1940s Melbourne becomes the transposed location for the ultimate theatrical horror show - Aeschylus's Oresteia trilogy - in a darkly hilarious retelling of the saga that still has the audience in tears by the end.
Poised in the ‘before’ that precedes the ‘after’, the family of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra cannot alter their looming fate but can at least take control of the myth-making in anticipation of it.
Seeking to frame their tragic future within a similarly violent past, the family members re-enact the stories of their ancestors, in a homespun melodramatic style, revealing common themes and recurring imagery that goes a long way towards illuminating the doomed family’s impending actions, if not in the end excusing them.
Viewed though the deceptive prism of nostalgia, almost as if it's a lost episode of The Sullivans, the continual violence of the House of Tantalus find echoes beneath the glorifying myths of Australian society.
First produced by Kickhouse Theatre for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Directed by Julian Meyrick, designed by Louise McCarthy, with a cast including Louise Fox, Paul Capsis, Matthew Beer and Angie Quick.
Winner ABC Radio National Pick of the Fringe Award.
"An ambitious idea... Devenish's script maintains a high standard."
"...inventive and iconoclastic... events spring comically to life, transformed by Devenish's bold and fertile imagination."
"The play captures perfectly a sense of pre-ordained misfortune... but make no mistake, this is a black, black comedy. The script is witty and fulsome... a rich and rewarding work... looks set to be one of the best things on the Fringe this year."
"The story of Tantalus and his progeny will have you reaching for the smelling salts... The best theatre to be had in Melbourne at the moment."
The Melbourne Times