The 1970s

Pioneer ABC-TV Production of Basically Black

In 1973 ABC-TV produced a television version of Basically Black. This was the first all-Aboriginal television show in Australia. The ABC-TV production was a heavily censored and politically 'watered-down' version of the stage production that had been so successful at Sydney's Nimrod Theatre the previous year.

Nevertheless, the TV version was a success, but not enough to make the ABC proceed with a planned series. The show is still occasionally screened late at night, or as a token gesture around National Aborigines Week every few years. Here is a selection of video captures from the TV version.

Click on photo to see larger version.

Aileen Corpus

Bindi Williams

Gary Foley & Bob Maza

Bob Maza & Zac Martin in "Super Boong"

Zac Martin IS Super Boong

Zac Flys

Zac Martin

Super Boong!

Bindi is confronted with a super Boong

No. 1 Labour Battalion reporting for duty

A Pomee Lord dies of thirst - beside a waterhole!

Bindi Williams

Aileen Corpus sings

A Black Power Nasty

Angelic Bob Maza

Material on History of Black Theatre
The Future in Black and White: Aboriginality in Recent Australian Drama - by Katherine Brisbane
"Aborigines to Get Their Own Drama Group" - Melbourne Age 28th July 1972
A Passion for Ideas: Black Stage - by Rhoda Roberts
"Give Us A Go - Aboriginal Actors Demand a Piece of the TV Acting Cake"
"Black Theatre Needed Here" - Adelaide News 21st Jan 1974
"New Significance for Oldest Theatre" - Adelaide Advertiser 9th June 1973
Review of Basically Black - Margaret Jones Sydney Morning Herald 2nd Nov 1972
National Seminar on Aboriginal Arts - New Dawn September 1973
"Fighting Stand by Aboriginal Theatre - Melbourne Listener 18th March 1972
Dreams of Bindi - Womens Day 1969
Program from Nindethana production of The Cherry Pickers - Melbourne 1973
Some videoclips from "Basically Black"