kris weber | 16-Jun-2016
demens: chilling theatre explores the blurred boundary between sanity and insanity
Venue: Bluestone Church Arts Space
Address: 10A Hyde Street, Footscray
Date: July 16,16,17,19,21,22,23,24
Time: 8PM and 2PM
Ticket: $30/$24; $25/$20 (for preview, matinees and 'Tight-arse Tuesday')
Buy / Ticket:
I know who I am. Most of the time.'

Set in the claustrophobic world of a psychiatric hospital, demens balances extreme pathos with flashes of dark humour as it probes themes of desire, patriarchy and prejudice through the eyes of four people. Each has suffered trauma. Each is damaged, but not broken.

With echoes of a modern-day Blanche Dubois, the pensive Lilith (Louise Crawford) yearns for a lobotomy to cut away the memories that torment her. She obsesses over the tragic figures of Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary "“ fellow victims of society, who, like Lilith, were also 'punished' for daring to break moral and social boundaries.

The manic, troubled, yet adorable Allan (Jai Luke) is fixated on tales of people disappearing at sea. Surely the only answer to these mysteries can be an inter-dimensional vortex "“ through which he could make his own escape from the pain of his real world?

At the core of Nurse Gabriel (Philip Cristian Claassen) lie sadism, religious obsession and a desire to manipulate. The sexuality of Lilith and Allan both excites and repulses him. He believes he can 'save' them. But what are his motives?

The tortured Dr Osmond (Don Bridges) masks his sinister nature behind a very thin veneer of middle-class respectability "¦ yet that veneer is beginning to crack.

An evocative soundscape punctuates the darks themes of this poignant yet gloriously twisted and unnerving piece of theatre.

demens opens on 14 July. 10 performances only. Bookings highly recommended.

The play has a fabulous cast headed by Don Bridges who has been an Actor's Equity member since 1973, Don's theatre work includes productions with Playbox, HIT (Cosi and The One Day of the Year), Nimrod, La Mama, Australian Shakespeare Co, Essential Theatre, Unicorn (London), Columbia University (New York), Fiddler on the Roof with Topol, and over 25 productions for Melbourne Theatre Company.

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