The Sydney Opera House is back with its “biannual UnWrapped season of diverse, rarely seen and critically acclaimed work”. And one of the critically acclaimed works being showcased is Bigger & Blacker from Steven Oliver, the triple threat of ABC’s Black Comedy fame.

“Steven Oliver from ABC’s hit television series Black Comedy brings his critically acclaimed cabaret Bigger & Blacker to the Studio fresh from La Boite Theatre. Weaving comedy and contemplation though stories of love and loss, Oliver mines his own life to reflect on fame, friendship and the power of music,” the Opera House announced.

“A seasoned performer, Oliver is also a talented songwriter whose original score runs from perky pop to urban rap to lilting lullabies. Throw in a disco ball, dance breaks and spicy banter between Oliver and his on-stage companion, musician Michael Griffiths, for a guaranteed fun night out.”

From Townsville to the Sydney Opera House

Oliver is a descendant of the Kuku-Yalanji, Waanyi, Gangalidda, Woppaburra, Bundjalung and Biripi peoples and was born in Cloncurry in North West Queensland. 

He grew up in Townsville before being accepted for a coveted place at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in Perth. The city not only honed his innate talent but also helped him to come to terms with his sexuality, coming out to his mum in a letter sent to Townsville from across the country in Perth.

He spoke about that big step with SBS in an interview in August 2020 with Karla Grant, 

“She finally got the letter and she’d rung me and she said, ‘I got your letter.’ And I said, ‘How are you?’ And she goes, ‘You’re my son, I love you.’ 

“And then mum was great. She protected me in the way of rather than me having to go to every family member and tell them, she sat down with them. She sat down with my siblings, she sat down with my uncles and aunties and stuff like that and said, ‘Steven’s gay.’

“And it was that kind of way too, I think of her going, ‘If you have a problem with Steven, you’re going to have a problem with me.'”

Steven Oliver @ UnWrapped

 

Talking about the latest UpWrapped season, which included a short run of Williams Yang’s  performance of PARTY (verb) in 2019, Sydney Opera House Director of Programming Fiona Winning said, “We’re thrilled to present these diverse and beautifully crafted works from some of Australia’s independent and boundary-pushing performance-makers and musicians as part of this May’s UnWrapped program. 

From Project Masnavi’s evocative melodies fusing traditional Iranian music with jazz, to Steven Oliver’s critically acclaimed cabaret Bigger & Blacker, choreographer and dancer Angela Goh’s collaboration with composer Corin Ileto, this program promises short, sharp and provocative work by Australian artists.”

Steven Oliver is coming to Sydney Opera House, bringing his show, Bigger and Blacker for a limited run at UnWrapped, from the 19th until the 22nd of May in The Studio, more information and tickets here.

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