Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji: Two plays
eBook - ePub

Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji: Two plays

Two plays

Scott Rankin

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  2. ePUB (mobile friendly)
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eBook - ePub

Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji: Two plays

Two plays

Scott Rankin

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Book preview
Table of contents

About This Book

Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji go right to the heart of the intersection between Indigenous and non-Indigenous experience. These stories of family, friendship, land, myth, life and death are contextualised within the social and political framework of their times. They resonate universally, yet at the same time capture unique moments in Australian history and experience.Namatjira tells the moving story of Albert Namatjira (1902–1959). Namatjira was Australia's most famous Indigenous watercolour artist and the first to achieve commercial success, but his story is hardly known. Albert Namatjira's story resonates today as strongly as it did 50 years ago, providing a lens through which we can see the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians both in the past and the present.Taking its name from the Pitjantjatjara concept of exchange and reciprocity, Ngapartji Ngapartji—co-created with Trevor Jamieson—is a deeply affecting experience of Indigenous history. Exploring themes of dispossession and displacement from country, home and family, the play tells the story of a Pitjantjatjara family forcibly moved off their lands to make way for the testing of British atomic bombs at Maralinga.

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The performance space is defined by a large copper-coloured shell which stands towards the rear of the stage. It is angled in such a way that performers can stand on it, climb over it, or be concealed behind it.
The floor of the stage is covered in black sand.
There is a delicate sculpted metal screen, above the back of the stage, upon which various projections appear.
Towards the back of the stage, stage right, sits a choir of Pitjantjatjara women. They stand when they sing, afterwards resuming their seats and becoming witnesses to the authenticity of the story as it unfolds.
Some sections of dialogue (and song lyrics) appear in the text in Pitjantjatjara language with English translation in brackets after. Both the Pitjantjatjara and English text are spoken (or sung) in performance.
True to the genesis of this project, this script uses the names of family members and original cast members.
The performance style is informal and varies from night to night. There is improvisation and byplay amongst the cast in some scenes.


SCREEN: A moon slowly rises for twenty minues as the audience enters.
MUSICIANS enter—a Japanese flute plays, with guitar.
The house lights dim.
SCREEN: A film of JANGALA (Trevor’s brother) running in the desert.
TREVOR enters. He watches the film.
TREVOR: Munga kuwarina mukuringangi pitja palyantjikitja ngayuku malanypa Jangalanyatjara. [For tonight, I was just going to make a film about my brother Jangala.] Paluru pukulpa nyinanyi putingka… [Jangala is happy in the bush…] but he spends a lot of time in prison. I worry: Mununa pulkara kulini tjinguru kuwari paluru iluku. [He may not be here long.] Finished… I wanted to make a film about him… but then my family turned up… So we’re gonna be here for a very long time.
We hear the CHOIR singing offstage. They enter, singing.
SONG: ‘Walytja’ (‘Family’)
CHOIR: [sung]
Tjamu, kami,
Mama ngunytju,
Kuta kangkuru, kulilaya,
Nyangatja tjukurpa nyuntumpa ngalimpa
Nyaakun kulira wantinyi nyangatja
TREVOR: I better introduce you to my walytja, my family.
He introduces some of the Pitjantjatjara cast.
I’ll hand you over to my sister Makinti, and my mothers, Pantjiti and Jenny. Wai Makinti, palya, nyuranya?
MAKINTI: [to TREVOR] Uwa palya?
TREVOR drifts to the back as MAKINTI teaches the audience some words.
MAKINTI: Wai. ‘Wai’ is a way of getting attention… polite way.
Uwa palya.
Now we’re going to teach you a simple song: ‘Heads and Shoulders, Knees and Toes’.
SCREEN: The words come up.
MAKINTI goes through each word and gets the audience to repeat it. She explains each word by pointing to a part of the body.
MAKINTI: Kata. Alipiri...

Table of contents

  2. Playwright’s Biography
  3. Introduction
  9. HYMNS
  10. ACT ONE
  11. ACT TWO
  14. CAST
Citation styles for Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji: Two plays

APA 6 Citation

Rankin, S. (2013). Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji: Two plays ([edition unavailable]). Currency Press. Retrieved from (Original work published 2013)

Chicago Citation

Rankin, Scott. (2013) 2013. Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji: Two Plays. [Edition unavailable]. Currency Press.

Harvard Citation

Rankin, S. (2013) Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji: Two plays. [edition unavailable]. Currency Press. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Rankin, Scott. Namatjira and Ngapartji Ngapartji: Two Plays. [edition unavailable]. Currency Press, 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.