Gimme that White Fever

It’s press release time!

Cameras roll on ABC’s sexy new comedy White Fever.

ABC and Screen Australia are delighted to announce that filming is underway in Melbourne on White Fever, the new Australian comedy from rising star Ra Chapman.

Ra Chapman and Chris Pang posing with a clapperboard

Jane (Ra Chapman) is a cocky Korean-Australian adoptee with a love of hairy white guys – the hairier and whiter the better. When her friends call her out for having “white fever”, she sets out on a journey to try and reprogram her libido but instead instigates the process of finding out who she really is.

From hens’ nights to country weddings, moon crystals, “gotcha” days and a boxing ring, it’s a K-Pop-infused, action-packed, wild ride filled with revelations, surprises and a large helping of Asian pop culture.

Creator, writer and star of White Fever Ra Chapman says “I’m so excited for audiences to meet Jane, and experience the unceremonious roller-coaster journey she goes on. I hope this fun and cheeky comedy not only makes you laugh but also makes you see yourself and the people you love, and lust after, in a totally new light!”

Starring alongside Ra is a terrific line-up of Australian comedic talent, including Chris Pang (Crazy Rich Asians, Joy Ride), Roz Hammond (Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, Bay of Fires), Greg Stone (Jack Irish, Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries), Katie Robertson (Rosehaven, Five Bedrooms), Cassandra Sorrell (North Shore), Harvey Zielinski (Deadloch) and Jillian Nguyen (One Night, Barons).

ABC Head of Comedy Todd Abbott says “Everyone loves a romcom, but this one, from the phenomenal talent that is Ra Chapman, is so much more than just that. It’s sharp, smart, funny, fresh and plunges us deep into a unique world. Hearing this sensational cast read the scripts around the table made us laugh, cry and rethink so much of what we take for granted. I can’t wait to see it burst into life on screen and share it with audiences.”

CEO of Screen Australia Graeme Mason says “White Fever is a refreshing and authentic take on the everyday romcom. With its clever script, candid insights, exceptional cast and creative team — this bold and hilarious series provides a meaningful exploration of identity and relationships. Without a doubt, Ra Chapman and White Fever will strike a chord with Australian audiences, leaving them wanting more.”

Developed by Ra Chapman and Katherine Fry. Written by Ra Chapman, Michele Lee, Harvey Zielinski, Clare Atkins and directed by Aidee Walker, White Fever will film in and around Melbourne over the next five weeks and will air on ABC TV and ABC iview in 2024.

White Fever also appears to be partly based on ideas in creator/writer/star Ra Chapman’s 2022 play K-BOX, about a Korean-Australian adoptee. Reviewing a performance at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, The Guardian described K-BOX as flitting between “between rapid-fire humour and tense family drama”. The play later won the Patrick White Playwrights Award.

But whether the sort of humour typical of the theatre will translate to a TV comedy is another matter. David Williamson’s Dog’s Head Bay, once described as “the worst piece of television in the history of Australia”, suggests not.

Either way, White Fever seems to be giving off vague Colin From Accounts vibes. Sitting firmly in the recent Australian tradition of making shows that look like sitcoms but turn out to be mildly depressing dramas. Can it buck the trend and make us laugh a lot? We hope so.

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