The River Eats is a beautiful exploration of the estrangements of desire, the hunger towards wholeness that inhabits the divided self, that is at once wholly contemporary and yet reaches back to impulses much more ancient than our civilisation. Truly astonishing.
— Theatre Notes


Urban mythmakers Justin Shoulder and collaborators create a unique fusion of hand-made craft with live performance, in a spectacular theatrical ceremony.

The River Eats charts the journey of Pinky – an over-caffeinated, attention-deficient demon whose identity is undergoing a fantastic metamorphosis. As Pinky’s haunted psyche unravels, we are dragged into a turbulent techno world of mirrors and estrangement. Based on the Taoist notion that every independent entity possesses an inherent opposite, this is an evolutionary tale of instinct navigating a world of material distraction.



Devised, Performed, Costume & Set Design: Justin Shoulder
Video and Lighting Design: Toby Knyvett
VFX: Rebecca Stegh
Composer: Nick Wales
Dramaturgy: Jeff Stein & Victoria Spence

Stage Manager: Clytie Smith
Costume Design & Illustration: Matthew Stegh
Set Construction: Dillon MacEwan
Costume Construction: Marty Jay, Ami Shoulder, Anthony Aitch, Alistair Watts, Vincent Valentine, Phoebe Hyles, Nikki Majajas, Yasmina Black, Nina Buchanon, Dan Bell, Jackson Stacy, Samara Shehata

Video Hypnosis Credits:
Editing, VFX and Co-Director: Rebecca Stegh
Co-director: Amy Gebhardt
Cinematography: Bonnie Elliot

The River Eats has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the City of Melbourne through Arts House, Next Wave Festival, Performance Space, MMCA Seoul and MCA Sydney.



History: Next Wave Festival Melbourne 2012, Performance Space Sydney 2013, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul, 2015

This work is available for touring, please contact for technical specifications and full length documentation. 

Pinky, Photographed by Jordan Graham 2015

Pinky, Photographed by Jordan Graham 2015