Melbourne Festival, St Martins and Theatre Works present

The Bacchae



Confoundingly brilliant theatre.

Alison Croggon, ABC Arts

These are huge, big-hearted dangerous works... they are transformative. They remind us what it is like to see theatre for the first time.

The Australian

Jacobs is one of the hot new talents of Australian theatre.

The Guardian

This is what theatre should be—powerful, dangerous, beautiful.

Sun Herald on Oedipus Rex


Conceivers Adena Jacobs & Aaron Orzech

Music Kelly Ryall

A city teeters on the edge of crisis.

A god arrives in the guise of a mortal. A monster defies the audience. Boundaries collapse; old, young, boy, girl, human, beast, mortal, divine, good, bad, light and dark.

Co-created by Aaron Orzech and critically-acclaimed director Adena Jacobs, with a collaborating ensemble of young female actors and musicians, The Bacchae is an epic, and hallucinatory theatrical experience.

A group of teenage girls pray to the god Dionysus, seeking salvation in the arms of excess. Around them a plague rages and their city burns, as all they've known turns to dust at their hands.

The female cast from the acclaimed St Martins lend The Bacchae offers an unsettling vision of sacrifice and spiritual desolation.

A sister-piece to the critically acclaimed On the Bodily Education of Young Girls, The Bacchae continues Jacobs’ piercing exploration of lost innocence and primal fury. Invoking the choreographic operas of Pina Bausch and the visual tropes of contemporary art, this is playthat teeters on the dangerous frontier between terror and the sublime—a crackling declaration of revolution from the girls and women who have brought it to the stage.


Director Adena Jacobs
Dramaturg Aaron Orzech
Music Kelly Ryall
Set Designer Dayna Morrissey
Costume Designer Chloe Greaves
Lighting Designer Danny Pettingill
Associate Artist Alex Walker
Performed by members of the St Martins teen ensemble