Arts Review

Queensland Theatre The Sunshine Club at QPAC

Review: Joanna Letic


The Sunshine Club, written and directed by Wesley Enoch, first saw the light of day at Queensland Theatre in 1999. Not only does this musical spotlight the voices of First Nations Australians but captures a moment in time. The narrative follows Indigenous serviceman Frank Doyle, played by Marcus Corowa, who returns home from World War II only to realise how little progress has been made for Indigenous Austrailians. 


The Sunshine Club is an entertaining musical, featuring toe tapping tunes by John Rodgers, that cleverly bounces between racial issues and the political climate in Australia and light-hearted humour. The performance is made all the more captivating with the well written characters that simply come to life on stage with the help of the talented cast members. The dynamics between each of the family members is a worthwhile watch, and a special mention has to be made to Aunty Faith Doyle who is played by Roxanne McDonald, as she plays this role with a whole lot of heart.


As the impact of the pandemic continues globally, and with recent events such as the floods and the price of living rising, it feels as though a dark cloud has been hanging over our heads these last couple of years. When I saw Robyn Archer: An Australian Songbook recently at Queensland Theatre it was brought to my attention that although these recent events have created obstacles for the arts and entertainment industry that isn’t to say there isn’t a silver lining. 


Robyn Archer: An Australian Songbook would not have come into fruition if it weren’t for COVID-19 and in the same vein The Sunshine Club has navigated through stormy clouds to reach the Playhouse Theatre, QPAC in 2022. While there is a lot of change happening in the world, it is worth taking a look at how far we have come as a nation. The Sunshine Club takes us on a journey through time showing us a world where Indigenous people were looking to come together and celebrate our differences while opening the door for the next generation of Indigenous Australians.


Photo: Brett Boardman


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