“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.