Between 1988 and 1991, Richard Frankland, filmmaker, poet, musician and activist was an investigator with the Royal Commission in to Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The experience changed his life. He made the film No Way to Forget, a triumph in Cannes in 1996, as a way of trying to understand what he had been through. In Conversations with the Dead, he had created the tragedy of Jack, a young, ambitious Koori, well-connected in the worlds of the black and white politics, whose mission requires him to straddle the contradictions of both worlds. But how can he be true to his brothers, his past, when the white world for which he works doesn’t understand the subtleties, the strengths, the pain, the rage of the people whose deaths he is investigating?

Wesley Enoch returned to Belvoir to direct a new production of Conversations with the Dead in the wake of his luminous productions at Belvoir St of The Seven Stages of Grieving, Stolen and Jack Davis’ The Dreamers.


Wayne Blair Luke Carroll Elaine Crombie Lillian Crombie Rachael Maza Kirk Page Vic Simms


By Richard J. Frankland Directed by Wesley Enoch Set Design Ralph Myers Lighting Design Mark Howett Costume Design Stephanie Blake Music Director Wayne Freer Original music and songs by Richard J. Frankland & Andy Baylor Cultural Consultant Kevin Smith


Frankland’s story is an immensely important one… (he) clearly understands the systemic nature of the problem, the futility of scapegoating individuals.

The Age

This is an extraordinary play…life reflected back in full colour.