Coloured Aliens

What happens when playful banter...leads to ironic teasing...leads to identity theft...?

COLOURED ALIENS is a comedy about an interracial couple navigating their romance in the context of racism.

Mai Nguyen is an Asian-Australian playwright who soon discovers that ‘White Australia’ only wants her to write the ‘ethnic’ play. But that’s exactly the kind of story she can no longer tell. Her boyfriend Kevin O’Sullivan is a security guard (ex-spoken-word artist) who projects his own frustrated creativity onto her career. He gives Mai well-meaning, at times, pithy advice. Whilst Mai is away on a meditation retreat, Kevin decides to submit a pitch using her name. The fallout threatens both her career and their romantic partnership.

COLOURED ALIENS plays with audience expectations. You’ve heard of ‘Colour-blind’ casting, this production features ‘Colour-reverse’ casting in a post-racial comedy with a twist. COLOURED ALIENS intermixes space Aliens and refugees to explore how far have we come since Federation, when non-whites were labelled ‘Coloured Aliens’ in official Government documents.

Coloured Aliens was part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
La Mama Theatre 205 Faraday St, Carlton.

Script by Chi Vu
Direction by Beng Oh
Performances by Annie Lumsden & John Marc Desengano
Designed by Eugyeene Teh
Lighting design by Matthew Barber
Sound design by Tom Backhaus
Stage management by Claire Shepherd
Video by David Meagher
Photos by Jave Lee

Patricia Cornelius, Jane Bodie, Jane Miller, Caitlin Dullard, Liz Jones and the team at La Mama, 15 Minutes from Anywhere, Steve Gome, Glenn van Oosterom, Troy Larkin, John Kachoyan, Stephen Carlton, Tim Roseman, Annette Shun Wah, Teik Kim Pok, Sopa Enari, Annie Bourke, Tom Dent, Kim Ko, Don Bridges, James Dwyer, Jamie Lewis, Yuhui Ng, Dan Koop, Metanoia Theatre, Nicole Beyer, Barbara Bolt, Megan McPherson, iDare conference VCA, Megan Williams, Shaun Larkin and Robyn Gawenda.

This play is supported by Creative Victoria, and was developed through the Lotus Playwriting Project, an initiative of Playwriting Australia and Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, supported by the Girgensohn Foundation.


Read & purchase COLOURED ALIENS at Australian Plays.


4.5 Stars
“delightfully weird”
– Theatre People

“If you like your comedy with a little depth and bite, get to it.”
Australian Arts Review

“An absolute delight…”
– Fleur Kilpatrick, Smart Arts 3RRR

“Must see!”
– Peter Green, 3MBS

“What makes this play rib-ticklingly funny is the cross-racial casting. Under Beng Oh’s direction, Annie Lumsden’s performance is so far beyond fearless, it’s practically kamikaze. Likewise, Kevin O’Sullivan, from Tipperary, is played John Marc Desengano. He’s about as Irish as banh mi.”
– Chris Boyd, The Australian

“An intelligent piece, executed with passion by two brilliant actors
…this subject matter definitely hit nerves”
We Know Melbourne

‘Coloured Aliens’ features humour and provocations in equal measure. It features literal aliens, metaphorical aliens, and the alienation we feel from our friends, family, and professional communities
Peril Magazine

Interview with writer Chi Vu

“In this age of social media it’s easy to only pay attention to those who seem to have lots of similarities to us. However, experience has shown that kindness can come from where we least expect it. And so can cruelty, too. So I hope to make theatre that reminds myself of this.” – Arts Review – On the Couch