Ilbijerri Theatre Company

ILBIJERRI is one of Australia’s leading theatre companies creating innovative works by First Nations artists. The longest established First Nations theatre company in Australia, ILBIJERRI creates, presents and tours powerful and engaging theatre by First Nations artists that gives voice to First Nations Cultures.

The Balnaves Foundation is supporting IBIJERRI to redevelop and adapt their upcoming rock’n’roll mainstage show; BIG NAME, NO BLANKETS to a condensed, 1-hour production which will tour the country’s prison system.

The show tells the joyful story and phenomenal journey of Australian music icons, the Warrumpi Band, from the perspective of the Butcher brothers. BIG NAME, NO BLANKETS will provide inmates with an empowering and inclusive theatre experience that they may otherwise not have access to. The audience will be encouraged to sing and participate in a generous and enjoyable celebration of Aboriginal cultures and Australian music – perfect for engaging with incarcerated First Nations people, who make-up 84% of people incarcerated in Northern Territory prisons.

Touring will commence in the Northern Territory in 2024, before moving to Victoria and other states in the following years. Performances will be accompanied by yarning circles, providing a marked impact on struggling First Nations inmates’ wellbeing and sense of connection. The band and performers will almost exclusively be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, offering mentoring and attachment opportunities and addressing the skill shortage in the First Nations performing arts sector.