Jimi Bani is a man with a mission to tell the story of his family, his community and culture in My Name is Jimi, which had its world premiere with the Queensland Theatre last year.
Jimi comes from Mabuiag Island, in the Torres Strait, with a small population of a few hundred people who have a rich history that archaeological excavations show dates back over 7,000 years to the arrival of the first people on the island.
This is not Jimi’s first appearance on the stage.
He is best known for his portrayal of Eddie Mabo in the ABC TV’s production of the same name, and for his performances in Belvoir’s productions of Peter Pan and Title And Deed, and the 2010-11 national and international tour of The Sapphires.
Through music, dance and storytelling, members of Jimi’s family who join him on stage tell the story of their people.
Jimi says, ““This show is designed so that we as a family come on stage and just tell this message. This is who we are. This is where we come from. This is where we are now today. And this is where we want to go.”
Co-creator and director Jason Klarwein says he cannot recall a play like My Name is Jimi.
“Sure there are works it can be related to, but what audiences will see, experience, feel and celebrate on stage is only a sliver of what is happening culturally within this family. It is truly a unique theatrical experience.”
Until Jan 21. Belvoir Theatre, 18 & 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $37-$72+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.belvoir.com.au
By Irina Dunn.