Thirty-five years after James Cameron’s Aliens first appeared in cinemas, pop culture aficionados – nerds – Rob Lloyd (Who Me, The Mighty Little Puppets) and Keith Gow (Who Are You Supposed to Be, Sonnigsburg) are recreating the film: mounted as if it was a history play written by the Bard himself.
Audiences will re-live the tension, frights, scares and sly commentary on capitalism from the original film, while accompanying Ripley and the marines to an outpost that has been picked clean of colonists by Ripley’s most potent nightmares.
Directed by Rob Lloyd, a diverse cast of nine actors along with three puppeteers will tell the tale of dreams, nightmares, soldiers and Queens, as Ripley and the marines come face-to-face with the iconic alien creatures in front of your eyes.
“A story of soldiers, war, dreams, nightmares, complex human machinations and two Queens facing off in the final duel, the James Cameron film feels like the Bard himself conceived it,” says Lloyd.
“This is the bravado of Henry V and the royal intrigue of Hamlet with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice thrown in for good measure.”
The cast includes Cassandra Hart (The Major and the Matron 1914) as hero Ellen Ripley, non-binary actor Lore Burns (Early Days) as love-interest Hicks, comedian Danny McGinlay (Utopia, The Merger) as the slimy Carter Burke, First Nations performer Zac Rose (The Tangent) as Sergeant Apone and Seon Williams (The Deep Freeze Option, Two Gents) as Vasquez.
Award-winning puppet maker Donna Prince (The Beast) has recreated the iconic Xenomorph aliens, the face-huggers and the Alien Queen, to be operated by top-notch puppeteers. Sound design will be realised by Sandro Falce (Triple J Unearthed).
Written in blank verse, with a rhyming couplet here or there, honouring two great masters of popular culture, Shakespeare Aliens is the play the Bard would have written in the 1980s or James Cameron would have directed in the 1680s.
Director: Rob Lloyd | Featuring: Cassandra Hart, Elysia Janssen, Danny Mcginlay, Brad Allen, Rik Brown, Zac Rose, Lore Burns, Seon Williams, Corey M. Glamuzina | Puppeteers: Pete Davidson, Paris Balla, Lana Schwarcz | Props and Puppets: Donna Prince | Sound Design: Sandro Falce | Writer: Keith Gow
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Season: 11 – 15 January 2022
Information and Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au
Image: Shakespeare Aliens – photo by Andrew Bott Photography