Clues beckon. Constant yearning. And lately my shoulder blades have been hurting. Almost like they want to sprout wings… 

From an intricate universe of sound, objects and voice performed by actor Helen Morse, vocalist/musician Ria Soemardjo and cellist Helen Mountfort, the story of Aunty emerges. Empowered by connection with nature through her daily walks, she is ready to fly from the pressures of her built up environment, childhood memories and old patterns. But the landscape, altered and damaged by her ancestors, demands attention. And the calling of forgotten creeks running deep below in pipes is loud. Eventually it will take over.

Written and directed by Sandra Fiona Long, designed by artist Jo Mott and lighting designer Shane Grant, and implemented by Cole McKenna, The Swallows is a poetic, genre bending performance.

★★★★★ ‘breathtakingly beautiful and incredibly haunting as it speaks to forgetting the past and losing the lessons of old’ 

– What Did She Think? on Hades Fading

‘A chamber piece composed in an elusive key, it bends every instrument of the theatre into ephemeral harmonies’ 

– Sydney Morning Herald on Duets for Lovers and Dreamers 

Writer/Director: Sandra Fiona Long

Performer/Co-Creator: Ria Soemardjo, Helen Morse, Helen Mountfort

Composition/Sound Design: Ria Soemardjo and Helen Mountfort

Designer: Joanne Mott

Lighting designer: Shane Grant

Script Development Collaborator: Helen Morse

Production manager/creative logistics: Cole McKenna

Assistant stage manager/Operator: Aaron Carey-Long

Produced by Kath Papas Productions with Kath Papas and Taka Takiguchi

Image by Darren Gill

Access Information:

Visual rating 50%: Events are partly subtitled or include dialogue, background music and/or sounds, so d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences can have some engagement with the event.

75% Aural rating Symbol

Aural Rating 75%: Mainly sound-based, with visuals only incidental to the work, so blind or low vision audiences can have close to the full experience of the event.

Supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants
First developed in 2022 with support from Besen Family Foundation