Uncle Jack Charles is an Australian legend: veteran actor, Koori elder, activist and, until recently, heroin addict and cat-burglar. This is a show about his life – told by him.

Rachael Maza Long – Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Ilbijerri Theatre Company – has reunited Charles with his longtime collaborator playwright John Romeril. Together they are crafting a telling of Charles’s extraordinary story.

From Stolen Generation to Koori theatre in the 70s, from film sets to Her Majesty’s prisons, Jack Charles v the Crown runs the gamut of a life lived to its utmost. Charles’s unswerving optimism transforms this tale of addiction, crime and doing time into a kind of vagabond’s progress – a map of the traps of dispossession and a guide to reaching the age of grey-haired wisdom.

This fleet-footed, light-fingered one-man show is a theatrical delight and a celebration of Australia’s dogged refusal to give up on getting on.


Jack Charles


Writers Jack Charles & John Romeril
Director Rachael Maza
Dramaturg John Romeril
Set & Costume Designer Emily Barrie
Lighting Designer Danny Pettingill
Musical Director Nigel Maclean
Audio Visual Designer Peter Worland
Production & Stage Manager Suzie Franke

Image Gallery

Production photos by Heidrun Lohr.