Bran Nue Dae is a 1990 musical set in Broome, Western Australia, that tells stories and of issues relating to Indigenous Australians.[1] It was written by Jimmy Chi, his band Kuckles and friends and was the first Aboriginal musical. The name is a phonetic representation of 'Brand New Day'.

Bran Nue Dae
Bran Nue Dae 1993 Melbourne poster.jpg
Poster of 1993 production in Melbourne
MusicJimmy Chi
LyricsJimmy Chi
BookJimmy Chi
Productions1990 Perth
1990–1991 national tour
1993 Melbourne/Perth
2009 Film Adaptation

The musical was originally directed by Andrew Ross, a prominent theatre director in Western Australia. It premiered at the Octagon Theatre in February–March 1990 as part of the Festival of Perth, and later toured nationally.[2]

The musical won the prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards in 1990. The following year the published script and score won the Special Award in the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards.[3]

A 1991 television documentary Bran Nue Dae tells the story of the creation of the musical.[4][5]

The musical was revived for an Australian national tour in 2020.[6]

Film versionEdit

The musical has been turned into a feature film directed by Rachel Perkins starring Ernie Dingo, Geoffrey Rush, Jessica Mauboy, Missy Higgins, Deborah Mailman, Magda Szubanski and Dan Sultan.[7][8][9]

The film premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Film. It was theatrically released in Australia on 14 January 2010. It debuted with $2.5 million in its first week, solidifying it as a box office hit. It went on to gross over $7 million, making it one of the most successful Australian films of all time.[10]


  1. ^ Australian Government – Culture and Recreation Portal Archived 29 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine Highlights in Australian theatre history
  2. ^ "AusStage - Bran Nue Dae". Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Western Australian Premier's Book Awards – 1991 Winners". State Library of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2007.
  4. ^ Australian screen Bran Nue Dae
  5. ^ "Bran Nue Dae". Filmnews. 21 (3). 1 April 1991. p. 12. Retrieved 28 February 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Bamford, Matt (21 April 2019). "Bran Nue Dae for landmark musical's 30th anniversary tour". ABC News. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. ^ AdelaideNow Ernie's Bran Nue Dae
  8. ^ "Rush adds shining light to Broome's Bran Nue Dae movie project". Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  9. ^ Aaron Hillis, (8 Sep 2010), Aboriginal Musical, Unoriginal Music: Australia's Hit Bran Nue Dae, The Village Voice accessed 2010-0912
  10. ^ Box Office: Daybreakers adds $468,319, Inside Film

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit