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Nicci Wilks in Runt

The Demon

by Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Rachael Swain and Gavin Webber

UnWrapped

The Demon is a Lynchian crime thriller that stretches across generations. The intersectional creative team draw on their Chinese, Arab, Anglo-Celtic settler and Indigenous backgrounds to weave a surrealist allegory for the Australian demon of racism. 

In the Playhouse | Theatre

COVID-safe and event information

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Opera House is our priority. When you return to the Opera House, you will notice some important changes that have been implemented to keep the community safe, which are regularly reviewed and updated in consideration of the Public Health Order prevailing at the time. Please follow our conditions of entry at all times:

  • Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask;
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage; and
  • Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

Please refer to our updated General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events for detailed information about our ticketing policies. These conditions may change between the time of purchase and the event date. Ticketholders will be contacted directly regarding any changes to their event.

Please check our plan your visit page prior to attending the Opera House for the most up-to-date information.

Pre-sale and on-sale information

Pre-sale timings:

  • Insider Member Priority – Tuesday 23 August, 9am
  • What's On Presale - Wednesday 24 August, 9am

General public on sale Friday 26 August, 9am

Season runs from Thursday 13 October to Saturday 15 October, 2022

Thursday 13 October, 7.00pm
Friday 14 October, 7.00pm
Saturday 15 October, 7.00pm

Standard tickets $35 | $8.50 Booking Fee applies per transaction

Ticket Description & price
Premium $45
A Reserve $35

Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times

The authorised ticket agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the FAQ below.

This show runs for 70 minutes with no interval

Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.

Suitable for all ages This production contains explicit racial and sexual slurs, visual, physical and verbal references to race and gender based violence and coarse language. There are flashing lights, smoke and haze effects.

Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times, and children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.

This production contains explicit racial and sexual slurs, visual, physical and verbal references to race and gender based violence and coarse language. There are flashing lights, smoke and haze effects.

A noir fable for the demons we invite into our hearts.

The Demon is a physical theatre work which reimagines a dark story in the history of White Australia. A Chinatown for modern Western Sydney written by Michael Mohammed Ahmad, it explores the bond of two detectives who grew up as brother-boys in Bankstown; Arab Australian Jihad (Johnny Nasser) and his Aboriginal Muslim partner Matthew/Muhammad (Kirk Page).

Alliances and divisions of family, faith and culture are tested as they investigate a crime allegedly perpetrated by a Chinese Australian street fighter Wei (Yvonne Huang) and her gang; The Celestials. Wei draws the detectives on a road trip from Western Sydney out west to Burrangong, site of the Lamming Flat Riots in 1861. To solve this mystery, the brothers must confront the landscape and its hidden demons and ask themselves: does a curse inhabit a land or its people?

The Demon is an action-packed play with a thriller twist, featuring filmic dance theatre and aerial stunts that push the boundaries of magic realism on stage. Co-created by writer Michael Mohammed Ahmad, director Rachael Swain and choreographer Gavin Webber.

Co-commissioned by OzAsia Festival and the Sydney Opera House and enabled for the Opera House by New Work Now founding supporter Prof Ross Steele AM.

Creative Credits

Artistic Team

Writer: Michael Mohammed Ahmad
Concept: Rachael Swain with Tony Ayres
Director: Rachael Swain
Choreographer: Gavin Webber
Designer: Stephen Curtis
Composer: Nick Wales
Sound Design and Additional music: Bob Scott
Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper
Co-writer (First Nations content): Samantha Hogg
Co-writer (Chinese female content): Jeanette Chen
Script editor: Tony Ayres

Cast and co-devisors

Johnny Nasser: Jihad
Kirk Page: Matthew/Muhammed
Yvonne Huang: Wei
Joshua Thomson: The Demon
Christy Tran: Daphne
Johnas Liu: Ivan & Ah Yung

Previous co-devising cast members 2014-2018:

Hazem Shammas, Hsin-Ju Ely, Jill Wang, Ali Kadhim, Lia Reutens

Production:

Technical Director: Aiden Brennan
Initial Stunt Direction: Keir Beck
Rigger: Garnet Brownbill
Executive Producer: Rachael Swain
Stage Manager: Niamh Percy
Audio Tecnician: Raine Paul 
Auspiced by: Performance Space Limited

Funding:

The Demon was funded by The Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW

Thanks to: 

Marrugeku, Sweatshop Literacy Movement, The Farm, Legs on the Wall, Tony Ayres, Annette Shun-Wah, Hazem Shammas, Hsin-Ju Ely, Jill Wang, Lia Reutens, Trent Suidgeest, Keir Beck and Damion Hunter.

The creative team wish to thank our partners and families for their support during the long years of development and  postponements of The Demon. We are thankful for the initial support from our pre-pandemic partners: Robert Love and Riverside Theatres and Wesley Enoch and Sydney Festival as well as the production managers during the development stages: Mike Smith, Neil Simpson, Damion Hollings, Jason Thelwell and Liam Kennedy. 

