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Wundig wer Wilura - an ancient Noongar story of star-crossed lovers

Rhiannon Clarke -

The tale of Wundig and Wilura, known as "Wundig wer Wilura," is an ancient Noongar story that revolves around two star-crossed lovers.

Wundig, a dashing young man, is highly regarded among the Hills people for his charm and good looks, played by Jarred Wall.

Wilura, a stunning young woman, is deeply cherished by her family, the Grass people, played by Jess Hitchcock.

They defy the traditions and customs of their community, resulting in their souls being forever banished to Mount Brown/Wongborel and Mount Bakewell/Walwalling in York, Western Australia.

Noongar artist Mr Wall said throughout the story the characters are put to the test with some magical moments, moments of despair and heartache and they convey these messages through songs.

"These songs that have never been heard before by anyone, these are songs of this country's language, it's Noongar language, it's my language," he said.

"It's just so grand and special to be involved performing with other First Nations cast…It's a once in a lifetime kind of experience."

Wundig wer Wilura director Matt Reuben James Ward said the narrative explores themes of family, cultural ties, duty, rebellion, devotion, betrayal, and the complexities of love and war.

"I think audiences coming to see this operatic version of Wundig and Wilura will be really interested to see a contemporary interpretation of a true ancient story," said Mr Reuben

The story of Wundig wer Wilura poses a thought-provoking question: To what extent would one go for love, even in the face of dire consequences?

Presented in Noongar, this remarkable production is a creation of Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, acclaimed songwriters and storytellers.

Commissioned by Wesfarmers Arts, it promises to be an extraordinary addition to the Perth Festival, leaving a lasting impact on its audience.

Wundig wer Wilura will be shown in His Majesty Theatre from the 9th of February to the 15th.

The assemble of First Nation cast:

Mulbaarn (Clever Man) David Leha aka Radical Son.

Bworan (Old Man) Ronald Dick.

Ngaank (Wilura's Mother) Charley Caruso

Kabaarli Kalyat (Nanna Cheek, Wilura's Nanna) Della Rae Morrison

Gulambiddi (Wilura's Betrothed) Jarrad Inman

Mandi (Wundig's Betrothed) Bella McGill

Maamyok (Wundig's Mother) Teresa Moore

Kongk (Wundig's Father) Tyrone Brownley

Maambart (Wilura's Father) Rubeun Yorkshire

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