No More Sugar No More Tea | 27 April - 1 May 2022

An original folk opera exploring the changes that take place when life is decimated by war.

Presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy

Told through the letters from First Nations women during the First World War to their husbands and sons on the front lines, No More Sugar. No More Tea navigates a time of heightened assimilations policy and the establishment of missions, when First Nations people living under the Aborigines Protection Act were regarded as subhuman in law. When one woman, a mother, writes to the mission manager and the Aboriginal Welfare Board, we see that there is another war going on.


No More Sugar, No More Tea celebrates methods of resistance and resilience in the actions of these women. Witness the contribution of First Australian's to the First World War, which, up until recent times, have been largely ignored, and shine a spotlight on the actions of the Aborigine's Protection Board and their oppression of First Nations people through protocols, law and attitudes.


Written and directed by Richard J Frankland, with music by Richard J Frankland and Biddy Connor, No More Sugar, No More Tea presents a selection of songs from Act 3 of a larger work currently in development. These initial songs are based on the story of Richard's grandfather and great-grandmother, as well as stories from other First Nations communities. These personal stories are a mix of fact and fiction, informed by real events and actual letters, becoming a vehicle via which this under-represented history can be told.


Approximate running time: 60mins

View the program

Creative Team


Written and Directed by Richard Frankland
Music by Biddy Connor and Richard Frankland
Produced by Biddy Connor and Matt Delbridge
Associate Producer: Deb Craib