(English, Duration: 60 Min)
Group: Aphids, Australia
About the Play:
The Director is a bold new performance starring charismatic ex-funeral director of 21 years, Scott Turnbull, and artist Lara Thoms. Taking up a universal experience and taboo topic, Turnbull and Thoms demystify, expose and expand elements of the death industry, using humour and first-hand knowledge to dig a little deeper on what happens after we go. Nothing is off limits, including the smell of a crematorium, the tools of the mortuary, and driving tractors into a funeral chapel. At a time when dying costs an average of $10,000 and funerals happen within a week, death can seem like a very expensive drive-thru meal.
Blurring the roles of funeral director and theatre director, Thoms and Turnbull ask each other to perform tasks, share knowledge and give feedback on each other’s actions. Balancing macabre reality, playfulness and the tragic elements of death, the result is a spiky, funny and invigorating performance.
About the Group:
APHIDS is a 25-year-old artist-led experimental art organisation based in Melbourne, Australia. Collaborative and future-focused, APHIDS is led by Co-Directors Eugenia Lim, Lara Thoms, and MishGrigor. The work of APHIDS is feminist, intersectional, angry and funny; bringing artists into a meaningful exchange with audiences through performance, critical dialogue and unpredictable encounters in the public realm.
Past APHIDS works have been presented in major venues in every state and territory in Australia, and in more unexpected places: in ricefields and samurai hotels in Japan, churches in Finland, industrial zones in Bulgaria, and beamed into outer space. Our collaborators have included funeral directors, scientists, regional societies, motorcycle, and senior citizens’ clubs. Our projects promote open, accessible yet complex and rigorous encounters between artists and public.
About the Director:
Lara Thoms: Lara is a queer artist interested in socially engaged, site-specific and participatory possibilities in contemporary art and performance. Elements of exchange, politics, humour and dialogue are important in her work. Lara is a Co-Director of Aphids and also works as an artist in Field Theory. Her collaborative feminist work’Before the Siren with Hannah Gadsby, Snapcat and 500 women from recreational clubs in WA was commissioned for Perth International Arts Festival in 2017. In 2017 she also worked with child activists and asylum seeker children trapped on Nauru to create We all Know What’s Happening’with Samara Hersch which has gone on to tour to Campbelltown Arts Centre and Vitalstatistix, SA and is premiering as part of Theatrespektakle and Nooderzen festivals 2019She is currently based in NYC, USA and was recently in residence at BAM Brooklyn.
Cast & Credit
Creators – Lara Thoms, with Scott Turnbull, Aaron Orzech and Lz Dunn
Designer – Katie Sfetkidis
Sound – Kenneth Pennington