The Grand Guignol Automation

The Grand Guignol AutomatonAfter a year of shocking audiences around Melbourne and Victoria, The Laudanum Project are bringing down the final curtain on their most horrifying work thus far – The Grand Guignol Automaton with two special performances at the Old Castlemaine Gaol and The Butterfly Club in October.

From out of their harrowing stew of visceral poetry and musical dissonance, The Laudanum Project will bring to life the hideous story of Sandrine Moreaux, a tormented young woman with a terrifying past and an unspeakable future.

Somebody once said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Of course this is true providing that the scrutinizing eye sees what is actually there. For if beauty is merely truth’s smile caught in a perfect mirror, what then happens when that smile finally dies and fades?

Set in Paris in 1920 this one act play explores the obsessions, phobias and waking nightmares of a young woman whose inverse perceptions of beauty and love lead her all the way from her sleepy village of Coulon and onto the neon smeared boulevards of Pigalle.

Within this labyrinth of sleaze and danger Sandrine Moreaux hunts down the sanctified temple that has always haunted her dreams, the infamous Théâtre Du Grand Guignol. Taking refuge inside a darkened room within the theatre’s foyer Sandrine begins a terrifying journey that will leave her transformed and reborn.

As narrator Alphonse Cheese-Probert pores over the hideously surgical minutiae of Sandrine Moreaux’s monstrous story the impossibly intense soundtrack created by Lady Sophronia Lick-Penny (Keyboards), Barnabas Oral (Percussion), and Shiny Helen (Accordion) forms an ever shifting musical tapestry that envelopes the entire story from beginning to end.

With The Grand Guignol Automaton, The Laudanum Project have once more ventured behind the curtain and conjured up a disturbing world where fear begets beauty, obsession begets love and ugliness is merely truth’s smile caught in a perfect mirror.

“Evoking Jean Genet and the penny dreadful, it both thrills and repulses, and will haunt you for days.” – Hana Theatre Journal

The Grand Guignol Automaton
Old Castlemaine Gaol, 36-42 Bowden St Castlemaine
Performance: Saturday 10 October 2015 – 8.00pm

The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Performance: Saturday 31 October 2015 – 10.00pm
Bookings: (03) 9663 8107 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: The Laudanum Project present The Grand Guignol Automaton – photo by Arrayah Loynd