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Curtin University
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library
Curtin University Library

Award winning play Shadow Of The Eagle tours Australia

Shadow of the Eagle touring program

In Canberra in 1942 a meeting occurred that would change the fate of a nation. Behind closed doors, American General Douglas MacArthur met Australian Prime Minister John Curtin for the first time. Not much is known of their first meeting – no notes were taken, no documents were signed. What really happened? This is the premise of the play, Shadow Of The Eagle, which reveals the mystery surrounding this historic first meeting. Coming from opposite ends of the political and social spectrum, Curtin and MacArthur’s relationship was crucial to the battle for Australia and the Pacific and has had repercussions for Australia’s relationship with the USA ever since.

The JCPML worked in association with the Perth Theatre Company to develop Shadow Of The Eagle and the partnership was acknowledged at the 10th annual West Australian State Arts Sponsorship Awards where the JCPML was awarded a 2002/2003 Partnership Endorsement for its role in supporting culture and the arts in Western Australia.

According to Gough Whitlam, JCPML Foundation Patron and special guest at the world premiere of Shadow Of The Eagle in Perth in May 2003, ‘It was a very good play indeed!’ That sentiment has been echoed in numerous reviews about the play since its debut. Victoria Laurie from the Australian, described it as ‘gripping and original theatre that succeeds on several levels … the production has a strongly authentic feel that was aided by close co-operation with the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library in Perth… By mid-play [actors] Kelso and Loney had woven their magic, creating a tense psychological turning point aided by a carefully crafted, laconic script.’ (View the program for the 2003 season of the play to find out more about the original production.)

After its very successful world premiere, Shadow Of The Eagle was nominated for several awards in the WA Equity Guild/International Foundation for the Arts and Culture Awards, jointly winning the 2003 Best New Play while actor Geoff Kelso won the 2003 Best Actor for his performance as John Curtin.

The play toured throughout Australia during 2004, with performances in the following towns and cities.

Western Australia

Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre

New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory

Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre
Canberra Theatre Centre
Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (Wollongong)
Riverside Theatres (Parramatta)
Glen Street Theatre (Belrose)

Victoria
Blakiston Theatre Geelong Performing Arts Centre
Frankston Arts Centre
Clocktower Centre (Moonee Ponds)
The Capital, Bendigo’s Performing Arts Centre
Westside Performing Arts Centre (Shepparton)

Queensland
Pilbeam Theatre (Rockhampton)
Townsville Civic Theatre
Mount Isa Civic Centre

Northern Territory
Darwin Entertainment Centre