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After Hero - presented by Monash Centre for Theatre and Performance, with the support of Malthouse Theatre

BY Prue Bassett Publicity | 15-Sep-2018
Cultures clash and traditions collapse as that tried-and-true storytelling we all grew up with gets pulled apart in After Hero with daring irreverence and a healthy dash of the absurd.

AFTER HERO - 27 September–6 October 2018

Written by award-winning playwrights Jean Tong and Jessica Bellamy and directed by Green Room-nominated director Daniel Lammin, After Hero questions the traditional white male ‘hero’ archetype and what the word ‘hero’ means when dominant representations of what a hero is, are no longer accepted by us.

Commissioned by Monash University’s Centre for Theatre and Performance (CTP), After Hero is the result of a partnership between Monash University and Malthouse Theatre known as Monash@Malthouse, which aims to nurture the next generation of theatremakers. The partnership has commissioned some of Australia’s most esteemed playwrights including Fleur Kilpatrick, Melissa Reeves, Angus Cerini, Daniel Keene, Morgan Rose, and Zoey Dawson, to create unique and collaborative works for emerging theatremakers.

‘Monash University’s Centre for Theatre and Performance is committed to contributing to a thriving cultural community in which our students can experience some of the best examples of professional practice,’ says CTP director Professor Jane Montgomery Griffiths.

This year’s genre-pushing commission sees two heroes on a quest; for understanding, for identity—maybe even just for the hell of it. But neither of them is a traditional hero. In fact, are they even heroes? When you don’t fit a definition that has existed for millennia, what do you even call yourself?

Tong and Bellamy each use theatre to examine identity in contemporary Australia. Tong has recently explored the experience of being stretched between cultures in Melbourne Theatre Company’s Hungry Ghosts and has questioned existing narratives for queer women through her pop lesbian musical, Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit. Bellamy’s recent work with Tamarama Rock Surfers, Shabbat Dinner, explored what it means to be a modern-day feminist and a Jewish woman while her award-winning play, Sprout, looks ahead to a climate-ravaged Australian future and imagines how communication may adapt as a result.

‘Beginning a brand new collaboration is always tricky, and being commissioned to deliver something holistic while working together for the first time puts the work in a bit of a pressure cooker. However, it's been wonderful working with Jess, who is collaborative, warm, and open to things mutating drastically over the writing and development period. I've learned a lot from Jess's process working with emerging artists, and at least we've had each other to cling onto when the ideas feel murky or the outcome uncertain.’ — Jean Tong.

‘I have always enjoyed writing for young voices but usually they are somewhere around the teen or tween mark. I have enjoyed pinpointing the ways in which our cohort of actors are notionally adults, but have a fresh and occasionally more optimistic perspective on life and the subject material of this work than this old crank. I love listening to their views and writing characters who can capture and celebrate their unique voices.’ – Jessica Bellamy