Two time Academy Award nominee and Australian theatrical legend, Judy Davis, has returned to Belvoir St Theatre to direct August Strindberg’s dark comedy, The Dance Of Death, with an impeccable cast of Colin Friels, Pamela Rabe and Toby Schmitz.
With a bitter and brutal marriage at its centre, The Dance of Death centres on a couple who loathe each other, and have done for 25 years. Their mutual antipathy, as hilarious as it is morbid, has driven away friends and family leaving the pair isolated on an island without society or sanity.
Strindberg’s Dance of Death is unnervingly funny and wickedly dark – Edgar and Alice make George and Martha look like Romeo and Juliet! Edgar has started having heart problems. Alice plays the piano as her husband dances despite himself. A dance Alice hopes will stop Edgar’s heart before he makes good on his threats to cut her from his will.
Into this duet of recrimination and resentment comes Kurt, Alice’s younger cousin. Kurt has his own hatred for Edgar and joins forces with Alice to plot against him. And so the dance hastens, a white-hot whirl around the darkest corners of the human soul.
“Judy Davis and her team have spent over a year dreaming up a wild, visceral production of what is an awfully funny play,” said Belvoir’s Artistic Director, Eamon Flack. “Strindberg’s play has a can’t-look-away quality. It gets the heart going. Brian Thompson’s set turns Belvoir into a kind of marital abattoir, which is entirely appropriate.”
“And to top it all off this is a formidable cast – three of the country’s very best. It shouldn’t be funny or entertaining but it’s absolutely both. It’s pure theatrical pleasure,” added Flack.
August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg’s career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over sixty plays and more than thirty works of fiction, autobiography, history, cultural analysis, and politics. His notable works include The Father, Miss Julie, Creditors, A Dream Play, and The Ghost Sonata.
Director: Judy Davis Featuring: Giorgia Avery, Colin Friels, Pamela Rabe, Toby Schmitz Literal Translation: May-Brit Akerholt Set Designer: Brian Thomson Lighting Designer: Matthew Scott Choreographer: Thomas Egan Fight Coordinator: Nigel Poulton Composer & Sound Designer: Paul Charlier Production Manager: Ren Kenward Stage Managers: Luke McGettigan, Natalie Moir Assistant Stage Manager: Khym Scott
The Dance Of Death
Upstairs Theatre – Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season continues to 23 December 2018
Information and Bookings: www.belvoir.com.au
Image: Colin Friels, Toby Schmitz (rear) and Pamela Rabe star in The Dance of Death – photo by Lisa Tomasetti