From the award-winning team behind Angry Sexx, Ground Control and Moral Panic, HYDRA by Double Water Sign is a searing new work of dystopian science-fiction, the story of an angry young man and the woman whose job it is to kill him.
The premiere season, originally slated for 21 to 31 July, has been altered slightly due to lockdown restrictions and HYDRA will now premiere at Northcote Town Hall from 30 July to 3 August 2021.
The world has changed. There’s no fresh water and machines have taken all the jobs, with the exception of care work, where women are predominantly employed. Attempting to give his life meaning, Bowen (Casey Filips) signs up for an experimental medical procedure where ‘Heroes’ can be euthanised, donating their bodies’ water back to the community.
Anita (Sapidah Kian), his ‘Giving Consultant’, claims to be there just to ease his passage, but as they spar we learn that Anita is doing more than just her job.
The play is set in a dirty, grungy sci-fi world. It’s a character-driven psychological thriller filled with taut dialogue and shifting, unpredictable tensions. “Anita dreams of a future where we burn it all down and start again,” says director Balodis.
“These characters are from a future that I hope we never get to, but we really want audiences to consider the impact that climate change and water scarcity will have on our humanity and on the way that we see the world and each other,” she added.
From multi-award-winning duo Double Water Sign; HYDRA was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award and was also part of the MTC’s Cybec Electric play readings in 2019.
Double Water Sign’s Rachel Perks and Bridget Balodis blend devised and text-based theatre, using speculative fiction to imagine queer feminist futures. Their work seeks to disrupt conventional narratives and explore how new modes and forms of storytelling are needed in order to tell the stories of those who have historically been excluded from the canon.
The team’s previous work includes Angry Sexx (presented at Melbourne Fringe where it was nominated for best independent writing and awarded the Melbourne Festival Discovery Award), Ground Control and Moral Panic (nominated for six Green Room Awards, of which it won two).
Playwright Rachel Perks, who was recently announced as the Malthouse Theatre’s inaugural recipient of the Playwriting Innovation Award, is a freelance Melbourne based writer whose work investigates feminist futures through the lens of speculative fiction. They are currently developing An Exhaustive Treatise on Queer Desire for the Malthouse and webseries Unicorn Hunters with co-writer Jean Tong.
Director Bridget Balodis works primarily with new Australian writing and is currently Director in Residence at Malthouse Theatre. Apart from her work with Double Water Sign, her recent directing credits include She is Vigilante (Theatreworks) The Cybec Electric readings (Melbourne Theatre Company), Desert, 6.29pm (Red Stitch and Wuhzen Theatre Festival, China) and Jurassica (Red Stitch and Critical Stages Tour).
Sapidah Kian is a director, actor, theatre maker and dramaturg, working across theatre, film, television, and radio. Recent credits include: Fuck Fabulous (SGL Mardi Gras), Atomic (Malthouse Theatre), Anthem (ACM/Melbourne Festival), The Appleton Ladies Potato Race (Ensemble Theatre), Merciless Gods (Little Ones Theatre – nomination for Best Performer Green Room Awards), Alice Fraser Trilogy (ABC Radio). She was Director in Residence at Malthouse Theatre for 2017/18 and, alongside Eugyeene Teh, she is currently co-president of the Green Room Awards Association.
Casey Filips is an actor/writer who was the Red Stitch Graduate Ensemble Member for 2018. His credits include The Antipodes (Red Stitch), Desert, 6:29pm (Red Stitch/Wuzhen Theatre Festival, China), Dance Nation (Red Stitch), Hello, World! (Malthouse Theatre Co.), Over the Wall (James Thomson Films). Casey has also recently returned from France where he completed further study in Theatre & Comedy under internationally acclaimed tutor Philippe Gaulier.
Director: Bridget Balodis | Featuring: Sapidah Kian, Casey Filips | Set & Costume Designer: James Lew | Lighting Designer: Amelia Lever-Davidson | Sound Designer: Daniella Esposito | Performance Dramaturgy: Kamarra Bell-Wykes, Georgina Naidu | Creative Producer: Natasha Phillips | Stage Manager: Reis Low | Production Manager: Dans Maree Sheehan | Writer: Rachel Perks
HYDRA by Double Water Sign
Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, 189 High Street, Northcote
Season: 31 July – 3 August 2021
Information and Bookings: www.darebinarts.com.au
Image: Casey Filips and Sapidah Kian – photo by Pia Johnson