• Bennelong Point

There are many accounts of Bennelong's life. These are the spirits and the energies of the characters, as told by Bangarra. Created by Bangarra's Artistic Director Stephen Page, Bennelong explores the life of one of history's most iconic Aboriginal figures.



Bennelong gestures to the facts of the man Bennelong’s history but has no intention to be an historical recreation and only loosely a chronology of the events of his life. Instead Bennelong is both a particular individual and a bold abstraction, a burden, a role model, a victor, a tragedy, a signpost to the future and an opportunity for contemporary ritual and ceremony.

This production features the First Nations' language Sydney Language (Dharug).

Sections of Bennelong

Sacred - Respecting the space

Birth of Bennelong - The birth of the man who carries five names

Wangal - Eora Nation people, living off the land on their Country, hunting and gathering

Native Vaccinate - Intuition tells the clan unsettling spirits are coming and they must vaccinate and protect themselves

Fleet - The arrival, of which sets a course of destruction for the next two centuries

Observation Smell - First Contact, with both cultures observing mind, body and spirit

Rewind 1788 - Spirit of the Land and Knowledge, consciously reflecting the spirit of Bennelong, the land and the people

Bait - Governor Phillip sends for the capture of Bennelong

Responding - First archetype of assimilation through the wearing of colonial clothing

Onslaught - Smallpox wipes out a whole clan; Bennelong survives

Resistance - Signs of resistance through the energy of Pemulwuy

Rejection - Spearing of Governor Phillip at Manly Cove in a men's initiation

Spirit of Barangaroo - One of Bennelong's wives, Barangarroo, dies

Crown - Bennelong and Yemmerawanye travel to London with Governor Phillip and are feted as a triumph of assimilation; Yemmerawanye dies in London

Repatriation - The ongoing battle for our bones and spirits to be returned from London

Wives - Bennelong returns from London and does not belong in either world; the five strong female energies who influenced his life

1813 / People of the Land - The year Bennelong dies; questioning what he has left, and mourning his own spirit

Duration: 75 MINUTES

Bennelong premiered in 2017





Premiere Season: National Tour | 2017
Bennelong Program 2017

Adelaide Festival | 2018
Bennelong Program 2018

Regional Tour | 2019
Bennelong Cast Sheet and Program 2019