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Landmark Melbourne Production Set For London

21 July 2015

Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre will be taking its landmark production The Shadow King to London’s Barbican Centre in 2016, with support from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced funding of $50,000 to support the award-winning production’s international premiere next year. In London this week, Mr Foley met with the Barbican’s Head of Theatre, Toni Racklin, to discuss the production and future opportunities for Victoria’s arts sector.

The Shadow King reimagines Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy King Lear as a blood-soaked tale of two Indigenous families in northern Australia. It is performed in English, Kriol and the actors’ own Indigenous Australian languages.

The Barbican will present 12 performances of the show, from 22 June – 2 July 2016, as part of a program marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The Melbourne-made production is expected to be seen by 10,000 people.

The Barbican is one of the UK’s most prestigious arts venues and is the largest multi-arts and conference venue in Europe. It presents a diverse array of art, music, theatre, dance, film and creative learning events. It is also home to the London Symphony OrchestraExternal Link , the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Malthouse Theatre’s tour of The Shadow King to London is also supported by the Australia Council and the Wheeler Foundation.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

“This London season of The Shadow King will again display Victoria’s creative talent, ideas and product in one of the biggest theatre markets in the world. It will showcase a Victorian Indigenous production internationally and lay the groundwork for future projects.”

“The Malthouse Theatre is one of Australia’s most innovative and creative theatre companies, producing ambitious, exciting and diverse work. It has a growing reputation overseas and last year toured a production to prominent international arts festivals in China.”

Quotes attributable to Executive Producer and Co-CEO of the Malthouse Theatre Sarah Neal

“This tour is an invaluable opportunity for Malthouse Theatre to showcase our artists to international audiences, and forms part of Malthouse Theatre’s strategy for international engagement. It is a major undertaking and one that we could not achieve without our government and philanthropic partners.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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