Archie Roach: Tell Me Why by Play on Presents P/L


Not many have lived as many lives – from stolen child, teenage alcoholic, seeker, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, to social advocate and First Nations leader – but it took almost a lifetime to find who he really was.

He is Archie Roach.

In recent years he faced the sudden death of his life partner and musical collaborator of 38 years, Ruby Hunter and went on to survive a debilitating stroke and lung cancer.

Forcibly removed at only two from loving parents, six other siblings and his community, Roach’s early years were equally traumatic. He became a teenage alcoholic and drifted into destitution whilst searching for his identity and place.

Tell Me Why, the title of his new Memoir (Simon and Schuster), is an intimate, moving and often confronting account of his resilience and strength of spirit, and also of a great love story. It’s an extraordinary odyssey of love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and the healing power of music.

Tell Me Why, also the title of the companion album (Bloodlines), considered Roach’s 18 song ‘magnum opus’, re-imagines eleven songs which have defined his extraordinary career, together with two songs, previously written but never recorded, two songs of early-influence and three brand new recordings.

Roach voices the joy, pain and hope he found on his path through these songs to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today – beloved and respected by fans worldwide.

Roach has been making records since 1990 and along the journey has received many accolades including a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), along with a Human Rights Achievement Award, five ARIAs, and an APRA Lifetime Achievement award. He has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Paul Simon, Joan Armatrading, Rodriguez and the late, great Leonard Cohen.

Tell Me Why, the memoir and the companion album, makes a critically important contribution to the Australian story for us all.


A new work sharing stories and songs from Archie's new memoir and companion album.

11th Mar 2021 to 21st May 2021

Archie Roach
Duration: 80 minutes
Artform: Music
  • Tour Map
  • Event Dates
Date Venue Location More info
11th Mar 2021 The Wedge Performing Arts Centre 70 Foster St, Sale, 3820
12th Mar 2021 The Forge Theatre 80 Macean Street, Bairnsdale, 3875
16th Mar 2021 Riverlinks WestSide Echuca Rd, Shepparton, 3629
17th Mar 2021 Ulumbarra Theatre 10 Gaol Rd, Bendigo, 3550
20th Mar 2021 Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre Cnr Gellibrand & Rae Streets, Colac, 3250
25th Mar 2021 Mildura Arts Centre 199 Cureton Ave, Mildura, 3500
8th Apr 2021 Williamstown Town Hall 104 Ferguson St, Williamstown, 3016
9th Apr 2021 Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre 96 Graham St, Wonthaggi, 3995
10th Apr 2021 Frankston Arts Centre Davey St, Frankston, 3199
15th Apr 2021 Clocktower Centre 750 Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds, 3039
16th Apr 2021 One Community (Whitehorse Centre) 184 Surrey Road, Blackburn, 3130
17th Apr 2021 One Community (Whitehorse Centre) 184 Surrey Road, Blackburn, 3130
22nd Apr 2021 Bunjil Place Magid Drive, Narre Warren, 3805
23rd Apr 2021 Latrobe Performing Arts Centre Cnr Breed and Grey Streets, Traralgon, 3844
24th Apr 2021 Ballarat Civic Hall 300 Mair Street, Ballarat Central, 3350
30th Apr 2021 Portland Civic Hall 30 Bentinck Street, Portland, 3305
2nd May 2021 Kyneton Town Hall 129 Mollison St, Kyneton, 3444
6th May 2021 Burrinja 351 Glenfern Rd, Upwey, 3158
7th May 2021 Drum Theatre Cnr Lonsdale & Walker Streets, Dandenong, 3175
8th May 2021 The Bowery Theatre 33 Princess Street, St Albans, 3021
21st May 2021 Horsham Town Hall Wilson St, Horsham, 3400