New Zealand Premiere

Uncle Jack Charles is an Australian legend: a veteran actor, musician, Aboriginal elder and activist, who performs this powerful one-man show on the colourful life he has led on stage and screen and – most poignantly – behind bars.

From Stolen Generation to Koori theatre in the 70s, from Hollywood film sets to Victoria’s state prisons, Jack Charles V The Crown runs the gamut of a life lived to its utmost. A gifted performer, Jack Charles has struggled with homelessness, drug addiction and jail time for much of his career. But this is no simple parable of crime and punishment. Charles’ charm, humour, talent and unswerving optimism transforms his life of hard knocks into an extraordinary tale.

Returning triumphantly to the stage, Charles is not afraid to confront the complexity of his story. In doing so he shines a light on Australia’s history of injustices against Aboriginal people. His vital reflections on race and the punitive state are uplifted by a sense of hope found within the redemptive qualities of storytelling.

Under the wing of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, the oldest Indigenous theatre company in Australia, Charles’ journey moves lyrically between raw video footage, charismatic monologues, mock courtroom trials and even a pottery demonstration, all interspersed with rousing musical numbers backed by a three-piece band. Delighting audiences internationally, including at an acclaimed premiere season at London’s Barbican Theatre, Charles’ generous spirit and warm presence is set to win the hearts of Auckland audiences.

Presented by Auckland Arts Festival, produced by ILBIJERRI Productions

An inspiring journey of resilience and reconnection. The Age

Exceptionally engaging… it’s the story of Australia. Just not the one we’re used to hearing. Crikey

Steeped in decades of our history… surprisingly upbeat… a warm-hearted, very entertaining evening.  Sydney Morning Herald

PLEASE NOTE // Contains strong language, mature content and images of drug use. Recommended for ages 15+