Performance dates & times

Wednesday 23 October
6:30 PM
Thursday 24 October
6:30 PM
Friday 25 October
6:30 PM
Saturday 26 October
6:30 PM

Running Time 60 minutes (no interval)

Price range

When you buy tickets to other shows and events, get a 50% discount on your whole purchase
Youth (30 and under)
Under 18
Artist Card
Arts Centre Melbourne Member
This event is part of Future Echoes, a festival highlighting young voices, new narratives and works in progress at Arts Centre Melbourne. We invite you to join us for four days to experience, contemplate, participate, celebrate and connect with the next generation of creative thinkers and performance makers. Discounts apply when booking tickets to multiple events.

“Imagine that you’re a Koorie, that you’re in your mid-twenties, that your job is to look into the lives of the dead… Imagine. Walk in my shoes.”

ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s ILBIJERRI Ensemble will perform Richard Frankland’s powerful and urgent work, Conversations with the Dead.

Jack, a young, ambitious Koorie is juggling the contradictions of working in both black and white worlds. How does he stay true to his cultural responsibilities whilst the justice system he works for fails to understand the pain and rage of his people?

Conversations with the Dead is Richard Frankland’s response to being an investigator during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1987-1991).

Having worked together since April 2019, Conversations with the Dead is the inaugural performance by the ILBIJERRI ENSEMBLE, a dynamic team of emerging First Nations artists.

ILBIJERRI ENSEMBLE unanimously selected to perform Conversations with the Dead as they were moved by its relevance and the urgency of its message today. This important work of First Nations playwriting resonated deeply, as their generation and communities are still affected by the contents of this report that is still yet to be acted upon.

As recently as 2018, over half of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who died in custody or during arrest were yet to be found guilty of any crime. The recommendations of the Royal Commission have never been implemented. Conversations with the Dead will be renowned actor Shareena Clanton’s directorial debut. Shareena will be supported by ILBIJERRI’s Artistic Director Rachael Maza.

For the first time, Conversations with the Dead will be performed by an ensemble cast, who will perform with the strength of a collective voice, one that is culturally relevant, powerful and demanding change.

Back to Future Echoes program

Performed by ILBIJERRI Ensemble

Kayra Meric
Corey Saylor-Brunskill
Benjamin Fei
Jyden Brailey
Kalarni Murray
Zachariah Blampied
Caleb Thaiday


Richard Frankland
Shareena Clanton
Cultural Safety Coordinator
Shiralee Hood
Lighting Design
Richard Gorr
Set & Costume Design
Darryl Cordell
Sound Design
James Henry

  • Australia Council for the Arts
  • Arts Centre Melbourne
  • Annamila
  • City of Melbourne Logo
  • Creative Victoria
  • Gandel Philanthrophy
  • Helen Macpherson Smith Trust
  • Indigenous Languages and Arts
  • Ilbijerri
  • Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust

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