By Wayne Harrison AM

11 — 21 Jan 2017

Content Tabs


Based on an ancient tradition of breaking bread and storytelling, National Theatre of Parramatta is turning the genre on its head with a contemporary, subversive, Western Sydney twist.

This is a feast, not just of food, but also of storytelling. Don’t miss out on these tales, as our story tellers delve into universal themes of family, generational differences, love, status, money and sex.

Presented as part of Sydney Festival at El Phoenician Restaurant, a Church street icon. Devised and directed by Wayne Harrison AM, taking as inspiration Hakawati, an Arabic word, translating to ‘the teller of tales’. Often subversive, always engaging, they were a form of entertainment in many Arabic communities before television arrived.

“Hakawati is original, fresh and thought provoking. It is not at all what I had expected but far more. It is a performance that highlights so many contemporary issues; immigration, integration and dislocation amongst others – all issues and challenges faced by those in new lands.” Australian Stage

“Hakawati is an irresistible concept and beautifully realised: who doesn’t love good food, good wine and intriguing stories? Who doesn’t enjoy the company of fine actors? What’s not to like? Rhetorical questions because it’s one of those rare occasions when promise and delivery meet in the middle and create a unique and delightful experience.” Stage Noises


Dates & Times:
Wednesday 11th January at 7pm (Preview)
Thursday 12th January at 6.30pm
Friday 13th January at 6.30pm
Saturday 14th January at 1pm & 6.30pm
Sunday 15th January at 6.30pm
Tuesday 17th January at 8.30pm
Wednesday 18th January at 1pm & 8.30pm
Thursday 19 January at 8.30pm
Friday 20 January at 8.30pm
Saturday 21 January at 1pm & 8.30pm

Inclusive – 4 course meal
Please note this event is not being held at Riverside Theatres but at El Phoenician restaurant, 328 Church Street, Parramatta NSW 2150

Presented in association with Sydney Festival for a 2017 world premiere. Our season for Hakawati was sold out, we hope to have a return season later this year.


Course 1 – (mezza) yoghurt & chick pea dips & fresh/fried breads (will be on table on arrival)

Course 2 – (hot entrée) falafel and lamb pastry (vegetarian option replaces lamb pastry with spinach & cheese pastry)

Course 3 – (main meal) chicken skewers and potato coriander (vegetarian option includes green beans and potato coriander)

Course 4 – (dessert) traditional Lebanese coffee and baklava


El Phoenician is an award-winning Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fine-dining restaurant located in the heart of Parramatta.

Cast & Creatives

Directed by
Wayne Harrison AM

Design by
Martin Kinnane

Production Manager
Damion Holling

Stage Manager
Amy Morcom

Assistant Stage Manager
Johanna Puglisi

Olivia Rose
Dorje Michael Swallow
Sal Sharah
Sandy Gore

Adagio Performers
Michael Stone
Emma Macpherson