Back to Back Theatre

The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes

Archive 2023

French premiere


In English, surtitled in French

Concept, Back to Back Theatre
Authors, Michael Chan, Mark Deans, Bruce Gladwin, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price, Sonia Teuben
Directed by Bruce Gladwin
Performers, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price Composition, Luke Howard Trio - Daniel Farrugia, Luke Howard, Jonathon Zion
Sound, Lachlan Carrick
Lighting, Andrew Livingston, bluebottle
Video, Rhian Hinkley, lowercase
Costumes, Shio Otani
AI voice-over, Belinda McClory
Script consultant, Melissa Reeves
Creative Development, Michael Chan, Mark Cuthbertson, Mark Deans, Rhian Hinkley, Bruce Gladwin, Simon Laherty, Pippin Latham, Andrew Livingston, Sarah Mainwaring, Victoria Marshall, Scott Price, Brian Tilley, Sonia Teuben
Touring Director, Tamara Searle
Stage Manager, Alana Hoggart
Sound Engineer, Eugene McKinnon
Company Manager, Erin Watson
Production Manager, Bao Ngouansavanh
Senior Producer, Tanya Bennett
Executive Producer, Tim Stitz

Commissioned by Carriageworks; Theater der Welt 2020; The Keir Foundation; The Thyne Reid Foundation; The Anthony Costa Foundation
With the support of Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus 1
Support for creation Geelong Arts Centre; Arts Centre Melbourne; Melbourne International Arts Festival; The Une Parkinson Foundation; The Public Theater; ArtsEmerson
The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes premiered in part in 2019 at the Sundance Theatre Lab, MASS MoCA
Back to Back Theatre is supported by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body; Creative Victoria; City of Greater Geelong
With the support of The Department of Education & Training Victoria; The Strategic Partnerships Program

The Théâtre de la Bastille and the Festival d'Automne à Paris co-produce this performance.
With the support of King's Fountain and Fonds Handicap & Société par Intégrance
With the support of Onda office national de diffusion artistique

Over the course of a fictional meeting between a group of citizens, the mentally handicapped performers of the Australian company Back to Back Theatre alert us to the dangers of an omnipotent artificial intelligence. Their experience will soon be ours: one day we may all be considered as deficient.

The Australian company Back to Back Theatre, awarded the Ibsen International Prize in 2022 for its entire body of work, and a frequent visitor to the most prestigious festivals across the globe, now performs its work for the very first time in France, thereby enhancing its reputation as a theatrical institution. For more than thirty years now, the company has been bringing performers with disabilities to the stage in order to question our prejudices about what we perceive as normal, the constitution of our respective imaginations and the steadfastness of our modes of governance. Its artistic director Bruce Gladwin, at the helm since the 1990s, is a direct inheritor of the Art Brut movement and French philosophy of the 1970’s, such as Foucault, Deleuze, and Derrida. The company’s latest creation, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes, depicts a meeting held by a group of citizens in which the various characters present alert us to the dangers of a future in which humanity finds itself dominated by artificial intelligence. As such, the reversal the performers bring about is a stunning one: the handicap they face in their everyday, present lives become our most precious safeguard.