Bare Witness must close Saturday

Bare Witness

Bare Witness must close in Brisbane on Saturday

In the digital era of the 24 hour news cycle, how do photojournalists square their commitment to the truth with the media’s voracious need for a graphic image? When the threat of death is a daily reality, why do they do it?

Landing in Sarajevo and joining a pack of seasoned war journalists, rookie photographer Dannie Hills sets out to capture the perfect image. Each photograph she shoots becomes a kaleidoscope of dreams, memories and emotions – exciting, painful, and forever haunting…

Widely heralded as a remarkable piece of physical theatre, this award-winning play integrates fluid movement, live sound design and animated projections with striking originality.With its frenetic and restless energy set against a backdrop of 20 years of conflict, Bare Witness is a visceral experience that will change the way you look at the news.

Created by playwright Mari Lourey and directed by Nadja KostichBare Witness galvanised audiences in its premiere season in Melbourne for its innovative theatrical approach to a topic that many have largely become desensitized to.  Bare Witness takes audiences inside the real life experiences of photojournalists as they grapple with complex moral and physical challenges of reporting from war frontlines. Drawing on actual experiences of photographers and foreign correspondents Bare Witness takes audiences through the Balkans, East Timor and Iraq, scrutinising the complex terrain of contemporary photojournalism against the backdrop of 20 years of ongoing international conflict. Inspired by real events, audiences are taken on a personal journey into the disintegrating mind of the main protagonist Dannie (played by AFI Award Winner, Daniela Farinacci) as she re-lives her experience as a war photographer.  Photographs, memories and dreams collide as she is assailed by a series of images she must piece together as photograph by photograph she moves to make sense of the events in her life that have led her to his point.

The topical, highly charged subject matter of Bare Witness is delivered in a richly drawn, character based narrative story, in the form of thrilling and instinctive physical theatre. The live musician on stage ensures a gripping atmospheric tension, hand held stage lights intrude on scenes, much like  photographers do, and the haunting video design adapts each night to the tenor of the live performance.

“…an amazing dramatic collage describing the exhilaration, the horror, the outrage, the anguish and the dread hopelessness of combat-zone photography…..a beautiful theatrical immersion, a dramatic meeting of presence, movement and arrangement…the kinds of risks that we don’t see enough of”.  Andrew Fuhrmann, Crikey.com

“…an outstanding piece of physical theatre: a punishing, sensually immersive investigation of trauma that never forgets to be intelligent…an overwhelming work…ambitious, smart, beautifully realised theatre.” Alison Croggon, Theatre Notes

“….a strikingly original work….you don’t see this kind of passion for a project often – unwavering and powerful…serious theatre with unrelenting fervour…strong performances across the board with an unselfconscious and evocative physicality”.  Prue Bentley, ABC Arts Online


Friday October 10th 3:30pm

Friday October 10th 7:30pm

Saturday October 13th 7:30pm


A La Mama Theatre/fortyfivedownstairs production. Toured by Performing Lines for Road Work, with the support of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, through the national performing arts touring program, Playing Australia and La Mama’s Vic Health ‘Arts About Us’ program.




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