Jack Charles V The Crown

© Bindi COLE

Program Information

Genre / City Theatre / Melbourne
Dates 6 May at 13:00
Venue At Shizuoka Arts Theatre
Duration 80 minutes
Language In English with Japanese subtitles
seat Reserved seat
Directed by Rachael MAZA
Production ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

Video content is currently being prepared.

© Bindi COLE
© Bindi COLE
© Bindi COLE


A one-man performance by Jack CHARLES, a 74-year-old Australian Aboriginal elder who presents his and his people’s case in the context of a legal battle with the court system itself.

As this piece explains in narration and song, Australia’s indigenous people have been treated inhumanely since Europeans arrived in 1788, and the situation is only now starting to improve. Under the government’s “forced removals” program from 1869–1969, for instance, their children — including Jack CHARLES — were literally ripped from their mothers’ arms as infants and taken away, generally to white-run institutions such as the boys’ home where he grew up enduring years of abuse.
In this touching, yet sometimes hilarious autobiographical work he co-wrote, this member of Australia’s so-called Stolen Generations looks back over his life as a drug addict, repeat petty criminal, actor, musician and potter.
As he tells the tale here, after the success of Bastardy, a 2008 documentary spanning seven years of his life that was shown on national TV in Australia, he suddenly attracted lots of media attention, and before long, he went to court to appeal for legal remedies to wipe away his criminal record after many blameless years in which he’d left his negative lifestyle behind. So, it’s as a survivor full of life energy, that Jack’s spoken performance is sure to touch many people’s hearts as his powerful words carry with them such hope and happiness despite his harsh experience.
Now Jack Charles V The Crown, which also features live music, is set to make an unforgettable impact here on its Japan debut, just as it has in many other countries since its 2010 premiere.

Actor’s Profile

Jack CHARLES has a career that spans almost six decades. He co-founded the first Aboriginal theatre company Nindethana in 1972 and has performed with the cream of Australia’s actors, directors and writers including Geoffrey RUSH, Neil ARMFIELD, John ROMERIL and Tracey MOFFATT. Jack Charles V The Crown (ILBIJERRI Theatre Company), the production he co-wrote and performed in, has been touring national and internationally since it first premiered in 2010. His work has spanned feature films, TV series and hundreds of plays including The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Bedevil, Ben Hall and The Marriage of Figaro. He was the subject of Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s award-winning documentary Bastardy, and was awarded the prestigious Tudawali Award at the Message Sticks Festival in 2009, honouring his lifetime contribution to Indigenous media. His most recent work includes Warner Bros’ Pan and Wolf Creek 3. He was the recipient of the Green Room Awards 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2016 Victorian Senior Australian of the Year.


◎Pre-performance talk: Starting 25 minutes before the performance
◎Post-performance talk by the artists: after the performance

Cast / Staff

Directed by Rachael MAZA
Co-Writers: Jack CHARLES, John ROMERIL
Musical director: Nigel MACLEAN
Performed by Jack CHARLES, Nigel MACLEAN(Guitar/Violin), Phil COLLINGS (Percussion), Malcolm BEVERIDGE (Bass)

Production: ILBIJERRI Theatre Company
With the support of the Australian Embassy
   Australia now Sponsor


Recommended for age 15 and up.

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