but this is also Mararo’s first project as a lead creative. At Performing Lines WA, we are not just looking at diversifying the stories we see on stages, but also how we can empower emerging and diverse artists in all processes of making work and this is definitely pushing Mararo, and his practice as an independent artist onto the next level.”

Watch Mararo’s interview

Black Brass first creative development was supported by the WA Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Photos and video by Fionn Mulholland

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