Family focus in Anu role

Christine Anu in a scene from Jane Harrison's play Rainbow's End at the Drum Theatre.

Christine Anu in a scene from Jane Harrison‘s play Rainbow’s End at the Drum Theatre.

A TOUCHING family story is bringing ARIA award-winning singer Christine Anu to Dandenong.

Rainbow’s End, by Jane Harrison, tells the stories of three generations of Koori women living in conservative, rural Australia in the 1950s.

“It’s about their struggles through the hardships of the time, but also about their bond of family and their sense of belonging with each other,” Anu said. “It’s wrapped up nicely with a little love story.”

The three women, Nan Dear (Lillian Crombie), her daughter Gladys (Anu) and granddaughter Dolly (Chenoa Deemal) live in a shack on the banks of a flood-prone river.

Set against the backdrop of the Queen’s visit in 1954 and the Stolen Generation, the play celebrates the family’s optimism as they struggle for community acceptance.

“The floods and stuff would rip up their homes and then when they’d go back down again they’d have to rebuild them,” Anu said.

Amid the stormy conditions, the importance of family is the strongest current that flows throughout the play.

“Regardless of all of that, the material possessions, the things that open and shut, the important thing was the family, and as long as they had each other, they could get through anything in life.”

The cast began rehearsals in April and has been travelling around Australia with the play.

Rainbow’s End provides the first time that Anu, best known for her hit songs My Island Home and Sunshine on a Rainy Day, will tread the boards at the Drum Theatre.

“It’s full of fun and laughter and the story is just captivating the whole way through,” she said.

Rainbow’s End is on at the Drum Theatre at 8pm on June 8. Bookings: 9771 6666 or


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