Arts Centre Melbourne presents



ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Te Rēhia Theatre
By John Harvey and Tainui Tukiwaho
World Premiere Season
Australia / Aotearoa (New Zealand)

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Two families, two cultures... too much!

It was love at first sight when Māori corporate hotshot Hera and Aboriginal consultancy entrepreneur Kane locked eyes at a cultural awareness session. Ambitious and career focused, Kane and Hera now have their perfect future all mapped out. There's one thing they can’t control…their families!

As the biggest mob of Aunties, Uncles and cousins from both sides of the ditch get worked up for the blackest wedding ever, reality is sinking in fast. Will this international love story bring two strong cultures together? Or will it tear Hera and Kane’s world to pieces?

BLACK TIES is a hilarious and heart-warming immersive theatre experience by ILBIJERRI Theatre Company (Australia) and Te Rēhia Theatre (Aotearoa/New Zealand) that reminds us of the power of love to reach across the gulfs that divide us and unite us as human beings.

Following sold out seasons at Sydney Festival and Perth Festival, BLACK TIES is coming to Melbourne. This groundbreaking collaboration between major First Nations performing arts companies is set to showcase the rich talents of a wide array of theatrical artists. With a peerless cast including Uncle Jack Charles, Mark Coles Smith, Lisa Maza, Tuakoi Ohia and Brady Peeti, and created by a crack team of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori theatre makers, BLACK TIES reimagines the popular wedding rom-com from a distinctively First Nations perspective. Set to a live score of Black anthems and wedding classics, this will be one party to remember.

Download the BLACK TIES program

Salon Series:
Venue: Common Rooms, Trades Hall
Date: Sunday 23 February 2020
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Speakers: Rachael Maza, Tainui Tukiwaho, Amber Curreen

In this behind-the-scenes conversation, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Rachael Maza joins Amber Curreen and Tainui Tukiwaho from Te Rēhia Theatre Company to reflect on the making of BLACK TIES, a ground-breaking collaboration between two First Nations theatre companies.

Please register to attend via this link


  • Wheelchair access
  • Auslan interpreted
  • Companion Card
Images by: Garth Oriander

BLACK TIES was commissioned by Asia TOPA and Arts Centre Melbourne with support from Sidney Myer Fund and Playking Foundation and has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., Sydney Festival, Perth Festival, New Zealand Festival, Auckland Festival and Brisbane Festival. BLACK TIES is also supported by Creative New Zealand and the Australian Government through the Department of Communication and the Arts through the Cultural Diplomacy Arts Fund.

ILBIJERRI Theatre Company is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and by Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne.
Supported By
  • Australian Government | Australia Council for the Arts
  • City of Melbourne
  • Creative Communities NZ
  • Creative Victoria
  • Ilbijerri | Bold. Black. Brilliant.
  • Te Rehia Theatre
  • Major Festivals Initiative
  • Australian Government | Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications | Office for the Arts

Cast & Credits

Creative Team

Written by
John Harvey and Tainui Tukiwaho
Directed by
Rachael Maza and Tainui Tukiwaho
Set designer
Jacob Nash
Composer and musical director
Brendon Boney
Lighting designer
Jane Hakaraia
AV designer
James Henry
Sound designer
Laughton Kora
Costume designer
Te Ura Hoskins


Uncle Jack Charles
Mark Coles Smith
Lana Garland
Tawhirangi Macpherson
Lisa Maza
Tuakoi Ohia
Brady Peeti
Tainui Tukiwaho
Dalara Williams
Dion Williams
And a three-piece band led by Brendan Boney and featuring Mayella Dewis and Laughton Kora