The City They Burned

Attic Erratic The City They Burned Sarah Walker editorialThe City They Burned is a modern retelling of the tale of Lot and the fall of Sodom. It is an immersive site-specific work about power, fear and judgement that is challenging and enticing in equal measures – a theatre piece to enter, explore, engage with and debate. It is a show to make you think.

Melbourne writer Fleur Kilpatrick has used the biblical story as a device to explore how power is inherited, forced, taken away and earned in our current society. It is not a religious interpretation, but the story of Lot’s family and the fall of Sodom (along with parts of the Levite and his Concubine) is used as a departure point to stimulate debate on modern-day morality.

Kilpatrick’s parable delves into the content of righteous genocide and permissible rape to explore how we engage with these issues 3500 years later in a political landscape that preferences local ideology over global humanity. Lot’s story is told through the fall of a modern, industrialised Sodom, and his family’s flight from the destroyed city into exile; isolated and alone in a burnt world.

Director Danny Delahunty places the audience in a fully immersive theatre experience for the first act, allowing them to experience the action from the perspective of characters in Lot’s world.

As the actions unfold and the world crumbles around us, the audience find themselves culpable for the violent acts; Delahunty then relegates them to the role of spectator to silently witness the fallout from their lack of action. There are drinks, community and canapes, but something very wrong is bubbling under the surface: judgement, powerlessness and a struggle for control over.

This theatrical exploration of power and control is engaged with finesse in the kind of genre-pushing presentation that Attic Erratic has become known for. Our 2014 season sold out 20 of the 22 shows, with the extended week of shows selling out in a few hours. Melbourne audiences will have the chance to experience The City They Burned in a limited 6 show season in September, prior to the show touring to the Brisbane Festival as part of the curated Theatre Republic series.

“A brave new theatre experience … the writing is wonderful, the direction is tight and the performances are focused.” – Myron My (Theatre Press)

Writer: Fleur Kilpatrick  Director/Producer: Danny Delahunty  Featuring: Brianagh Curran, James Deeth, Kane Felsinger, Scott Gooding, Soren Jensen, Shoshannah Oks, Gabriel Partington, Dushan Philips, Jessica Tanner  Designer: Rob Sowinski

The City They Burned
Auspicious Arts Incubator, 228 Bank Street, South Melbourne
Season: 8 – 13 September 2015

The Glasshouse – QUT Creative Industries, Corner Kelvin Grove Road & Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove
Season: 22 – 26 September 2015

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: The City They Burned – photo by Sarah Walker