ON STAGE: Actress Berthalia Reuben during a performance of  Stolen .
ON STAGE: Actress Berthalia Reuben during a performance of Stolen . AMANDA JAMES

A truth that will not be stolen, on stage

FOLLOWING its successful premiere in 2016, Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta is bringing its acclaimed play Stolen, by Jane Harrison.

Directed by renowned indigenous artist Vicki Van Hout, Stolen presents a fresh take on Harrison's classic Australian play that tells the stories of five individuals from the Stolen Generations.

The Stolen Generations were the children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were removed from their families by the Australian federal and state government agencies and church missions, under acts of their respective parliaments.

Official government estimates are that between one in 10 and one in three indigenous Australian children were forcibly taken from their families and communities between 1910 and 1970, affecting all regions of the country.

Reflecting the pain, poignancy and sheer desperation of The Lost Children, Stolen follows the children's experiences as they struggle to make sense of a world where they have been told to forget their families, their homes and their culture.

Segregated from their community, the children begin their journey "home" after their release but not all of them successfully. A deep desire to belong runs throughout the play.

As relevant today as when it was first staged more than 20 years ago, Van Hout said the moving production revisited Harrison's important historical text in the context of today and was a must-see for all Australians.

"It is important that works such as Stolen, which reveal a social atrocity, remain in the public realm because they act as reminders to behave with kindness and integrity," Van Hout said.

"These works do more than entertain, they are a symbol, a magnifying glass trained on society, using our past foibles as a tool for the way to move forward."

A stellar cast will take to the stage including Katie Leslie, Jack Sheppard, Glen Thomas, Berthalia Reuben and Henrietta Baird.


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