NAARAH is currently playing fictional character Pearl Doyle in the 2023 season of Wesley Enoch AM’s musical The Sunshine Club.
Pearl witnesses her rival and brother’s love interest Rose prepare to leave for the Royal Academy of Music in London. Pearl, every bit as talented a songstress, and harbouring the same dreams, never gets a look in – she is Aboriginal in post- World War Two.
In real life, in 2023, in the most poetic irony, next month Naarah, is leaving the cast mid-season to study her masters in musical theatre at that very academy.
“It’s nuts for me,” said Naarah, a 25-year-old Gija (East Kimberley) woman who grew up in Nipaluna/Hobart.
“Back then, if you’re Aboriginal, there’s no way you’d be able to do that. So me getting that role now is really the irony, it’s just incredible. I feel like I’m doing Pearl proud by leaving the show to go and be at the Royal Academy of Music,” she said.
“The course is second to none, it’s one of the top theatre schools in the world. I’m living the dream.”
It is the third time she had applied. Noonuccal Nuugi playwright and director Wesley Enoch said it was a wonderful moment when Naarah found out.
“There was a sense of that’s what it should be, where the blackfella can also go over and study in London and build a career.
“The show itself talks about the juxtaposition of history, when in the 1950s we didn’t have many opportunities. Now we do and Naarah going to London is a clear example,” he said.