Stay Woke — Darlinghurst Theatre Company

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Now showing after a successful run at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, Stay Woke is the latest acclaimed comedy to grace the hallowed stage of Darlighurst Theatre Company. The play follows two brothers with a lifelong rivalry on a weekend away accompanied by their partners.

Written by Aran Thangaratnam and directed by Bridget Balodis, the stage-show explores how wokeness is weaponised, as the conversation on the trip away becomes political.

“In rehearsals, I kept thinking about comedians like Alok Vaid-Menon and Hannah Gadsby – it’s a knife’s edge comedy, and even though the play has a big heart, no one is safe from scrutiny,” directer Bridget Balodis says.

While the play reflects on society and the prevalence of things like bare-minimum activism, it’s also an exploration of the two protagonists (Niv and Sai) and their relationship with Australia.

“To me Niv and Sai’s perspective on Sri Lanka would be a conflicted one, feeling a reactive allegiance to Sri Lanka growing up, due to the other-ism of growing up in Australia, but also knowing that it’s a country that has historically rejected people like them through the civil war,” says writer Aran Thangaratnam.

Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Amylia Harris added: “this comedy will hopefully not only make people laugh, but also challenge audiences to self-reflect on their own progressive politics and intersectional identities.”

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