Composed by Robbie James | Performed by the Bentley String Quintet

Presented by Restrung Productions and Metro Arts

Renowned Brisbane ensemble Bentley String Quintet teams up with GANGgajangs Robbie James to premiere his new work, Dreaming In The Sand.

Across three acts performed by the Bentley String Quintet, Dreaming In The Sand explores Australia before the coming of the First Fleet from the perspective of the animals; then the journey and arrival of the ships and the resulting tragedies told from the viewpoint of convict Suzannah; and finally a visualised present day where all Australians are held to the same standard, whether their identity is defined by the landscape or not.

The ancient “Songlines” are a protected national treasure, their significance in our country’s history and ongoing story is fundamental to who we are as a nation.

Dreaming In The Sand pays homage to all those displaced, past and present.


Fri 15 Oct, 2021




New Benner Theatre | Metro Arts, West End


General Admission $35*
Concession $25*
Groups 6+

* +Booking fee $0.50 per ticket purchased


60 mins


Suitable for all ages.

Contains haze/smoke effects.


Robbie James

Brisbane-based Robbie James has been GANGgajang’s guitarist and one of the band’s songwriters and producers since 1985.  He has also released three solo albums: Suzannah Suite, Secrets In The Sand and 24 Hours A Night. Robbie was inducted into the SA Music Hall of Fame in 2019.

GANGgajang GANGgajang’s songs were an integral part of the music revolution of the 1980s. The timeless Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia) is one of the all-time classic Australian songs.

Yothu Yindi Robbie played guitar with Yothu Yindi for five years after joining them in Brazil 2001 when they and GANGgajang toured the country together.

Scattered People Since 2012, Robbie has been a member of Scattered People, a group of musicians who rose out of the Brisbane Asylum Seeker Centre in 1998. He produced and co-wrote their third album Sugarmill Road of which the documentary Scattered People (released during Refugee Week 2021) is based upon.

Classical Robbie’s arrangement of Sounds Of Then was performed by the SYO at the NSW Premier’s Luncheon in 2001, and again at the London Paralympics in 2012.  


This project and Metro Arts have been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Metro Arts is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy. The Emerging Producer XChange is supported by the Ian Potter Foundation.


We take the safety of our patrons, staff and artists seriously. Metro Arts is operating in line with current Queensland Government guidelines and the Stage QLD COVIDSafe Industry Plan. If you are unwell, please refrain from attending events at Metro Arts. Maintaining physical distancing requirements is expected and is the individuals responsibility. Click here for more information.