Revenge is a dish best served cold…
In Greek mythology Thyestes was the son of Pelops, King of Olympia, and Hippodamia, the daughter of King Oenomaus, and father of Pelopia (with him Thyestes had a son) and Aegisthus (the son of this union between father and daughter). Thyestes and his twin brother, Atreus were exiled by their father for having murdered their half-brother, Chrysippus, in their desire for the throne of Olympia.
As if this wasn’t enough, Thyestes had an affair with Atreus’ wife, Aerope and in revenge, Atreus slaughtered Thyestes’ sons and served all but the heads and hands to him at a banquet. The heads and hands were later used by Atreus to taunt his brother. This is the source of the modern phrase "Thyestean Feast," or one at which human flesh is served.
Seneca’s 2000 year old play is brought to the Malthouse Theatre by actor, writer, director, artistic director and founder of The Hayloft Project, Simon Stone. The Hayloft Project has been described as "…a dynamic company that is fast gaining notoriety as Australia’s most startling and prolific new theatre-makers." Stone’s Hayloft Project shows have been nominated for 12 Green Room Awards.
Stone’s vision for The Hayloft is clear: "We are an ensemble committed to shaping an Australian theatre culture that reflects and engages with our changing society, and to attracting newer and more diverse audiences to the theatre. We seek constantly to develop and extend our collaborative theatremaking practice, to find new forms, voices and narratives. Our aim is to create intelligent, passionate, visceral theatre that lives long in the memory."
In this regard the collaboration between Stone, Black Lung Theatre’s anarchic Thomas Henning and Mark Winter, the divine voice of Chris Ryan and the Malthouse Tower Theatre to rediscover what makes Thyestes one of the most brutal, bloody and terrifying stories of all time comes as no surprise.
"We are trying with each project to get closer to what makes theatre a unique form, irreplaceable, magical, overwhelming." says Stone. "My decision to abandon myself to a career in the arts was not one of naïve hope or illusions of fame and fortune. I remember the day I decided quite clearly. My overwhelming thought was that even if it meant that I was going to be poor for the rest of my life, this was the only life that was going to satisfy me."
Malthouse Theatre’s artistic director Michael Kantor echoes Stone’s desire to create a kind of experimental theatre laboratory when he talks about what to expect from Season Two at the Malthouse: "Adventurous theatre making from some of the best in the business, raking over stories old and new to find the theatrical sparks that will light up the cold Melbourne winter."
Malthouse promises a merciless and brutal tale served as a visual feast but before digging in it is best to remember that revengeis a dish best served cold…
VENUE: TOWER THEATRE, THE CUB MALTHOUSE, 113 STURT STREET SOUTHBANK VIC AUSTRALIA 3006
OPENING NIGHT: FRIDAY 17 SEPTEMBER AT 8PM.
SEASON: 16 SEPTEMBER – 3 OCTOBER. TUESDAYS AT 7PM, WEDNESDAYS TO SATURDAYS AT 8PM, SUNDAY 26 SEPTEMBER AT 5.30PM, SUNDAY 3
OCTOBER AT 5PM/. MATINEES: THURSDAY 23 SEPTEMBER AT 1.30PM, SATURDAY 2 OCTOBER AT 2.30PM
BOOKING INFO: WWW.MALTHOUSETHEATRE.COM.AU / 03 9685 5111
TICKET PRICES: $23 – $30 + MIN BOOKING FEE $1.50