The Red Pinafore


Based on a true story, The Red Pinafore is a coming of age story at the dawn of modern multi-cultural Australia, when an OzAsia connection was created around kitchen tables and in living rooms by our parents and our grandparents.

The Red Pinafore had its first creative development as part of the InSPACE programme at the Adelaide Festival Centre in 2014.

Two little girls wearing matching red vinyl pinafores clamber awkwardly over the school fence. Safely home, they gather around a table with their family to eat a communal meal of noodles, stir fries and rice. Outside, the boys who have thrown footballs at their heads are taunting them, calling them ‘slopes’ and ‘wing-nuts’.

One day these same boys will call them to ask them out. But in Australia in the late 1970s, it is not yet cool to be mixed race, to be ‘one of those beautiful brown girls’. These girls are being raised by white mothers who fell in love with charming, charismatic men from China and Hong Kong. They are treading a precarious line between two cultures.

What do they dream of? Who will they become? What will these little girls tell their own daughters as the twenty first century unfolds?


Chiew-Jin Khut, Catherine Campbell and Jacqy Phillips, The Red Pinafore, InSPACE 2014