Trevor Jamieson tells the story of Australia's celebrated Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira.
This award-winning theatre and visual arts performance is presented to coincide with the Royal Academy's exhibition Australia, which seeks to uncover the social and cultural evolution of a nation through its art.
There is no more potent story in the history of Australian art than that of Albert Namatjira.
Namatjira brought the Australian desert landscape to the world for the first time with his unique watercolour style. At the height of his fame, his shows sold out within minutes. He painted for the Queen, and was the first Australian Aboriginal to be made a legal citizen of his own country.
He supported over 600 members of his community, lost two of his ten children to malnutrition, was forbidden to own land, made an example of, imprisoned for something he didn't do – and died a broken man.
Half a century after his death, the charismatic performer Trevor Jamieson, Australia's leading Aboriginal actor, retells Namatjira's extraordinary life onstage, and is joined by some of his descendants - third-generation watercolour artists - who will fill Purcell Room with a huge chalk drawing of Namatjira's desert country.
'...playful and provocative.' ( Time Out, Sydney) ****
'...confirms Jamieson as one of our most charismatic and talented leading men.' (Sydney Morning Herald)
'Enthralling storytelling, wonderful performances; laugh, cry, marvel and be sad and proud for a great Australian.' (Stage Noise)
Doors open 30 minutes before the performance begins and audience members are invited to watch the visual artists Kevin and Lenie Namatjira and portrait painter Robert Hannaford at work.
Friday 29 November: Post-show discussion with writer and director Scott Rankin, Trevor Jamieson, Kevin and Lenie Namatjira, and portrait artist Robert Hannaford. Free
Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer on Tuesday 26 - Friday 29 November:
Living Watercolours - The Namatjira Family Legacy.
A Contemporary Watercolour Exhibition, presented by Palya Art. Free.
Audiences are invited to enjoy a contemporary watercolour exhibition by Albert Namatjira's grandchildren and descendents in the foyer, a journey through spectacular desert landscapes – the artists' and Albert's country.
Big hArt is a theatre company dedicated to art and social change.
Australia (21 September - 8 December) is the first major survey of Australian art in the UK for 50 years, and includes work by Albert Namatjira.
The production was created in consultation with the Namatjira family.
Writer/Director: Scott Rankin
Set Designer: Genevieve Dugard
Composer & Music Director: Genevieve Lacey
Costume Designer: Tess Schofield
Lighting Designer: Nigel Levings
Sound Designer: Jim Atkins
The performance on Thursday 28 November will be captioned. To book Access tickets, please reserve via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Ticket Office on 0844 875 9910.