Arden v Arden

Arden V ArdenBefore the company relocates to Sydney, The Hayloft Project will update the Elizabethan murder mystery Arden of Faversham in their Melbourne swan song. Arden v Arden is a world-premiere production that reimagines the real-life murder of Thomas Arden, who was killed by his wife Alice and her lover in the mid-1500s.

Arden v Arden is two plays vying for supremacy. Presenting a striking parallel between present-day Australia and Elizabethan England, one play is a modern Australian study of love, wealth, and ruthlessness; the other is drawn from the Shakespearean apocrypha.

The characters are the same, more or less, though four centuries and half a globe separate them from one act to the next.

In the vein of their critically-acclaimed productions Thyestes and 3xSisters, The Hayloft Project’s latest mash-up of classical renovation Arden v Arden takes the anonymously published Arden of Faversham and pulls the ruffles off the Elizabethan verse.

Known as the first domestic tragedy in the English canon, writer Benedict Hardie, in his first production as Artistic Director, presents an examination of our society today, where it has come from, and if it’s heading in the right direction.

“Almost a year on, Darebin Arts Speakeasy program has regularly been presenting creative and challenging performances since it was first launched in December 2012,” says Vanessa Pigrum, Manager Creative Culture at Darebin City Council.

“This latest instalment by Melbourne’s formidable Hayloft Project, especially supported by Darebin Arts as part of our Speakeasy program, adds another inspiring layer to the contemporary arts experiences to be had in Darebin.”

“We are proud to be hosting this ground-breaking theatre company’s final Melbourne-based work before they relocate to Sydney.”

Formed in 2007, The Hayloft Project have produced fourteen productions, including co-productions with mainstage theatre companies, and have launched the careers of Australia’s most innovative theatre makers, including Simon Stone, Anne-Louise Sarks and current Artistic Director Benedict Hardie.

The company was Malthouse Theatre’s company in residence in 2010 and presented the Green Room Award-winning production Thyestes to critical acclaim and sell-out audiences that same year.

Director / adaption: Benedict Hardie  Cast: Paul Blenheim, Stefan Bramble, James Deeth, Brigid Gallacher, Tariro Mavondo, Sarah Ogden, Naomi Rukavina, Anna Samson and Emily Tomlins  Set and Costume: Charlotte Lane  Lighting: Amelia Lever-Davidson  Sound and Composition: Alister Mew  Dramaturgy: Lucy Moir  Stage Management: Harriet Gregory  Production Management: Bronwyn Belcher  Producer: Bek Berger

Arden v Arden
Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote
Season: 20 November – 8 December, 2013
Bookings: (03) 9481 9500 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of The Hayloft Project