A searing yet heartbreaking Indigenous Gothic that confronts the difficult reality of juvenile justice work.

An Aboriginal man from the stolen generation works in his community, watching young people who confront the criminal justice system slip through the cracks time and time again. Taken from the lived experience of front-line juvenile justice work, this play grapples with the multitude of obstacles young Aboriginal people face and asks how much difference one man can make in the uphill battle to teach them that, despite what society has told them, their lives and futures matter.

Brought to the stage by award-winning Indigenous creative Glenn Shea & narrated by legendary actor and activist Uncle Jack Charles this play won the 2023 Green Room Award for Best New Writing, received the 2010 State Library of Victoria R.E Ross Trust Development Award and was Highly Commended for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award 2023.

“…lyrical and confronting theatre, juxtaposing Dreaming myths with grim testimony from the coalface of our Aboriginal justice and child protection systems.”

– Cameron Woodhead, The Age

“Shea delivers a resplendent Gothic tale…cutting edge poetic verse.” – Stage Whispers

“Three Magpies is a personal history that is also a history haunted by the spectre of broken families, broken dreams and broken notions of personal empowerment.”

– Vanessa Francesca, Arts Hub

Content warnings: The use of words and descriptions that may be culturally sensitive and which might not normally be used in certain public or community contexts. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audience members are advised that the following performance contains voices of people who have died. Haze. Loud noises including poppers, fireworks.

Writer, Director, Performer: Glenn Shea

Associate Director: Dr. Kirsty Reilly

Designer: Meg White

Sound: Elissa Goodrich

Lighting: Bronwyn Pringle

Stage Manager: Kelly Harris

Assistant Stage Manager: Tess Nethercote Way

Dramaturgy: Professor Julian Meyrick

Animator: Mia Reilly-Shea

Marketing: Lucy Payne

La Mama presents this original production by The Storyteller team

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.

Aural Rating 50%: Has both sound and visual components, but sight isn’t essential to be able to engage with the event.


Proudly supported by the City of Melbourne

Three Magpies is on VCE Theatre Studies, Unit 4.

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