Written by Angus Cerini
Director – Ian Michael
Set & Costume Designer – Tyler Hill
Lighting Designer – Chloe Ogilvie
Composer & Sound Designer – Rachael Dease
Voice Coach – Julia Moody
Producer – Melanie Julien-Martial
Performed by Karla Hart, Abbie-Lee Lewis, Ebony McGuire
“Shit, we really really killed him.”
In an isolated town in Australia, a mother and her two daughters greet the man of the house with a crack on the shins and a shot in the neck. But what do they do with him after taking payback into their own hands?
In this revisioning of Angus Cerini’s award winning The Bleeding Tree, a cast of First Nations women tell the story of a mother and her daughters who are thrown into an unspeakable situation in this powerful and heartbreaking murder ballad.
Making a celebrated directorial debut, The Bleeding Tree in the hands of Ian Michael (Noongar) and creatives Chloe Ogilvie (Yamatji Nhanda), Rachael Dease and Tyler Hill, is an exceptional piece of Australian theatre.
Featuring Karla Hart (Noongar), Ebony McGuire (Noongar) and Abbie-Lee Lewis (Kalkadoon), this production, touring in 2024, will see audiences bear witness to these three women as they tell their haunting and irreverently funny story.
Available to Tour
Theatre, Drama, First Nations
60 minutes, no interval
Theatre (Proscenium), Civic/Cultural Centre, Black Box, Studio
1 Day bump-in, open same day evening (pre-rig).
3 x Performers
1 x Production Manager
1 x Stage Manager
What people are saying
★★★★.5 Limelight Magazine
★★★★ “a journey that is visceral, demanding and has lasting effect… It’s harrowing, yet full of heart, and it’s definitely worth watching.” Arts Hub
“Karla Hart, Abbie-Lee Lewis and Ebony McGuire [are] amazing in this show… the three of them held the entire audience under their thrall” Weekend Notes Perth
“This story will have you drawn in and transfixed… The Bleeding Tree will make you uncomfortable, it will move you and make you feel. We highly recommend not missing the season.” Perth Happenings
Key Audiences & Marketing Notes
This is a work with timely themes, a stellar history, and amazing First Nations creative team. It will resonate with:
- Drama lovers who seek out relevant, socially engaged material that inspires them to think. It may be tough subject matter, but it is intelligently and sensitively handled by an outstanding creative team.
- Appeals to lovers of intense drama, who will be gripped by exceptionally strong performances.
- It is for audiences who like to experience the best of contemporary Australian writing and new Australian work.
- Audiences seeking to experience, and connect with, First Nations perspectives.
The production’s premiere season initially attracted younger audiences more familiar with The Blue Room Theatre’s brand and programming, and First Nations audiences seeking to experience the work of the all-Indigenous creative team. As the production garnered excellent reviews and deserved attention, the audience became far broader, capturing traditionally older subscriber ticket buyers. It is an excellent production for venues seeking to engage new audiences in contemporary drama.
Good to Know
- Multiple award wins across performance, production, and design
- 2024 will mark 10 years since Angus Cerini won The Griffin Award for new Australian writing for this play, which catapulted the story, and the writer, into the national spotlight: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/angus-cerini-wins-griffin-award-for-the-bleeding-tree-20140625-zsl6t.html
Engagement & Accessibility
Considering the themes and nature of the piece, the safety and experience for the audience is vital to telling this work. It is highly recommended that venues engage with national and local organisations and support services, in particular First Nations services where available, in order to gather and create resources for the audience. These resources should be available across multiple touchpoints including on listings, EDM and subscriber comms, inside the program, in your foyer, and post-performance.
Critical Stages Touring will produce care copy and an A5 Care Flyer similar to our flyer for King of Pigs that will assist you with this outreach. A foyer activation is planned to support the production that will also house this information.
- Connecting with First Nations organisations and community groups.
- Q & A’s post show on issues raised by the performance will be valuable opportunities to engage your community in discussing timely topics. We recommend inviting representatives from local groups to speak / participate / attend.
- Workshops and masterclasses are available – talk to us if you’d like to package these with your presentation.
From relaxed performances, to shows augmented by audio description and Auslan interpretation, there are a number of ways we can help you invite diverse members of the community to this production. Please get in touch with us as early as possible to discuss your vision for presenting The Bleeding Tree.
Press, Awards & Previous Seasons
2022 Performing Arts WA Awards
Winner – Best Independent Production
Winner – Outstanding Direction of an Independent Production
Winner – Best Sound Design
Winner – Outstanding Ensemble
2021 Blue Room Awards
Award for Direction – lan Michael
Members Choice Award
Award for Ensemble or Individual Performance – Members Choice Award
Award for Overall Design
Judges Award – Rachael Dease for Outstanding Sound Design
The Blue Room Theatre
23 November – 11 December 2021 (sold out season)
About Ian Michael
Ian is a Wilman Noongar man.
Sydney Theatre Company: As Associate Director: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. As Assistant Director: The Picture of Dorian Gray, The 7 Stages of Grieving. As Actor: City of Gold (with Black Swan State Theatre Company).
Other Theatre: As Director: Blue Room Theatre: The Bleeding Tree. As Assistant Director: Black Swan State Theatre Company: The Cherry Orchard, Skylab (with Yirra Yaakin). As Actor: Black Swan State Theatre Company: Cloudstreet, Our Town, Let the Right One In. Malthouse Theatre: Cloudstreet, Blak Cabaret. Yirra Yaakin: The Noongar Shakespeare Project. Melbourne Theatre Company: The Kid. She Said Theatre: HART. Ilbijerri Theatre Company: Flashblaks, Northwest of Nowhere. Sydney Festival: Yellamundie First People’s Playwriting Festival. Film: Where are the Warriors.
Positions: Richard Wherrett Fellow: Sydney Theatre Company (2022); Artistic Associate at Black Swan, Curator at Black Swan: Maali Festival. (2021). Resident Artist at Black Swan (2018-2020), Besen Family Artist Program: Malthouse Theatre (2017).
- 2022 Performing Arts WA Awards: Outstanding Direction of an Independent Production & Best Independent Production (The Bleeding Tree).
- 2021 The Blue Room Awards: Award for Direction, Members Choice (The Bleeding Tree).
- 2019 and 2017 Best Actor PAWA Awards (Nominated).
- 2019 CHASS Australia Prize for a Future Leader.
- 2019 Western Australian of the Year (Finalist).
- 2016 Best Emerging Artist Adelaide Fringe (HART).
- 2016 Best Production (Independent) Green Room Awards (Nominated – HART).
- 2013 and 2015 Most Outstanding Indigenous Performer Melbourne Fringe (HART and Laika and Wills).