What is the cost of a woman’s success when it comes at the expense of her family? Agamemnon is about to find out. Featuring a creative team that boasts some of Sydney’s best and brightest emerging talent, CHORUS by Ang Collins will have its world premiere at The Old Fitz Theatre on 28 August 2019.
Directed by Clemence Williams (Unfinished Works) and produced by Bontom (Chamber Pot Opera), CHORUS takes the age-old myth of Agamemnon and transplants it to contemporary Sydney. CHORUS is about the unending pressures on women to conform to certain roles – and the potentially tragic results when they break that mould.
In this new version of Aeschylus’s classic Greek tragedy, Agamemnon is a pop icon just returned home from her nine-month, round-the-world concert tour. Rolling Stone described her as “like the second coming of Christ – if Christ was a crew-cut, queer, hot, vocal-virtuoso”.
Agamemnon has returned home to take care of unfinished business: dump her former partner Chris, grab her stuff and make off with her new flame, Kass. But Chris has other ideas for their first night together in nine months, and was hoping for a kind of reconciliation – and at least the chance to process the unresolved grief he holds for the death of their son, Gene, less than a year ago.
Suddenly, memories that Agamemnon has tried so hard to keep buried begin to surface so vividly she could die. And she very well might. This original Australian work is partially told by a lively chorus, and the script oozes with Australian authenticity.
Performed in the intimate and edgy Old Fitz Theatre, CHORUS brings together a range of bright and emerging talents, including playwright Ang Collins. “I was keen to explore the ways in which the ancient text could be made relevant to a contemporary audience,” she said. “Just like in the original, Agamemnon’s terrible choice to kill her child has far-reaching consequences, but what has changed is our contemporary understanding of that act.”
Playing the lead role of Agamemnon, Ella Prince (A Girl Is A Half Formed Thing) has been channelling the work of gender-bending artists like David Bowie and Christine and The Queen. “It’s such an amazing opportunity to play such a unique and powerful role, written especially for this time in history. The work feels important and I think audiences are going to love it,” she said.
Director Clemence Williams is also the sound designer and composer for the show, and has worked to create music and a soundscape to match the mega-stardom of the show’s lead character. She’s thrilled with the creative team she’s assembled, saying “This production brings together such an amazing and talented bunch of artists, all of whom are committed to developing new Australian theatre in exciting and entertaining ways,” said Williams
Oozing with heart but stricken with the politics of familial duty and responsibility, Chorus is about the unending pressures on women to conform to certain roles – and the potentially tragic results when they break that mould: when they want too much. When they go a step too far. Likely to be one of this year’s most talked-about shows, CHORUS is certain to provoke, engage and entertain audiences of all shapes and sizes.
Director / Sound Designer: Clemence Williams Featuring: Jack Crumlin, Madelaine Osborn, Nicole Pingon, Ella Prince, Eliza Scott, Chemon Theys Dramaturg: Thomas De Angelis Production Designer: Emma White Lighting Designer: Veronique Bennett Video Designer: Sarah Hadley Production: Isabella Debbage Writer: Ang Collins Producer: Bontom
The Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo
Season: 28 August – 21 September 2019
Information and Bookings: www.redlineproductions.com.au
Image: Ella Prince as Agamemnon – photo by Philip Erbacher