Skip Links
Close Search

Natives Go Wild

Digital Program

Sydney Opera House
Natives Go Wild

Natives Go Wild

Step right up into a wild world of mystery. A mistold tale of circus and wonder. A twisted history unleashed, and a famous freak show unmasked. Be enraptured by the dark truth of P.T. Barnum, the greatest showman, and his mob of circus ‘delights’...


Exposing the fallacy of circus ‘showmen’

Debunking the myth of circus showmen ahead of Opera House original production Natives Go Wild. Learn the truth of a business that coerced and scammed First People, who were put on display and forced to perform.


Natives Go Wild Podcast Mini-Series

In this Natives Go Wild miniseries, we talk with the cast and crew of the Sydney Opera House Presents First Nations program which flips the narrative portrayed by history of the Barnum and Bailey circus, the so-called “greatest show on earth”.

The Creative Team

Meet the incredible cast and creative crew behind the world premiere Sydney Opera House season, Natives Go Wild. Bringing it to life is a cohort of stellar international First Nations cabaret and circus performers, spearheaded by a creative team of global renown.

Rhoda Roberts
Chelsea McGuffin
Mark Howlett
Tim Chappel
Damian Robinson

Sneak Peek: Natives Go Wild Costumes

Tim Chappel's Design for the 'The Ringmaster'
Tim Chappel's Design for the 'FeeJee Mermaid'
Tim Chappel's Design for 'Con Colleano'

The Cast

Mika Haka
Waangenga Blanco
Josephine Mailisi
Beau James
Seini Taumoepeau
Samuela Taujave


We would like to acknowledge the contributions of all who have worked on Natives Go Wild from its very first inception to our performance here at the Sydney Opera House including creative and production contributions from Casey Donovon, Steven Oliver, Ria Hall, Susan Broadway, Sarah Fields and Neil Simpson.

Natives Go Wild was conceived and written by Sydney Opera House Head of First Nations Programming, Rhoda Roberts AO.

Directed by Chelsea McGuffin (Company 2) with co director Mark Howett (The Secret River) also acting as set and lighting designer. Costumes Designer Tim Chappel (Academy and BAFTA Award winner for The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and Musical Direction is by Damian Robinson (Wicked Beat Sound System).  Make up by Mat Hornsby.

Special thanks to the incredible Natives Go Wild crew:
Annie Winter, Production Manager
Emma Patterson, Stage Manager

Sydney Opera House team:
Fiona Winning, Director of Programming
Kate Di Mattina, Head of Operations & Business Management
Letila Mitchell, Producer
Brigid Collaery, Account Manager 
Walter Hart, Production Manager
Hannah Worrall, Marketing Manager
Georgia McKay, Senior Communications Manager
Esther Crowley, Marketing Associate
Alice Nguyen, Communications Coordinator
Genevieve Smith, Marketing Coordinator
Olivia Langford, Programming Coordinator
Emily Martin, Corporate Counsel
Susie Anderson & Josh Milch, Digital Programming Associates
Dan Ingham & Coral Chum, Creative
Leonie Jones, Mark Kilroy & Catherine Engstrom, Video 

Media Partner


With thanks

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.