The Shadow King

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Apr 2014 All »

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Education

Suitable For: Years 9 to VCE

Best fit: Year 10 and 11

Curriculum Prompts: VCE Drama and Theatre Studies; Aboriginal Studies; English; Literature; Australian History; Languages other than English

Themes and Motifs: Classic Text: Shakespeare’s King Lear; Translation, adaption and recontextualisation; Aboriginal themes; Land rites; Australian identity

Language: A theatre performance in multiple languages including English, Pidgin and multiple Aboriginal languages.

Warnings: A tragedy with contextual death and disaster appropriate of a Shakespearian drama.

Media

Download the Season 2013 Media Release or contact Media Manager Maria O’Dwyer.

The Shadow King

11 October - 27 October
Merlyn Theatre
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The greatest of all epics about nation, is finally an epic about our nation.

Epic and provocative, The Shadow King reworks Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy King Lear as a sprawling, blood-soaked tale of two Indigenous families in Australia’s north. Probing our understanding of kinship and country, it weaves a parable that echoes our nation’s history.

Told through modern English, Kriol languages and a live rock score, this ambitious new production brings together some of Australia’s foremost Indigenous performers, including Tom E. Lewis (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith) and Jimi Bani (Mabo), along with the music of Bart Willoughby.

Working across cultures and generations, The Shadow King is an unmissable theatrical event of a scale and significance to match the land on which it’s made.

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Credits

Malthouse Theatre & Melbourne Festival present
THE SHADOW KING
in association with Sydney Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, Adelaide Festival & Brisbane Festival
Co-Created by Tom E. LewisMichael Kantor

Directed by Michael Kantor
Music Consultant Iain Grandage
Music Director John Rodgers
Sound Design Kelly Ryall
Lighting Design Paul Jackson
Set Design Paul Jackson, Michael Kantor & David Miller
Props & Costume Design Ruby Langton-Batty
Dramaturg Marion Potts
Film Natasha Gadd, Rhys Graham & Murray Lui
Producer Jo Porter

Cast Jada Alberts,  Jimi Bani, Frances Djulibing, Rarriwuy HickDamion HunterKamahi Djordon King, Tom E Lewis, Natasha Wanganeen

Band Selwyn Burns, Jason Tamiru, Bart Willoughby

Run Time 1 hour 45 minutes, no interval

Read the program

Watch the trailer
Watch the mini documentary

Image and video: Daybreak Films
Production images: Jeff Busby 

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In the Press

Reviews
The Guardian (4 stars)
The Australian
ABC Arts
Herald Sun

Radio National Tom E. Lewis talks to AM (audio and transcript)
774 ABC Melbourne Tom E. Lewis and Michael Kantor on The Conversation Hour
Tom E. Lewis and Michael Kantor talk to The Australian
Herald Sun article

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Magnify Your Experience

 Limited Edition: The Shadow King
Saturday 19 October, 4pm

What happens when a classic Whitefella text is reimagined as an Indigenous story? In this Limited Edition, a panel of guests will discuss  the topics and themes that emerge when a piece of theatre is made at a corroboree of cultures.

Join Jason Tamiru, Malthouse Theatre’s Aboriginal  Engagement Producer, and a panel of guests to learn more about the spirit and  the shadow of this paramount work and its echoes across Australia.

TTT: Time to Talk
Thursday 17 October, following the 7.30pm performance of The Shadow King.

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Melbourne Festival

Support

Supported by the Tom Kantor Fund.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals – Melbourne Festival, Sydney Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, Adelaide Festival and Brisbane Festival.

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fascinating, ultimately shattering theatre
— ABC Arts
a clever, satisfying and deeply affecting adaptation
— The Australian
clever and moving … a stellar ensemble cast … close to transcendent
— Herald Sun
The use of a Shakespearean classic to tell an Indigenous tale of family destruction, greed, corruption and deception works strikingly well
— The Guardian