‘Of course …now you’ve got your paycheck and your clout, you can fuck off into the sunset with your mayonnaise-looking prince charming over there’
Across a series of scenes, couples and relationships, No Pink Dicks picks at our perpetual (dis)comfort with the space between the personal and the political.
The stakes are high for those who dare love across racial lines– maybe for good reason. No Pink Dicks carries us anthologically across a series of interracial relationships between Black women and their white partners, playground memories and dating app message threads, weaving the increasingly complex web that is contemporary dating. This could have been a Rom-Com.
Moreblessing Maturure is a multi-award-winning Zimbabwean/Australian inter-disciplinary artist, TEDx Speaker and founder & Creative Director of FOLK Magazine. Her written work across literature, stage and screen has included recent engagements with Screen Australia (Developing the Developers, 2019), Associate Development Producer at Kojo Studios and Sydney Theatre Company (Resident Writer, 2017-19).
Moreblessing is developing a slate of works for theatre including audio/live performance hybrid work MILK & HONEY & LEMONS and NO PINK DICKS, alongside screen projects AFRO SISTAHS and MASC (Easy Tiger & Revlover) both funded through Screen Australia. As a performer, she recently toured the sell-out Australian production of ‘seven methods of killing kylie jenner’ directed by Shari Sebbens and Zindzi Okenyo while appearing on screen in various projects. Moreblessing also works as dramaturg, outreach producer and Co-Chair of MEAA’s Equity Diversity Committee, which supports her advocacy work within the arts for anti racist and inclusive practice.
Introducing playwright Moreblessing Maturure
What inspired you to write this play?
There was a point when I realised a folder full of hashed thoughts, half completed works, notes apps titled “this could be something” were all scratching the same itch: How and should our personal and political selves co-exist harmoniously, and what if they don’t. How romance and love are revered as this ‘apolitical haven’ immediately told me that was the most chaotic, amusing and someone’s-gripping-your-stomach location for this question. The anthological form has allowed me to come to it with renewed inspiration each time, whether it’s a messy twitter thread, the wildest hot take on tik-tok or glimpses in my life, I get screenshots, download, open my notes app and file under: “that’s absolutely in NPD”.
Can you tell us a bit about our journey as a playwright?
I’m a protege (humble smile). In yr 3 I distributed a self published who-done-it to my classmates, it was called “Who Did It?”— it was widely read, and enjoyed. I moved schools after the 2nd instalment… the mystery remains unsolved. As a child, it was reinforced that writing was something I was good at but I wouldn’t turn to playwriting until I was a performer, who knew she was good but was facing a dearth of meaty characters and worlds that *clicked* in my way. Arriving at playwriting was a boon for a theatre-maker that loved to spend time in my head and to think things over— now I’m now often trying to throw myself back out of my head. I would then spend a year with Australian Theatre for Young People putting the first pieces of this play down, before being in Sydney Theatre Company’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group.
What or who inspires you as a writer and why do you want to write for the stage?
With a wider multi-disciplinary practice, I’m often inspired by talking a stroll away from writing into performance, visual arts, publishing or doom scrolling the internet. Those rare moments when the temperature shifts in the theatre or the theatre is filled with the intended audience of a show— that’s often the reminder of what I love about this. In equally high regard there’s: Michaela Coel, Issa Rae, debbie tucker green, Claudia Rankine, bell hooks, Kelsey Lu, Mareba, Legacy Russell.
What do you think about the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and, more specifically, the anonymity at the heart of the Prize?
Coming from an Australian context, avenues for career and professional development as a playwright are few and far between and the distance to advance our work, careers and practice across the oceans feels very far. Having Bruntwood available cannot be underestimated. Anonymity was a fascinating exercise in realising that my voice and positionally is so inextricably tied to the work I make— this was an affirming realisation, that even across geographic context what was being put down was being picked up.
How do you feel about being shortlisted?
“Gooped, gagt, deceased” was the exact text message I sent when I received the call. Excited to witness the post Liz-es era while in the UK, to meet the other shortlisted playwrights, to open myself to learning. As my therapist often reminds me to do: I’ll be sitting with this achievement.