On a sweltering day, 26 January, 1788, on a bluff high above Sydney Cove, seven Aboriginal men stand looking out to sea. Moored off-shore is a huge nowee (boat) â€¦ then there are two, then more. Who are these visitors? Where are they from? What do they want? Should they be turned awayâ€”by forceâ€”or welcomed to country?
In The Visitors, Muruwari playwright Jane Harrison (Stolen, Rainbow’s End) reimagines the arrival of the First Fleet from a First Nations’ perspective. These senior men, carrying the weight of cultural responsibility in their very human hearts, must decide what action they’ll take toward these unwanted arrivals. A decision, under pressure, that will have repercussionsâ€”unforeseeably and forever. Told with wit, charm, and a fierce intelligence, Harrison’s story upends the dominant point of view of this pivotal event.
Annotated and with an introduction by Wesley Enoch.
‘I do not doubt that The Visitors will take its place alongside Stolen as a touchstone of Australian theatre, and as an essential part of the continuing struggle to make sense of colonisation and multigenerational trauma.’â€”Harriet Cunningham, Sydney Morning Herald