Calpurnia Descending

Calpurnia DescendingFollowing its critically acclaimed season in Sydney, Calpurnia Descending – an uproarious and utterly unmissable spectacle from Sisters Grimm, ignites a backstage Battle Royale at the Malthouse Theatre from 13 November.

Set in New York in the 1930s, Paul Capsis stars as Beverly Dumont, the Broadway diva lured from self-imposed seclusion by the opportunity to resurrect her shattered career and reputation.

Amidst gangsters and chorus girls, between alcoholism, depression and delusion, Capsis embodies the touching pathos of a starlet whose lustre has faded. In the wings stands Violet St Clair (Ash Flanders), alternately labelled a starry-eyed ingénue and calculating careerist.

Crackling with wit and piercing cultural critique, Sisters Grimm’s high camp aesthetic of trash, comedy and biting satire presents two of Australia’s finest male actresses ignited in a backstage Battle Royale.

Calpurnia Descending is directed by Declan Greene, continuing his tradition of co-writing and directing all of Sisters Grimm’s productions to date, including The Sovereign Wife (MTC Neon), Little Mercy (Sydney Theatre Company) and Summertime in the Garden of Eden (Theatreworks/Griffin Independent).

“Like all fine parody the tone is often highly respectful, even while it seems to be relentlessly taking the piss. But the genius of this piece is the extent to which it goes beyond parody and beyond drag.” – The Australian

Director: Declan Greene  Cast: Paul Capsis, Ash Flanders, Sandy Gore, Peter Paltos  Designer: David Fleischer  Lighting Designer: Katie Sfetkidis  AV Designer: Matthew Gingold  Animator: Matt Greenwood  Composition & Sound Design: Jed Palmer

Calpurnia Descending
Merlyn Theatre – The Coopers Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 12 – 30 November 2014
Bookings: (03) 9685 5111 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Peter Paltos, Paul Capsis and Ash Flanders in Calpurnia Descending – photo by Brett Boardman