One actor. Three dancers. A cave. A rescue mission. And a monster.
Malthouse Theatre Artistic Director, Matthew Lutton has collaborated with choreographer Stephanie Lake, and Sydney-based writer Emme Hoy to create a chilling adventure into the darkness featuring stage and screen star Pamela Rabe and Stephanie Lake Company dancers.
Pamela Rabe (The Testament of Mary, Wentworth) portrays a woman who goes searching for her sister in a sinkhole below Melbourne. Conjuring the journey deep into the cavern through haunting text, she encounters metaphoric monsters and a literal monster on the way down.
Three dancers – Olivia McPherson, Jessie Oshodi and James Vu Anh Pham – move in and out of the set, a dark and gaping cave, as they evoke images of what she sees in the dark.
“I have been waiting and hoping to co-create a production with Stephanie Lake ever since I moved to Melbourne,” said Malthouse Artistic Director, Matthew Lutton. “The story of a woman who goes caving into a sinkhole and finds a monster lurking in the dark, is a concept Emme Hoy, Stephanie Lake and I start talking about two years ago.”
“The idea to create a suspenseful and Gothic-like story drew us all together, and a passion to bring actors and dancers together in a way that makes you feel like you are dreaming while awake.”
“We want to welcome audiences back to a live experience that causes the hair to lift on the back of your neck, and the joy of imagining what you see in the dark when the lights are turned off,” said Lutton.
With hit immersive production Because The Night currently performing across most of the main building of The Malthouse, the vast construction workshop has been converted into a fitting performance space for Monsters, providing audiences with an opportunity to explore new experiences on the site.
“What a thrill to be co-creating Monsters with Matthew Lutton and this brilliant team of performers and collaborators,” said Stephanie Lake. “I’ve been a long-time admirer of Matt’s work and after years of dreaming and scheming, it’s such a joy to finally bring this show to the stage.”
“With its fusion of choreography, text, sound and design, Monsters feels like a perfect return to the stage – a work that is bodily, visceral and frightening, with a ripping story and magnificent dancing.”
Direction: Matthew Lutton | Choreography: Stephanie Lake | Featuring: Pamela Rabe, Olivia McPherson, Jessie Oshodi, James Vu Anh Pham | Set & Lighting Design: Paul Jackson | Costume Design: Kat Chan | Composition: Rosalind Hall | Sound Design: Marco Cher-Gibard | Writer: Emme Hoy
MONSTERS plays at the Malthouse Theatre Workshop: 30 August – 12 September 2021. Tickets on presale now to Malthouse Muses & Mates. Tickets on sale to general public – Tuesday 3 August. For more information, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Pamela Rabe and dancers – photo by Justin Ridler