Season 2013

The Shadow King

// 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.

The use of a Shakespearean classic to tell an Indigenous tale of family, destruction, greed, corruption and deception works strikingly well.

Previous slide
Next slide

Co-Created by / Tom E. Lewis & Michael Kantor   
Directed by / Michael Kantor
Associate Director / Melodie Reynolds-Diarra         
Translation by / the cast
Music Director / John Rodgers                                 
Lighting Design / Paul Jackson
Dramaturg / Marion Potts                                        
Producer / Jo Porter  
Associate Producer / Jason Tamiru                          
Stage Manager / Lisa Osborn
Assistant Stage Manager / Arthur Jackson             
Vocal Coach / Suzanne Heywood

Fight Choreographer / Robert Shook                       
Traditional Items by / Djilpin Arts 
Music Consultant / Iain Grandage                              
Composer/Sound Design / Kelly Ryall 
Set Design / Paul Jackson, Michael Kantor & David Miller
Props & Costume Design / Ruby Langton-Batty     
Film / Natasha Gadd, Rhys Graham & Murray Lui
Performers / Jada Alberts, Jimi Bani, Frances Djulibing, Rarriwuy Hick, Damion Hunter, Kamahi Djordon King, Tom E. Lewis, Natasha Wanganeen
Band / Selwyn Burns, Djakapurra Munyarryun, Bart Willoughby


Thursday, 17 October

A co-production with Melbourne Festival.

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.

Image and video by / Daybreak Films