I’ve had a fear of theatre plays since the time I watched Alice and Wonderland as a young girl. After the wacky costumes and over-the-top singing and dancing, I hadn’t brought myself to attend one since. Until last weekend, when I attended a low-budget WA play based on Indigenous culture, and it changed my perspective on plays. The play, Kangaroo Stew, created by Wongi, Yamatji and Murri writer Zac James, played at the Queens Park Theatre on Saturday to raise awareness of Aboriginal land rights through a story about a modern Aboriginal Australian family. On Friday I attended the preview where guests sat around outside the QPT to take part in a smoking ceremony, led by Yamatji elder Derek Councillor, who used certain leaves to banish bad spirits before the play. Guests were led through the back stage entrance, evoking a pleasant invitation to start the play as they read signatures from former performers inscribed on the brick wall. Not far from the dimly lit stage stood a waitress with champagne glasses as the guests were welcomed with cold refreshments before being asked to take their seats. Due to the small quantity of tickets sold and the deliberate action of drawing the crowd closer to the stage, seats were arranged in front of the closed curtain, hiding the open theatre. I sat and observed the stage props — a bed fixed to the right, with a backboard to symbolise separation of rooms. In the middle was a round timber dining table with a vintage cottage sideboard home to kitchen appliances as the common room. The play began, and I was impressed with the quality of acting. Two brothers, David (acted by Zac James) and Jack, David’s fiancee Lily, and the boy’s mother, Anne (acted by Rayma Morrison) sit around the table as the couple returned to visit the family home. The mother dished up a real kangaroo stew — which made the play feel real — it was a great way to draw cultural elements into the play. It was very symbolic of a true Australian home as they talked about marriage, break-ups and provoked each other over dinner. But David’s phone continued to ring. It wasn’t long before the play turned dark. The family discovered David only returned for permission enabling him to sign a deal to sell land. The brothers fought over protecting the sacred site. The father, John (played by Maitland Schnaars), came into the play as a spirit that couldn’t rest until David understood the meaning of protecting culture and land. John teaches his son the consequences of selling the land and is able to rest when he calls off the deal. The story was insightful and thought-provoking, with fantastic Aboriginal dance and a mixture of language and emotions. The acting was passionate and sent tingles of emotion through the crowd, from laughs, to frights to tears. I believe all Australians should take the time to view this play.