Malthouse Theatre & Melbourne International Arts Festival

28 SEP – 21 OCT 2018

In a major policy shift, the government has announced a moratorium on funding for performing arts organisations Australia-wide. The Trustees of Melbourne’s fictional Lone Pine Theatre Company gather to assess the damage—but what dark clouds might rise from the ashes?

Amid the chatter and outrage and belligerence of public conversation lies a void: the Great Australian Silence. What are we afraid of hearing? Who are we afraid will say it? Political theatre outlaws Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin of Belarus Free Theatre have conceived an explosive new work with some extraordinary Australian performers: Tammy Anderson, Natasha Herbert, Niharika Senapati, Hazem Shammas, and Daniel Schlusser.

Who is meant to have an opinion in modern Australia? Maybe it’s best you don’t answer that.

WRITTEN BY / Natalia Kaliada & Nicolai Khalezin (Directors of Belarus Free Theatre) with Daniel Schlusser and the cast
DIRECTED BY / Natalia Kaliada & Nicolai Khalezin
CAST / Tammy Anderson, Natasha Herbert, Niharika Senapati, Hazem Shammas, Daniel Schlusser

SET & COSTUME DESIGN / Romanie Harper
LIGHTING DESIGN / Amelia Lever-Davidson
TRANSLATION / Daniella Kaliada
CHOREOGRAPHY / Bridget Fiske
STAGE MANAGER / Adam Chesnutt


” In a space that was vastly bare, the lighting design masterfully became the walls and barriers of the space in a way that paved the confines of the actors whilst only further accentuating their messages. Lighting Designer Amelia Lever-Davidson proves herself as undeniably formidable in her landscape of lighting; whether paving pathways around the outskirts to be traced like a tightrope, or spotlighting a moment of fear and freeze framing it dramatically in a vignette of twisted fate, Lever-Davidson harnesses the show’s true intentions in a way that body cannot, and allows the piece to transcend the theatre and become a thousand different worlds and minds. She is truly an artist with her work.”

-Theatre People

“The tones shift and plummet as layers of silence are heard and the comfort of silence becomes uncomfortable. When the risk is personal, it becomes real. When the silence is ours, we might want to start whispering, and screaming, until we’re really heard.”

– The Music

“Trustees is an anarchic, theatrical wonder…Embraced by Jethro Woodward’s sound and Amelia Lever-Davidson’s lights, playing on incredible set pieces designed by Romanie Harper – the show puts Gregor Samsa to shame, metamorphosing into an unsettling work of brutal agitation.”

-Arts Revuew

“Trustees wrestles in electric fashion with questions we don’t want to ask, holding a mirror to the corners of our nation’s conscience.”

-The Age

Trustees is a massive undertaking, definitely too massive to be folded neatly and topped and tailed.  It is marvelous Festival fare – a robust powerful, potent, passionate, demanding and challenging work.  Censored is heavy-duty and contentious.”

-Stage Whispers

Trustees‘ simple production design allows the piece to shift seamlessly between its several incarnations. Romanie Harper’s set design is reminiscent of so many boardrooms and community halls, making it all the more unsettling as its set pieces are transformed and revealed. The changing performance space is aided by Amelia Lever-Davidson’s lighting design and Jethro Woodward’s sound design, both of which are subtle but very effective.”

-Weekend Notes

“Do not possibly miss this masterpiece.”



Theatre People

The Australian

The Conversation


The Age

Stage Whispers


Weekend Notes

Arts Review

The Music

The Blurb

Witness Performance