A darkly ingenious essay on the ambiguity of memory, expressed through a story of Mengele-esque experiments on children.
An informed and adventurous creative mind at full stretch.
MELBOURNE FESTIVAL CO-COMMISSION
Inspired by the writings of ethicist Peter Singer, British playwright Mark Ravenhill’s text sits at the core of this chilling new collaboration led by composer David Chisholm.
The Experiment brings together a group of artists at the height of their disciplinary power, in a contemporary examination of human nature, thought and action.
Unravelling in a fragmented narrative structure, The Experiment is a musical monodrama that explores the psychological nature of trauma and memory and delivers a provocative horror story for our times.
In a confronting reimagining of Ravenhill’s 21st century monodrama, Chisholm and his collaborators radically transform the 2009 Grand Guignol monologue into a technology saturated 60-minute solo work for virtuoso guitarist Mauricio Carrasco.
The performance begins as a traditional musical monodrama, with Carrasco speaking the text, over music. Gradually layers of the speaker’s own voice begin to collapse and the composition builds in texture, moving from acoustic echoes to the introduction of electronic sounds and integrated digital video elements.
The nine-stage performance, experimenting with the dark side of memory and identity, features the visceral imagery of painter and video artist Emmanuel Bernadoux, in an immersive audio-visual scenography designed by Matthew Gingold.
Performer Mauricio Carrasco
Writer Mark Ravenhill
Composer David Chisholm
Guest Composer Fernando Garnero
Image Emmanuel Bernardoux
Media Artist Matthew Gingold
Dramaturg Jude Anderson
This production has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festival initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals, Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Festival and Sydney Festival.
Photo: Shane Reid