Theatre Works Presents

Phantasmagoria

by Bernadette Trench-Thiedeman

2 - 12 MARCH 2022

VENUE

Theatre Works

What do you do when you find out your father tried to kill your mother?

a) Forgive him, move on and love him despite the fact?
b) Erase him completely from your memory? or
c) Employ a spirit medium and have a few words with him.

Briony chose option c) and this play is the result.

PHANTASMAGORIA explores the complex relationship between a woman and her violent father long after he has passed away. Briony unearths her father’s childhood experiences in Sri Lanka, his brutal World War 2 history in Burma, migration, alcoholism, and his family’s eventual escape from him. Using a lens of magic realism, the work plunges beneath a seemingly everyday domestic space to reveal family secrets, hauntings and complex emotional landscapes.

Travelling back and forth through time and space, PHANTASMAGORIA is a sensorial feast flavoured with grief, love, loss, absurdity, surprise and a generous dose of magic. Dynamic and sensitive performance, comedy, puppetry and evocative animated imagery give physical life to the liminal realm of ghosts and the unseen.

This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

---

POST-SHOW Q&A | SATURDAY 12th MARCH 2:00PM
With Bernadette Trench-Thiedeman and Louise Simms, Executive Director of Policy, Communications and Engagement at Safe and Equal.

The Q&A will explore the themes of family violence that are present in Phantasmagoria, and how we talk about trauma in performance, through a facilitated conversation between Bernadette, the writer/creator on Phantasmagoria, who has woven autobiographical elements of her own relationship with her father into the work, and Louise, who works with Safe + Equal, Victoria's peak body for family and gender-based violence. The audience will be encouraged to ask questions to guide the conversation.

DURATION

90 MINUTES

WARNINGS

15+ adult themes and coarse language

DATES & TIMES

Wednesday 2 March, 7:30pm Preview Night
Thursday 3 March, 7:30pm Opening Night
Friday 4 March, 7:30pm
Saturday 5 March, 7:30pm
Tuesday 8 March, 7:30pm
Wednesday 9 March, 7:30pm
Thursday 10 March, 7:30pm
Friday 11 March, 7:30pm Auslan Interpreted Performance
Saturday 12 March, 2pm (Q&A) and 7:30pm

Written and Created by
BERNADETTE TRENCH-THIEDEMAN
Directed by
CATHY HUNT
Performers / Devisors
MEG DUNN, ELNAZ SHESHGELANI, BERNADETTE TRENCH-THIEDEMAN & YUCHEN WANG
Dramaturg
EMILIE COLLYER
Artwork, Puppetry Design and Animation
BERNADETTE TRENCH-THIEDEMAN
Sound Design
JUSTIN GARDAM AND MARLON GRUNDEN
Lighting Design
GIOVANNA YATE GONZALEZ
Stage Manager
TAMSIN OTWAY
Operator
RENATA ZANINI-SASSANI
Additional Sound Design/ Compositions
CLAIRE DEAK
Directing Attachment
BRONTE CHARLOTTE
Photo by
JACK DIXON-GUNN

"Beautiful storytelling... with puppets, projections and an original score that illustrates the continual contrast between fantasy and harsh reality."
THEATRE PRESS ON "THE DIVINATION AGENCY"