Black Ties

World premiere Australian and New Zealand tour

Past Production

Two families, two cultures... too much!

When Māori corporate hotshot Hera and Aboriginal consultancy entrepreneur Kane locked eyes at a Cultural Awareness session, it was love at first sight. Ambitious and career focused, Kane and Hera now have their perfect future all mapped out. But there is 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 blow Hera and Kane’s world apart? 

‘…an interactive audience extravaganza that will leave your jaw aching from laughter.

– Theatre People*****(5 stars)

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

With a peerless cast including Uncle Jack Charles, Mark Coles Smith, Lisa Maza, Tuakoi Ohia and Brady Peeti, and created by a brilliant team of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori artists, 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, it will be a party to remember.


‘…an interactive audience extravaganza that will leave your jaw aching from laughter.

– Theatre People*****(5 stars)

‘…a rom-com that doesn’t simply entertain the audience…it makes them feel like part of the family.’

The Age****(4 stars)

‘The play wants to move us beyond cultural stereotypes, and to show us we have more in common than we suspect.’

- The Guardian****(4 stars)

‘It’s rare to see these kinds of conversations onstage, and rarer still for a theatre piece to define its Indigenous characters in relation to other First Nations peoples, rather than in contrast with their colonisers.’

Limelight **** (4 stars)

‘Black Ties is the best wedding you’ll ever attend, hands down… it’s a rollicking night that will leaving you thinking about Indigenous race relations in between all the laughs… it will be touring the globe for years to come’

The Plus Ones

2020 Tour

WORLD PREMIERE Toured Nationally and Internationally January - September 2020 

Sydney Festival | 10 - 18 Jan 2020

Sydney Town Hall, Sydney

Perth Festival | 13 - 16 Feb 2020

Studio Underground, Perth  

Asia TOPA | 21 - 29 Feb 2020

The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne

New Zealand Festival | 4 - 7 Mar 2020

Shed 6, Wellington

Auckland Arts Festival | 11 - 29 March 2020

Waitākere Room, Aotea Centre

Photo: Garth Oriander

BLACK TIES was commissioned by AsiaTOPA, a joint initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne; 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, AsiaTOPA Festival and Brisbane Festival. BLACK TIES is also supported by Creative New Zealand and The Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts & Cultural Development. 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. 

Presented by LBIJERRI Theatre Company and Te Rēhia Theatre Company


Jack Charles

Mark Coles Smith

Lana Garland

Tawhirangi Macpherson

Lisa Maza

Tuakoi Ohia

Brady Peeti

Tainui Tukiwaho

Dalara Williams

Dion Williams



WRITTEN BY John Harvey and Tainui Tukiwaho

DIRECTED BY Rachael Maza and Tainui Tukiwaho







BAND Brendan Boney, Mayella Dewis, and Laughton Kora


Amber Curreen (Te Rēhia Theatre Company)

Nina Bonacci (Senior Producer, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company)

Laila Thaker (Associate Producer, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company)

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