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Sex, Drugs and Pork Rolls: Sydney Festival show the fruit of eight-year mission to make ‘100 per cent POC’ theatre

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A white actor pissing into a bottle and calling it art? No thanks, Michael Mohammed Ahmad isn’t interested. Nor does he need tickets “to watch some white guy literally improvising some nonsense and sweating on us”.

The Arab-Australian author of award-winning novels The Tribe and The Lebs grew up in Lakemba in Sydney’s west (“There were so many Lebs, we called it Leb-kemba”) and knows that he doesn’t have to fling “sweat on my audience to tell a compelling story”.

“I can literally get onstage and talk for an hour about my family.”

Young man with short-cropped beard and moustache wearing cream skullcap and short-sleeved white shirt, sitting with arms resting
Michael Mohammed Ahmad won a NSW Premier’s Literary Award for his second novel, The Lebs. The book was also shortlisted for the Miles Franklin.(ABC Arts: Anna Kucera)

Ahmad, 35, says that growing up he was…



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