There is a ring of white in the middle of the stage. A man stands inside it, slightly to the side. In the dark we listen to politicians and radio hosts discuss Indigenous Australians. Taken from their families ‘for their own good’, ‘to save them from themselves’. A lone voice offers an apology.

The sobering beginning is in contrast to the rest of the show which is often playful and light. Performer Ian Michael invites us to ‘listen for what sticks out’ and tells us that the verbatim stories come from four Noongar men.  At one stage he says ‘Trauma goes through generations’ so I like the fact that it’s difficult to tell the individual recollections apart sometimes. They love their Mums, they feel disconnected from their culture, they’re trying to live the best life they can, and their stories are scattered over decades. There are definitely horrifying stories yet positive events are equally celebrated.

The effects of the Stolen Generation continues to echo in the present. This is a fascinating show that presents a history not often seen on stage.

Content warning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: the show may contain images or voices of dead persons.

  • Hart presented by She Said Theatre on at BATS theatre to 24 February 2016