We are the Ghosts of the Future
I’m part of 7-ON Playwrights, a group of 7 established performance writers (Donna Abela, Vanessa Bates, Hilary Bell, Verity Laughton, Ned Manning, Catherine Zimdahl and myself), and our new, collectively written, immersive show We are the Ghosts of the Future opens next month.
The piece has been though several iterations. It was initially inspired by the City of Shadows exhibition of early twentieth century police photographs at Sydney’s Justice & Police Museum. In 2009 the Sydney Theatre Company gave us a 2-week creative development with director Lee Lewis, composer Phillip Johnston, and a group of young actors then in residence at the STC. From that came an epic, sprawling site-specific show: Long Shadows.
Although that proved too much of a logistical challenge, we remained committed to a site-specific theatre work. So we reconceived the show as a more contained work to be performed in an old terrace house. In the course of this reconception, we moved away from the crime stories of the era (which were getting plenty of exposure on TV through the Underbelly franchise) to explore the more domestic side of Sydney life in the 1930s. We called the piece 13.11.35—the day aviator Charles Kingsford Smith was officially declared missing—and if crimes featured they were things we no longer consider criminal, like abortion and homosexuality.
Earlier this year we teamed up with a producer, with director Harriet Gillies and designer Hugh O’Connor, found our venue, and did more work on the script. We also changed the title to We are the Ghosts of the Future. About a Sydney that has all but vanished from living memory. Set in a boarding house, the lodgers grieve the disappearance of a national hero while also dealing with their own dreams, losses and secrets. Audience members are invited to wander freely through the building as 14 performers and a musician transport you to another era.
We Are The Ghosts Of The Future is part of The Rocks Village Bizarre Festival.
The show runs from 13—28 November at The Rocks Discovery Museum, 4-8 Kendall Lane, The Rocks.
Tickets from Eventbrite or at the door.