Superheroes is a surreal and vivid exploration of man’s vision for the domination of earth.
Superheroes is the latest contemporary theatre work from Stone/Castro (Jo Stone and Paolo Castro). It follows six characters with only two things in common: they are all in a rest home and they are all wearing identical Superman costumes.
In the sanctuary of the rest home, they have been buffered by the realities of the outside world, such as violence, globalisation, fundamentalism and nationalism. Yet these things have a way of creeping into the most isolated of places.
Superheroes finds these six characters – a returned soldier from Iraq, a pregnant woman, a Christian prophet, a Muslim who’s awoken from a coma, and a former prisoner –debating topics as diverse as philosophy, religion, politics, heroism and war to determine how to best steer humanity into the next generation. These superheroes don’t fly in the sky, and are unlikely to save the damsel in distress. They are at crossroads in their lives – emotionally, socially, culturally and politically.
Arts House Artistic Director, Steven Richardson describes the play and the Theatre Makers thus: "Superheroes is a provocative reflection on globalisation from Jo Stone and Paul Castro which builds on their reputation for creating humorous and corrosive contemporary theatre."
In fact Stone/Castro have been making theatre since forming in 2003. In that time they have focused on creating contemporary theatre and divide roles of direction, writing and performing between them depending on the vision for each production.
Commissioned to direct for Australian and European companies, they have toured work to numerous Australian and international venues and Festivals. Both continue to freelance independently for companies such as Company Les Ballet C de La B, Portuguese National theatre, Chunky Move and the Schaubuhne-Berlin among many other companies. But together are recognized for forging a unique humorous and corrosive style.
Director Jo Stone says: “Our aim is to create highly reflective theatre to the times we live in, using themes and fodder from political and social events worldwide. Stone/Castro’s work is seated in the theatre genre but has a large physical component and utilizes a lot of dark humour to cut through the corrosive content."
Stone/Castro works include (Australia): Wake Up Hate, Red Sky, SOF#1 (for AC ARTS), Dis-integration (for DanceNorth), B-File (nominated for 3 Melbourne Green Room Awards 07) Private Lives (Feast Festival nominated for a Ruby Award 09),and Tom the Loneliest (No Strings Attached) (nominated for 2 Melbourne Green Room Awards 2010) and recently Brink’s Gorge 09 ‘Foot Soldiers’ written by Nicki Bloom. They are currently negotiating publishing their written theatre pieces in Portugal.
Superheroes was inspired by very real events says Stone. It was after watching young men being sent to war in 2002,
“There was this idea of watching this happen and seeing boys fighting and how much power we have over our youth. They fight and die for what we believe in. It all stemmed from that."
Superheroes is described as a provocative reflection on the complexity of Globalisation, the future, violence, and war. And asks: Who are the real heroes of the sky? The Gods, the Superheroes, or the fighter planes?
Venue: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Dates: August 2010