Arts Centre Melbourne presents


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

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Performance dates & times
Friday 21 Feb
7:00 PM
Saturday 22 Feb
1:00 PM, 7:00 PM
Wednesday 26 Feb
7:00 PM
Thursday 27 Feb
7:00 PM
Friday 28 Feb
7:00 PM
Saturday 29 Feb
1:00 PM, 7:00 PM*

*AUSLAN performance

Running Time
2 hours 30 minutes, including interval

Price range
Buy tickets to 3 or more eligible Asia TOPA shows in the same transaction and receive 15% off all Adult Tickets.

See a full listing of eligible shows.
Under 30

*Limited availability

If you'd like to book a school group, please go to our BLACK TIES schools page.

All online orders are subject to a Service Charge of up to $8.95 per order, plus any optional additional postage charges

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.


Warning: Some adult references. Moderate coarse language.

Auslan Interpreted performance: Saturday 29 February, 7pm
Auslan interpreted performances are for audiences who are Deaf and use Australian Sign Language (Auslan) as their primary means of communication. Experienced Auslan theatre interpreters stand to the side of the stage and translate what the actors are saying or singing into Auslan signing the text and dialogue live. To book seats near the interpreter, select ‘Book tickets’ and add the code AUSLAN in the promo code box.

3+ Show Discount
Buy tickets to 3 or more eligible Asia TOPA shows in the same transaction and receive 15% off all Adult Tickets.
See a full listing of eligible shows.


  • 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 Communications and 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 Laughton Kora