Inspired by The Fatal Shore, Robert Hughes’ seminal account of Australia’s brutal convict era, Iron in the Blood is a major new Australian work not to be missed. Comprised of jazz orchestra, big-screen visuals and narration by acclaimed actors William Zappa and Patrick Dickson, this captivating musical production weaves together text from Hughes’ historical masterpiece with stunning projections, the documented voices of early colonists and a score praised for its eclecticism and boldness. Composed and conducted by Jeremy Rose, Iron in the Blood is brought to life by his award-winning 17-piece Earshift Orchestra featuring Australia’s new generation of creative jazz talent.


 “Jazz orchestra and two actors with superbly complementary big-screen visuals – the work is a dialogue between idioms and eras. This is a major Australian work...”  ★★★★½  Sydney Morning Herald


Composer, conductor and saxophonist Jeremy Rose

Narrators William Zappa and Philip Quast

Visual Design Mic Gruchy 

The Earshift Orchestra 

Woodwinds: Evan Atwell-Harris, Scott McConnachie, Michael Avgenicos, Matt Keegan, Paul Cutlan

Trombones: Anthony Kable, James Greening, Eleanor Shearer, Colin Burrows

Trumpets: Patrick McMullin, Tom Avgenicos, Charles Casson, Ellen Kirkwood

Guitar: Ben Hauptmann

Piano: Joseph O'Connor

Bass: Tom Botting

Drums: Dancy Fischer 

Jeremy Rose (Australia)

Jeremy Rose

Sydney saxophonist-composer and label director Jeremy Rose is interested in expanding dialogues between music disciplines, styles and cultures. He has released over a dozen albums of original music with his various collaborative and solo projects including The Earshift Orchestra, Jeremy Rose Quartet, The Vampires, The Strides and Compass Quartet, and performed at festivals, venues and concert halls throughout Australia, Europe and the UK. Rose has recently toured Europe and recorded with US guitar luminary Kurt Rosenwinkel and collaborated with Benin born Blue Note guitarist Lionel Loueke. Rose has received recognition through nominations for the ARIA Awards, three AIR Awards, Australian Music Prize short-listing, two Jazz Bell Awards, an APRA Professional Development Award and three time-finalist for the AMC Art Music Awards for Excellence in Jazz.


William Zappa (Australia )

William Zappa

William Zappa has a career which has crossed continents and spanned five decades of elite performances in film, television, and theatre. After training at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, William worked for The Bristol Old Vic, Marlowe Theatre, Dukes Playhouse and the Theatre Royal – Stratford East.  In Australia, William Zappa has played major roles for Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Ensemble, Belvoir Street, State Theatre of South Australia, and Griffin. Stand-out roles include Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman (SATC) his award-winning 1characters in Bell Shakespeare's Government Inspector (Green Room Award), Anthony in BSC'c Anthony and Cleopatra, Max in Rock and Roll (STC, MTC) Edward Damson in Gift of The Gorgon (STC). He also won two awards for his portrayal of Thenardier in Les Miserables, the role which inspired him to write Winter's Discontent, his critically acclaimed one-man show.

Film work includes: Dead Europe, Men's Group, The Monkeys Mask, The Rage in Placid Lake, Head On, Bootmen, Quigley Down Under, Mad Max 2 and a New Zealand Film Best Actor Award nomination for Crush. Television work includes: Rake, Magazine Wars, City Homicide, All Saints, GP, and a Penguin Award for Best Actor in Women of the Sun.  

Patrick Dickson (Australia )

Patrick Dickson

Patrick Dickson is an actor, teacher and creative. He is a founding member of O’Punksky’s theatre, creating work since 1990. Roles for O’Punksky’s include Maurice in The Night Alive, JPW King in The Gigli Concert, Sharkey in The Seafarer and Malcolm in Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs. Patrick has written and now performs a one-man production, Victor Ego or The Brainstorm.

Other stage acting credits include leading roles at the Ensemble Theatre, Bell Shakespeare Co, MTC, SATC, Q Theatre and The Studio Co. TV and film credits include The Timeless Land, Carson’s Law, Sea Change, Rake 3, Lillian’s Story, A Bridge Too Far, and Panacea.

Patrick is an accomplished voice artist working often with the ABC and many Commercial producers. He has production experience of short films, theatre and now self-produces Audio Books including Victor Hugo’s The Toilers of the Sea and David Allen’s Kabaka Lear.