Crying Baby

Marrugeku & Stalker


Crying baby is an intercultural performance weaving contemporary, historical and djang (dreaming) stories from Western Arnhem land. The work is spun around a traditional orphan dreaming story and its resonance with the legacy of Mr Watson, the first white man in Arnhem land. These stories are told by Thompson Yulidijirri and interpreted by The Marrugeku Company in its stunning fusion of contemporary and traditional performance styles. Crying Baby is a large-scale outdoor work incorporating physical theatre, video and traditional Indigenous dance, music and storytelling. The production combines the work of Western Australian urban Indigenous and non-Indigenous dancers and musicians and Kunwinjku dancers, storytellers and musicians from Gunbalanya, Arnhem Land.

Crying Baby gives dynamic theatrical form to the experiences of a young nation occupying the land of an ancient culture. The performance explores issues of cultural identity, of blurred edges between story, history and dreaming which challenge our understanding of ourselves on the edge of the 21st century. 

Storyman Thompson Yulidjirri
Director / Writer Rachael Swain
Choreographer Raymond Blanco
Composer Matthew Fargher
Designer Andrew Carter
Set Engineering, Building, Special FX & Rigging Joey Ruigrok van De Werven
Costume Designer Edie Kurzer
Lighting Designer Mark Howett
Multi-Screen Video Director & DOP Warwick Thornton
Editor Reva Childs
Dramaturg Peter Eckersal
Performers / Co-Devisors Dalisa Pigram, Sofia Gibson, Trevor Jamieson, Katia Molino, Simon Peat, Tanya Mead, Eddie Nailibidj, Rexie Barmaja Wood, Harry Thompson
Musicians / Co-composers Songman Bruce Nabegeyo
Mako Steven Ganaradj
Base guitar Lorrae Coffin
Story narration Thompson Yulidjirri
Violin, keyboards, voice Mathew Fargher
Executive Producer Justin Macdonnell

"It is synthetic theatre at its boldest, most expressive and physical. It is the Dreamtime before our eyes: and the time of nightmare too."

The Australian