The Crocodile

45DS-Spinning-Plates-The-Crocodile-photo-by-Jack-Dixon-GunnBased on the short story by Dostoevsky, Spinning Plates Co. presents The Crocodile by Tom Basden, at fortyfivedownstairs from 15 February 2023.

Ivan is a struggling actor who hasn’t yet achieved the recognition he feels he deserves. But all that is about to change when, one afternoon at the zoo with his friend Zack, he is swallowed whole by a crocodile.

Tom Basden’s The Crocodile is a ferociously funny, eye-poppingly theatrical play about art, animals, and what happens when you try to take on the system from within… a crocodile.

Following rave reviews for The Crocodile when it premiered at the 2015 Manchester International Festival, Spinning Plates Co. snapped up the rights to present the Melbourne premiere of this “savagely silly satire” (The Telegraph), which has been selected for the 2023 VCE Theatre Studies Playlist.

To bring Basden’s text and Dostoevsky’s story to life in spectacular fashion, director Cassandra Fumi will re-team with designer Dann Barber, Green Room Award winner for The Mermaid at La Mama (directed by Fumi) and The Ghetto Cabaret at fortyfivedownstairs.

Barber has been responsible for some of the most magical transformations at fortyfivedownstairs, including the unforgettable stained-glass windows in Angels in America, and the re-creation of a Melbourne institution in Young and Jackson. Fumi and Barber’s bold vision for The Crocodile is sure to be one of this year’s theatrical highlights.

Spinning Plates co-founders James Cerché and Jessica Stanley also continue their successful collaboration, joining Joey Lai (An Ideal Husband, MTC) and Cait Spiker (Traps, La Mama) in the cast.

Cerché and Stanley began the award-winning independent collective in 2018 with a production of Ross & Rachel by James Fritz at Theatre Works, which received wide critical acclaim, as did their follow-up production, You Are The Blood at the Meat Market in 2019.

In 2020, their digital play, JSMR, won the Art Unbound Award at Melbourne Fringe, and Jess took out a Best Actor award for her short film, Jafar.

“This is a script that we stumbled across in a shop years ago, and we’ve been dying to put it on ever since,” says Cerché and Stanley. “We thought audiences could do with some comedy after the last few years.”

“Our recent shows have had a dramatic bent to them, so we wanted to challenge ourselves and bring something fresh to the company. Basden’s script made us laugh so much and we hope audiences enjoy it too.”

“We know that a lot of people who come to the theatre are artists themselves, and there is something so enjoyable and cathartic about laughing at ourselves as artists,” said Cerché and Stanley.

“Tom Basden turns Dostoevsky’s allegory of capitalist inhumanity into a sharp satire on political celebrity in the Twitter age… by turns absurd, charming, and subtly sinister.” – The Times

Director: Cassandra Fumi | Featuring: James Cerché, Joey Lai, Cait Spiker, Jessica Stanley | Set and Costume Design: Dann William Barber, Savanna Wegman | Assistant Costume and Design: Alexandra Aldrich | Sound Design: Gabriel Bethune | Lighting Design: Spencer Herd | Stage Manager: Luci Watts | Assistant Stage Manager: Finn McLeish | Producer: Spinning Plates Co.

The Crocodile
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 16 – 26 February 2023 (preview: 15 February)
Information and Bookings:

Image: James Cerché – photo by Jack Dixon Gunn