• Katie Beckett and Tony Briggs play a father and daughter on a road trip on 'Which Way Home'. (NITV News/Ryan Liddle)Source: NITV News/Ryan Liddle
Katie Beckett’s ‘Which Way Home’ promises theatre audiences a breath of fresh air against negative portrayals of Aboriginal men.
Ryan Liddle

16 Jan 2017 - 11:42 AM  UPDATED 16 Jan 2017 - 12:01 PM

Bill Leak’s polemic cartoon was just one of the controversies marring the image of Aboriginal men in 2016.

Just like #IndigenousDads, ‘Which Way Home’, offers a different perspective.

Written and played by Katie Beckett, winner of the 2015 Balnave Foundations Indigenous Playwrights Award, ‘Which Way Home’ tells the tale of the unique bond forged between a father and a young daughter coming of age, following the passing of her mother.

Raised in a mostly white affluent suburb in Ipswich, Queensland, the daughter, Tash and her father hit the road, heading back to country.

On the trip back to Goodooga, New South Wales, theatre goers see plenty of love, action, laughs and of course, drama.

Katie Beckett told NITV News the story is mostly about unconditional love.

Her character “shares a really close-strong bond and relationship with her father,” played by Tony Briggs.

“He's a caring individual and he's a bit of a controlling individual. He's always telling his Dad jokes and he always does it with a twinkle in his eye and smile on his face, but he's holding a lot of pain inside of him. So behind that smile there's an awful lot of pain and you know, it gets revealed towards the end, that’s what it’s all about,” she explains.

Three years in the making, ‘Which Way Home’ is directed by stage and screen veteran, Rachael Maza.

"We haven't seen a story like this, a story that celebrates Aboriginal men, in such a positive way. He's such a complex character. No one's perfect, everyone's got their kind of baggage but he's a good father. He's loving and … funny and that's what bounced off the page when we very initially started talking about this idea. It was really about countering the disgusting, very negative stereotyping that black men have to deal with.”

The play promises to not disappoint.

Rachael Maza tells audiences they can expect “an extraordinarily good, fun night out.

“Bring your tissue box! You're going to have every gamut of experience, but overall joy. This is one of the few jobs that I've worked on ... that filled me with joy. There isn't a day that I don't go out and I feel lifted and full and that's the experience. It's a celebration and a celebration of life, of love and our people, and particularly black men.”

‘Which Way Home’ is on show at the Sydney Festival until 29 January.