A Land Beyond the River

part of storylines 2012

A diverse group of students gather together to stage a production of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. The director has walked off the project and the wheels are starting to come off. If they can all work together they can produce something magical, but deep-seated mistrust and misunderstanding stand in their way. Weaving together the real-life stories of the young African men in the cast with Mockingbird, Justin Fleming's specially commissioned play tackles Australia's response to the refugee crisis head-on.

Written by Justin Fleming; Directed by Suzanne Millar; Lighting Design Verity Hampson; Set Design Allin Vartan-Boghossian; Costume Design Sonia McAlpine; Stage Manager Sean Minahan; Producer John Harrison

With Aileen Huynh, Alex Jalloh, Andrew Cutcliffe, Cheyne Finn, Elijah Williams, Guy Simon, Jasmine Simmons, Josh McElroy, Kir Deng 



This exceedingly talented troupe of Aboriginal, African, Asian and Caucasian actors are almost inseparably and insuperably good in their collective roles...
— Lloyd Bradford Syke, Curtain Call
StoryLines has its heart in the right place, and backs it up with performances that won’t disappoint.
— Emily Elise, Theatre Junkies

a land beyond the river played in rep with junction and coup d'etat.

The Art

voices and visions

curated by sandy chockman

Work by artists from the Villawood Detention Centre - The Refugee Art Project curated by Dr Safdar Ahmed. 

Work by artists from Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, including Uncle Ces Bowden, the first time their work has been exhibited in one place!

Portraits of the Kinchela boys from Sarah Barker's exhibition 'Let's Face It'.

One of the surfboards from Phillip George's astounding installation Borderlands, created as a response to the Cronulla riots.

Inner-city artist Stephen Floyd presents a new work as memorial and tribute to his friend and mentor, aboriginal boxer and trainer Keith B Saunders.

The Events

festival launch, nida

july 31

Launch of the art exhibition Voices and Visions; a welcome to country by the legendary Uncle Cec Bowden; music by African drummer Sibo Bangourrah, didg-player Anthony Treacy, Joshua Lim on the zither, Chris Edward-Haines, Joshua from EmilyMax, Elijah Williams, Aileen Huynh and Josh McElroy; a performance by the African-Indigenous dance team The Saints; and the opening night of the theatre season with a performance of the double bill A Land Beyond the River and Junction.


Public forum: Living in a white man's world - the state of the arts

july 22

A discussion of the role of the arts in changing the way our society sees 'the other' and opening us up to genuine understanding. With a panel of special guests including founder of the Refugee Art Project Dr Safdar Ahmed; playwright Justin Fleming; actor and medico Dr Renee Lim; Sudanese refugee and medical student Kir Deng; and actor Guy Simon.





The Festival transferred to Bondi, with a whole new crowd catching the Voices and Visions exhibition, enjoying music from Sibo Bangourrah who jammed with A Land Beyond the River cast member Alex Jalloh, didg-player Anthony Treacy, zither-player Joshua Lim, a welcome to country by Uncle Ray Minniecon; and a performance of Coup d'Etat.



august 16

StoryLines Festival was honoured to host a fundraiser to support Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation in the establishment of a 'Belonging Place'. The evening featured a performance of the one act play Junction; a tour through the art exhibition Voices and Visions; live music by Chris Edwards-Haines, Anthony Traecy, a performance by African-Indigenous dance team The Saints and a post-show Q&A with the creative team from Junction and representatives of the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation.

featuring Special Guest Her Excellency the NSW Governor MARIE BASHIR AC, CVO.


fundraiser for african education

August 16

Working with our long-standing partners in Sydney's African community, this event raised money to provide education for girls in South Sudan. The event included a showing of Ella Rubeli's short film 'Continental Drift' and the final performance of The Saints; a performance of A Land Beyond the River; an audience Q&A with our partners Johnson and Anna and the cast; and then all audience members got on stage to participate in an African dance.


student program

Hundreds of Sydney students got to watch performances of A Land Beyond the River/Junction and Coup d'Etat and chat with the cast and crew after the performance, and to take part in very special guided tour through the art exhibition by members of the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation - an opportunity for students to hear stories from the original 'Stolen Generation'.