Theatre Australia

The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes

Back to Back Theatre


★★★★ Tell your friends to go see it. Now.


Five activists with intellectual disabilities stage a public meeting. Their goal: a frank and open conversation about a history we would prefer not to know and a future fast veering out of our control.

The ethics of mass food production, human rights, the social impact of automation  and the projected dominance of artificial intelligence are here deftly woven into a compelling narrative that probes the unstable foundations upon which contemporary society is built. A theatrical revelation inspired by mistakes, misreadings, misleadings and misunderstanding, it is an unflinching reminder that none of us are self-sufficient and all of us are responsible.

Geelong-based Back to Back Theatre’s long association with the Festival includes 2016’s Lady Eats Apple, 2005’s small metal objects and the game-changing 2011 masterpiece Ganesh Versus the Third Reich. We’re thrilled to see what this world-leading company has in store with its latest creation.

View the program →

Post-show Q&A

Fri 11 October

Stay after the show for a free Q&A with the creatives.

Post-show conversation

Thu 17 October

Stay after the show for a free conversation session with the creatives and Human Rights Watch.

Warnings: Contains coarse language, neuro-typical shaming, references to sexual and physical abuse, prescription medication and the oppression of animal and humans.

PHOTO | Zan Wimberley

★★★★ An hour with this ensemble arguably offers more wisdom, and more stringent argument, than anything in politics.

Mark Deans, Michael Chan, Bruce Gladwin, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price and Sonia Teuben
Luke Howard Trio - Daniel Farrugia, Luke Howard and Jonathon Zion
Mark Deans, Michael Chan, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring and Scott Price
Bruce Gladwin
Screen Design
Rhian Hinkley, lowercase
Lighting Design
Andrew Livingston, bluebottle
Sound Designer
Lachlan Carrick
Script Consultant
Melissa Reeves
Costume Design
Shio Otani
Jennifer Ma
Stage Manager
Alana Hoggart
Sound Engineer
Thomas Campbell
Production Manager
Bao Ngouansavanh
Creative Development Artists
Michael Chan, Mark Cuthbertson, Mark Deans, Rhian Hinkley, Bruce Gladwin, Simon Laherty, Pippin Latham, Andrew Livingston, Sarah Mainwaring, Victoria Marshall, Scott Price, Brian Tilley and Sonia Teuben
Alison Harvey and Tanya Bennett
Executive Producer
Alice Nash



  • AusCo
  •  CV
  • In conversation co-presented with
  • Human Rights Watch

The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes has been co-commissioned by Carriageworks, the Keir Foundation, the Thyne Reid Foundation and The Anthony Costa Foundation, supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus 1, with development support from the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Une Parkinson Foundation, The Public Theater, New York City and ArtsEmerson, Boston. The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes was developed, in part, at the 2019 Sundance Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA. Special thanks to Human Rights Watch and Sofitel Melbourne On Collins for the 2019 Melbourne season. Back to Back Theatre is part funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.