Make the most of your experience...

Ticket Only

Ticket Only

Ticket + Prepaid Food and Beverage

Add a drinks voucher or food voucher to your purchase and redeem it at any of the foyer bars inside the Opera House.

Ticket + Tour & Dine

Attend a performance, enjoy a meal at Opera Kitchen, and take a guided Sydney Opera House Tour. See menu below. Note: the tour may be sold out or unavailable on your selected date. If there is availability, you will select your desired tour time in the following screen. Please check you have the "Tour & Dine" product displayed in your cart before you continue to payment.

Venue Information

Performances are being sold to 100% capacity in line with the NSW Public Health Order. This includes all shows in the Concert Hall, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre, Utzon Room and Forecourt. Please note that you will be seated directly alongside other ticketholders.

Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

What safety measures have you implemented?

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of everyone on site, and we are closely following NSW Health guidelines and advice. The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government. For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you when visiting, please see our plan your visit page.

What am I required to do as an audience member?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.

Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you, please see our plan your visit page.

Do I need to be vaccinated to visit the Sydney Opera House?

The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Am I required to wear a mask?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

How are you managing contact tracing? 

Contact information is required when making a booking with us and upon arrival at the Opera House, as set out in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events and our Customer Privacy Statement.

As the ticket purchaser, you are responsible for recording the contact details of your guests. Contact information will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing, if required, and will be deleted at least 28 days after your event.

Frequently Asked Questions - Performance and Venue

Can my family sit together?

Tickets purchased early will be sold in family groups within a designated seating zone, tickets purchased closer to the event will be sold in pairs. Please bear in mind that this will be subject to the restrictions in place at that time. Your confirmed seating allocation will be provided to you on the day of the performance when you receive your eTickets. To ensure correct capacities, all people in the theatre must hold a valid ticket. This includes babies aged 0-11 months who can be seated on a parents knee with the purchase of a Babes in Arm ticket ($10). Children 12 months and older will need to hold a standard ticket.

What time do I need to arrive before the event?

Ticket purchases and collection at our Box Office is discouraged and eTicket or postal delivery methods should be used, wherever possible. However, if you are collecting your tickets from the Box Office, we recommend doing this at least 60 minutes before the event starts. If you have already received your tickets, the venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. It is encouraged that you take your seats as soon as you arrive. 

If you are late, we will seat you as soon as we can and, where possible, in your allocated seat. However, to reduce movement in the venue as well as minimise disruption to the performance and other patrons, ticketholders may be seated in an allocated latecomer’s seat. Please be aware that some events have lock-out periods. In these cases, latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance. On occasions, this may not be until the interval, or at all where there is no interval. 

Ticketholders must comply with the directions of Opera House ushers to assist with contact tracing.

Details of our right to refuse admission can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Events.

Will there be bag checks, and is cloaking available?

In line with our venue security procedures, Opera House security will be scanning and checking bags under the Monumental Stairs, prior to entering the building. Bags will be scanned by an x-ray machine, and staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling your belongings, such as gloves. Cloaking facilities will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 60 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. However it is strongly encouraged that you travel lightly to minimise contact and queuing. Any bags larger than an A4 piece of paper will need to be checked into the Cloak Room.

Can my baby sit on my lap?

  • All audience members, including babies, are counted toward the allowable capacity and must hold a valid ticket for admission.
  • A specific children’s price may be available on certain events. On others a standard ticket price may apply. 
  • For our Sydney Opera House Presents programming, babies aged 0-11 months at the time of a performance may be seated on a parent’s lap but they must hold a valid Babes in Arms ticket ($10) and children aged 12 months and older will need to hold a standard ticket. 
  • Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times.

Does my child need to wear a face mask?

Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.

Who are the authorised ticket sellers for this event?

The authorised agency for this event is Sydney Opera House.

Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable. If you purchase tickets from a non-authorised agency such as Ticketmaster Resale, Viagogo, Ticketbis, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia or any other unauthorised seller you risk that these tickets are fake, void or have previously been cancelled. RESALE RESTRICTION APPLIES. For more details, please refer to our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events.

What if I can't come to my performance?

Please contact Box Office on 9250 7777 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend. If you can no longer attend because you are unwell, or have been in contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the Opera House has introduced flexible ticketing options to help you, find out more information here.

Will there be food and beverages available to be purchased in the venue?

  • Foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars, and should be consumed while seated in designated foyers spaces. 
  • Drinks purchased at our theatre bars can also be taken into venues for most performances. 
  • The venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. It is encouraged that you take your seats as soon as you arrive.
  • Please bring a credit or debit card for any on site purchases to enable contactless payment. You’re welcome to bring your own water bottle but no other food and drinks are permitted inside our venues. Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and Portside are also available for you to enjoy.

Will there be pram parking at kids performances?

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to the foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer adhering to COVID-safe rules.

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