A celebration of an artistic career spanning seven decades, honouring an elder, mentor to indigenous performers and advocate for the LGBTI community, La Mama presents Noel Tovey’s Little Black Bastard for a strictly limited season from 3 May 2017.
Born in Carlton on Christmas Day 1934, Noel Tovey is one of five children abandoned by his parents. A young Aboriginal boy living on the streets of inner city Melbourne, his childhood memories are scarred with poverty, abuse and neglect.
By the age of 17, he was determined to escape the country that failed to shelter him. Jump to England where he reinvents himself as a dancer, actor, singer, choreographer and director working alongside the UK and Europe’s film and theatre elite. Tovey enjoys the distinction of being Australia’s first male ballet dancer of Indigenous heritage.
Having returned to Australia, Tovey decided to confront his traumatic childhood the only way he knew how, he put pen to paper, the result, Little Black Bastard. Originally performed at the Carlton (now La Mama) Courthouse in 2003, the show has gone on to tour nationally and internationally for nearly 15 years.
His autobiography Little Black Bastard: A Story of Survival, for which he received The 2000 Indigenous Fellowship to write, was published by Hachette in 2004. After becoming a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in January 2015, Tovey returned to perform Little Black Bastard at La Mama Courthouse – the building where he was taken from his parents at five years old.
Once again, Tovey returns the story to the city where it all began, performing as part of La Mama’s 50th Birthday Celebrations, telling his story with candour, dignity and flashes of humour in the ultimate tale of triumph and transformation, and an opportunity to observe the remarkable life and art of one of La Mama’s veteran Artists.
Director: Robina Beard Writer / Performer: Noel Tovey Researcher, Personal Assistant and Stage Manager: Cali Vandyke-Dunleavy Production Manager: Bec Etchell Original Set Design: Richard Roberts
Little Black Bastard
La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Season: 3 – 7 May 2017
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: Noel Tovey – photo by Michael Brogan