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Byron Shire
December 1, 2022

Still being Stolen

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Kerri Simpson in ‘Stolen’. Photo Amanda James.

Stolen by Jane Harrison and directed by Vicki Van Hout is a play following five individuals from the stolen generation.

On the 20th anniversary of its premiere season, this timely revival of Harrison’s landmark play is as powerful today as it was for its very first audience.

Stolen interweaves the stories of five children taken from their families – Ruby, Jimmy, Shirley, Sandy and Ann. Their stories are from different times and different places, but the five characters interact with each other as if their experiences were shared.

Theirs are the stories of many.

With a background in dance, Wiradjuri director Vicki Van Hout’s acclaimed production is vibrant and inventive, with playground inspired choreography, a rhythmic soundscape and an eerily colourful yarn-bombed tree as a key feature of the set.

With endearing characters and plenty of humour, Stolen is ultimately a play about love and loss, resilience and hope.

As we recognise that more Indigenous children are being removed today than at any other time in Australian history, this contemporary retelling is a thoughtful and moving reminder of our past and our present that will resonate long after you return home.

‘What can I tell you about Stolen, the first play I ever wrote?’ says playwright Jane Harrison. ‘Firstly, that I was honoured to be given the opportunity to write this play, by Ilbijerri Theatre Company. It was an honour, and a deep responsibility, to be tasked with creating a story that, in its simple way, tries to encapsulate the experiences of the Stolen Generations.

I can tell you that it took six years to write and workshop and finally get to the stage. And that it has taken on a life of its own since, touring many parts of the world along with cities and regional towns across Australia and that even in a place as culturally different as Japan it still resonated.

‘For audiences, I hope it brings understanding that we are all part of this story, it is part of our history and our present,’ says Jane. ‘For the Aboriginal community members in the audience, it is my profound hope that we do your stories justice.’

Byron Theatre | Saturday 16 June, 7.30pm and Monday 18 June, 6.30pm Full $40 | Concession $35 | Byron Theatre Club $35 | Full Time Student $28 | Ages 15+ Coarse language and adult themes


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1 COMMENT

  1. Pity the families torn apart. Pity the circumstances leading to this. And pity us all for trying to protect the children. This play is the final pity, or one of them, that ignores child abuse within aboriginal families and bureauocrats rightly trying to change their direction. Pity us all. Pity the drama of misaligned contention.

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