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The River That Ran Uphill
As told by Edgell Junior and Slingsby
Term 3

25 – 26 July 2024

In the Playhouse

A Creative Learning Theatre Performance for students | Upper Stage 2 - 6  | In 2015, Cyclone Pam ravaged the South Pacific. Edgell Junior, a Ni-Vanuatu man from Pentecost Island experienced and survived Cyclone Pam and its aftermath. Based on his lived experience, this moving production emphasises the importance of community cooperation and resilience.

It is a unique and brave piece of theatre with a courageous actor who leads this devastating story to its climax...

Glam Adelaide

Do you know the story of the river that ran uphill?

A tiny girl finds the strength to survive the wildest of winds and raging rivers in this triumphant true tale from South Australia’s own trailblazing theatre company Slingsby.

With a cyclone at its centre, brought to life through the magic of theatre,  this is a story of the collision between nature and humanity set in the Pacific Islands. Our young protagonist demonstrates courage in the face of adversity to remind us how important it is to come together as a community in our weakest moments.

The River That Ran Uphill drops the audience in the eye of the storm. It’s a story that shows students how the seemingly impossible can become possible when we work together. As the waters rise, this story carries forward a message of warning and, perhaps, a raft of hope.

Presented by Sydney Opera House and Slingsby


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Teacher’s resource pack

Our resources are packed with practical, creative activities that will add to your students’ experience. 


Curriculum links

The River that Ran Uphill explores content around engagement with the world, the interactions between people, places and environments across a range of scales in order to become informed, responsible and active citizens; and demonstrates key approaches for play building, documentary and environmental theatre and multi-artform performance.

The performance supports general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities around critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, ethical understanding and intercultural understanding.

It supports learning across the Creative Arts, Science, Geography, and Drama.

Learning resources

The Opera House’s learning resources provide inspirational activities to watch, listen and read for students in the classroom or learning at home. 

Find learning resources

Watch the trailer

An Interview with Edgell Junior

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