The Shadow King

The Shadow KingFrom the seeds of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, King Lear, emerges an explosive Indigenous reinterpretation – the tale of a community divided by greed, pride and ambition.

One of Shakespeare’s most powerful works, King Lear is an unmatched epic of kinship, country, justice and despair. Now in the hands of director Michael Kantor and co-creator Tom E. Lewis – who also takes the title role – this timeless tragedy speaks to the tangled legacy of Indigenous Australia.

A powerful melding of Shakespearian pathos with Aboriginal language, music and dance, The Shadow King recasts King Lear as a sprawling, blood-soaked tale of two Indigenous families in Australia’s north, weaving an incendiary parable that hums with the dark echoes of our nation’s history, probing at our understanding of kinship, land and belonging.

Bringing together some of the brightest lights of Indigenous theatre, film and music, including Tom E. Lewis (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith), Jimi Bani (Mabo) and the music talents of Bart Willoughby, The Shadow King is performance at its most vital and immediate.

Co-Creators: Michael Kantor & Tom E. Lewis  Director: Michael Kantor  Performers: Jada Alberts, Jimi Bani, Frances Djulibing, Damion Hunter, Rarriwuy Hick, Kamahi Djordan King, Tom E. Lewis, Natasha Wanganeen  Band: Selwyn Burns, Jida Gulpilil, Bart Willoughby  Lighting Design: Paul Jackson  Set Design: Paul Jackson, Michael Kantor & David Miller  Sound Design: Kelly Ryall  Props & Costume Design: Ruby Langton-Batty  Music Consultant: Iain Grandage  Musical Arrangements: John Rodgers  Dramaturg: Marion Potts  Film: Natasha Gadd, Rhys Graham & Murray Lui

The Shadow King
Merlyn Theatre – The Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 8 – 27 October 2013
Bookings: (03) 9685 5111 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of Daybreak Films