The Opera House is hosting a free NAIDOC week photographic exhibition in Bennelong Passage at the Opera House. Titled ALWAYS HERE – 50 Years of Black Theatre, the event recognises the activism and work of Redfern’s National Black Theatre. The history of First Peoples will also be spotlighted on the stages and sails of the Opera House.
ALWAYS HERE – 50 Years of Black Theatre
The National Black Theatre was a theatre company run by a small group of Aboriginal people. Based in Redfern, the company stayed in operation from 1927 – 1977. Originally established in response to the emerging land rights movement and a number of political struggles, the theatre acted as a base and sanctuary for creative expression within Sydney’s Aboriginal community. It was also instrumental in establishing actors like Bob Maza, Justine Saunders, Jack Charles and Lillian Crombie.
2022 marks 50 years since the National Black Theatre was created and with NAIDOC week underway, the exhibition celebrates and brings to the forefront the immense contribution of the theatre in the arts industry.
Images are presented in dialogue with the history of First Nations theatre and representation at the Opera House. Highlights also include actor and descendant of Bennelong, Ben Blakeney OAM performing on the Sails, images from the 1977 production of The Cakeman, and a portrait of Uncle Jack Charles in Ben Hall.
The exhibition is on now until the end of August. Find more information here.