The Age of Bones (Jaman Belulang) is an Australian-Indonesian co-production about an Indonesian boy, Ikan, who goes fishing one day and fails to return.
Assuming the worst, his parents hire a legendary seafarer to look for his corpse. He finds nothing. The Age of Bones traces what happened to Ikan – from the day he left to his eventual imprisonment in Australia and his fight to return home. Darwin writer Sandra Thibodeaux was inspired by the real-life stories of around 60 Indonesian boys who were jailed in Australia for working on refugee boats.
The Age of Bones is mostly set under the ocean in an underwater court, a fantastical piece realized through shadow puppets, video and music.
The cast includes: Kadek Hobman (Aus); Ella Watson-Russell (Aus); Imam Setia Hagi (Indonesia); Budi Laksana (Indonesia); Gandi Maulana (Indonesia), Imas Sobariah (Indonesia) and Deri Efwanto (Indonesia). It is co-directed by Alex Galeazzi (Aus) and Iswadi Pratama (Indonesia).
‘I wanted to look at the terrible injustice these boys suffered in a way that was a bit magical,’ said Thibodeaux. ‘I took all the Australian scenes literally down under, beneath the ocean. The lawyer became a White Pointer; the judge an octopus … I also wanted to explore this sad episode in Australian history from an Indonesian perspective – what it meant to the boys and their families.’
This timely and darkly funny production shines a light on a controversial chapter in Australia’s recent history.
La Mama and Asia TOPA presents a Performing Lines/Teater Satu/Satu Bulan Theatre co-production, The Age of Bones (Jaman Belulang) by Sandra Thibodeaux, 22 February until 5 March 2017 at La Mama Courthouse, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton. Bookings: https://www.asiatopa.com.au/events/the-age-of-bones