ABC TV comedy Preppers stars a cohort of brilliant Indigenous actors and a stellar guest star line-up

PREPPERS: ABC TV/ABC iview, Wednesdays, 9.10pm

Would they survive?: Eryn Jean Norvill, Aaron McGrath, Meyne Wyatt, Jack Charles, Chum Ehelepola, Nakkiah Lui and Ursula Yovich star in ABC's comedy Preppers. Photo: supplied by ABC TV.

Would they survive?: Eryn Jean Norvill, Aaron McGrath, Meyne Wyatt, Jack Charles, Chum Ehelepola, Nakkiah Lui and Ursula Yovich star in ABC's comedy Preppers. Photo: supplied by ABC TV.

With all the hardship the world has faced in recent years - a tsunami, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornados and COVID-19 - there is no doubt groups of doomsday preppers are among us.

But, they are probably not as diverse and off-centre as those in the ABC's latest comedy, Preppers.

Among an amazing cohort of Indigenous performers, Ursula Yovich plays Kelly, one half of a relentlessly optimistic born again Christian mixed-race couple.

"Nakkiah [Nakkiah Lui, who stars as Charlie and is co-writer of the series] has got these two characters abstaining from sex until they are married, however they are very sexual. Usually, black women are either highly sexualised or seen as a fetish or fantasy for men. This is nicer sexual tension," Yovich says.

"We are getting paid to be playful and have fun. There were times we thought we'd all get fired because we found everything funny."

The preppers see themselves as people who don't fit it in with the rest of the world. They are led by founder Monty (Jack Charles), a wizened Indigenous man who establishes Eden 2 on Charlie's land as a refuge for Aboriginal people and a few suckers he has conned into footing the bill because "prepping isn't cheap".

Joining him are Kelly's fiance Lionel (Chum Ehelepola); Kirby (Eryn Jean Norvill), who hosts a conspiracy podcast as the 'agent of truth'; Guy (Meyne Wyatt), a macho Aboriginal survivalist obsessed with self-image; and Jayden (Aaron McGrath), a millennial who sees the apocalypse as the ultimate opportunity for Aboriginal self-determination.

"They are prepping for a maybe. They are isolated and have removed themselves from the rest of world. The plan is, when the shit hits the world, they are living in this bush environment and they are ready," Yovich says.

"I'm pretty sure there are so many people prepping for the end of the world. There is nothing beyond the realm of possibility."

Yovich says, apart from the script, the cast are "just fun people".

"Aaron has played my son a few times; Chum he's great; and Jack - he is so dry. It was wonderful for him to be with us. Sometimes we would sit down and have a yarn around lunch."

Charlie is the co-host of breakfast show Wake Up Australia who stumbles onto Eden 2 while trying to escape the fallout from her very public on-screen meltdown on Australia Day.

"She is someone who has lost her way. 'How much do you hold on to of your own culture?' is a question a lot of us mob struggle with," Yovich says.

"Mine and Chum's characters have moved away from their former lives with the introduction of religion. People are often removed from their own law. With our Aboriginal mob, the law we go by is the law of nature. There's nothing more divine than that."

The multi-talented Yovich attended the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts in Perth, where director Neil Armfield saw her and gave her a role at Belvoir St Theatre.

"I fell in love with the process. My most favourite time is in the rehearsal room breaking down scripts, creating something."

She also loves to sing and luckily we get to hear her beautiful voice in Preppers.

Preppers guest stars include Luke Arnold as the free-spirited but dejected leader of a group of white yuppie preppers (Leeanna Walsman, Yael Stone, Toby Schmitz and Sofia Nolan); Kate Miller-Heidke as the mythical Penrith Panther; Luke Carroll as a cunning Aboriginal archaeologist; Christine Anu as Charlie's even more cunning mother; Miranda Tapsell as Charlie's nan and the original prepper; Grant Denyer as Charlie's fiancé and producer boss; and Brooke Satchwell as Charlie's self absorbed TV co-host.

"I was impressed with how funny Grant is. Brooke was great and Christine was so good in this role. Miranda is so beautiful, cute, stunning and sexy, wrapped up in one. She is also a very smart, intelligent woman.

"I love seeing black women being so strong. I feel quite privileged to be alive during this period when we are getting strong roles."