MORAL PANIC by Rachel Perks and Bridget Balodis

PBP | 21-Oct-2018
Darebin Arts Speakeasy and Double Water Sign present the world premiere of MORAL PANIC
MORAL PANIC collage supplied
The award-winning team behind GROUND CONTROL (Next Wave, Brisbane Festival 2016) and ANGRY SEXX (Melbourne Fringe 2014) unleashes the world premiere of their occult thriller, MORAL PANIC at Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre from 14-24 November.

This savage new performance from writer Rachel Perks and director Bridget Balodis is an unsettling hallucination, a deep dive into witchcraft and a dark comedy that dares audiences to venture to strange and uncomfortable places.

MORAL PANIC places queer and feminine experiences at its centre and looks at how existing structures are made to serve the needs of the powerful and how they might be subverted and reclaimed by the oppressed.

"We have been working on MORAL PANIC for over two years now and the longer we work on it the more politically relevant it seems to become. It is about three young witches - two women and one non-binary person, meeting in the forest to curse the patriarchs in their lives. One of them has built a digital Ouija board for contacting spirits and they get themselves into much more than they bargained for."

"Right now, all around the world, there are women and queer folk actively practising witchcraft. It's having a renaissance. We see witchcraft as a really exciting and deeply theatrical way of exploring gender, queerness and feminism." said Rachel Perks.

Over the past five years Perks and Balodis have made three works which they have informally titled their CAPS LOCK TRILOGY' - ANGRY SEXX, GROUND CONTROL and MORAL PANIC. All of which explore feminist futures and system collapse through speculative fiction and celebrate the lives of women and queer folk. Although they have differing narratives, the three works exist in the same thematic and dramaturgical world.

ANGRY SEXX earned them a Green Room Award nomination for best independent writing and was awarded the Melbourne Festival Discovery Award. Perks and Balodis will make their theatre company debut with MORAL PANIC under the banner of Double Water Sign', a tongue in cheek reference to their shared astrological signs.

"We want to take huge risks in our content, form and style" says director Bridget Balodis. "Culturally we are on the cusp of an important change in storytelling, people are interested in hearing from women, and in seeing someone other than a man at the centre of a story. We're taking inspiration from a movement that's being led by writers in the United States: It's about proving that non-binary folk and women can embody the mythic, the heroic and the momentous, we can be protagonists, take up space and kick ass".

The MORAL PANIC cast includes performer and theatre-maker Kai Bradley, actor and theatre maker Chanella Marcri, actor Eva Seymour and actor/musical theatre performer Jennifer Vuletic.

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