VIMH in association with fortyfivedownstairs presents kerosene & SIRENS – a double bill of acclaimed monodramas by Benjamin Nichol from 2 August 2023.
In kerosene, Millie would do anything for her best friend Annie. No matter the consequence, no matter the cost. Times may be tough and Millie may not have much, but as long as Annie’s happy then so is she. And that’s all that matters right?
In SIRENS, Eden is 22 and rurally isolated. He is bored, aimless, angry at his Mum, and obsessed with the attention he receives from older men on the internet.
One night Eden meets David, and discovers a world of dancing and divinity, of possibility and potential. But only for as long as he can keep the fantasy alive.
“Both of these works premiered in conditions that required them to work harder and smarter,” says VIMH producer Julian Dibley-Hall.
kerosene (co-directed by Izabella Yena and Nichol, and performed by Yena) was the first production in Theatre Works’ Covid-safe Glasshouse in 2021.
SIRENS (directed by Liv Satchell, performed by Nichol and co-created by Yena) cut through the noise of the biggest Melbourne Fringe Festival on record to become a Festival highlight, nominated for Best Theatre.
Together, kerosene and SIRENS were also nominated for eight Green Room Awards, with kerosene winning two, including Best Independent Production.
“kerosene and SIRENS are the first two works in my upcoming anthology series of monodramas that explores the psychology of love and loneliness across Australia,” says playwright and performer Benjamin Nichol.
“They are also the first two plays of my career and I was blown away by the enthusiastic and passionate reception both works received from their initial (but separate) seasons in Melbourne.”
“Both stories are challenging and urgent explorations into purpose, obsession, connection to sexuality, and community, and I am thrilled to be placing them directly in conversation with one another, which will also allow me to test the trajectory of how the rest of this series will evolve,” said Nichol.
“SIRENS and kerosene were quite literally made for each other,” says SIRENS director and kerosene co-producer, Liv Satchell. “Ben and Izabella – two of Melbourne’s most exciting artists – conceived these works to reveal things in conversation that aren’t necessarily obvious in their individual form.
“Presenting them together for the first time, they are inviting audiences to sit between the two plays and reflect on the ways connection, desire, anger, heartache and inertia shape our lives and choices.”
“Each of these plays alone is a beautiful, moving experience, but when performed in tandem it’s like two halves of a magnet being put back together,” said Satchell.
“if a new work of this calibre is setting the bar for 2021, it’s going to be an exciting year.” – Time Out Melbourne (on kerosene)
“this queer odyssey of the heart leaves you feeling refreshingly uncynical as you ponder the moments of yearning from your own life.” – Arts Hub (on Sirens)
Writer and Co-director: Benjamin Nichol | Performer and Co-director: Izabella Yena | Sound Composition: Connor Ross | Lighting Designer: Harrie Hogan | Producers: Julian Dibley-Hall and Liv Satchell
Writer and Performer: Benjamin Nichol | Co-creator: Izabella Yena | Director: Olivia Satchell | Sound Composition: Connor Ross | Lighting Designer: Harrie Hogan | Producer: Julian Dibley-Hall
kerosene & SIRENS
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 3 – 13 August 2023 (preview: 2 August)
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: kerosene & SIRENS – photos by Jack Dixon-Gunn