Riches brothers film Indigenous comedy series KGB in Perth

Dan and Luke Riches,
Dan and Luke Riches,

THE Riches found themselves settling in Koondoola during the late 1990s when the family with four young boys moved from remote Aboriginal community One Arm Point to Perth.

Now middle brothers Luke and Dan Riches have used Koondoola and surrounding suburbs as the setting for their Indigenous comedy series KGB (Koondoola, Girrawheen, Balga), screening on ABC Comedy from July 8 to 12 during NAIDOC Week.

The pair, who now live in Ferndale, created, wrote and directed the series through their production company Ardiol Media following last year’s big break with NITV documentary Lost Diamonds.

“In a lot of ways, KGB stemmed from watching Black Comedy,” Luke said.

“We had previously been throwing around some ideas with mates for a sketch comedy, talking about the different sketches you could do involving Indigenous people and the community.

“We thought it would be cool to have two rookie Indigenous cops, so we created the two main characters Jack (Clarence Ryan) who is a wannabe tough guy and Nigel (Bjorn Stewart) who is a gentle giant.

Luke said they chose to set and film the series in Koondoola because of the suburb’s high population of Aboriginal people.

“For Indigenous cops, we had to put them in an area like that,” he said.

“We wanted to put them around some family members as well, to create situations where their loyalties could be compromised.

“Do they stay loyal to their family or loyal to their sense of duty as police officers? It’s a recipe for disaster and laughter at the same time.

“We’re poking fun at police and poking fun at the community with a lot of comedy; nothing is off limits.

“We’ve been asked about the political context of it but it’s not about that for us, it’s more about having a laugh at the different characters in the community and situations they find themselves in.”

Clarence Ryan and Bjorn Stewart.

Luke said he and Dan were lucky when all the actors on their wish list were available for the series including Ryan, Stewart, Genevieve Morris, Aaron McGrath, Mark Coles Smith and Jesse Phillips.

“Having that experience on set helped myself and Daniel as rookie directors,” he said.

KGB premieres on ABC iview on July 7 and nightly on ABC Comedy, July 8 to 12.

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