In love with a self-harming psychopath
Ophelia Doesn’t Live Here Anymore reveals the story of Ophelia as a monomaniacal botanist – wilful, unpredictable and in love with a self-harming sociopath.
Following Daniel Schlusser’s radical revisions of the poetic texts of Ibsen and Calderon, Ophelia Doesn’t Live Here Anymore further develops this hyper-realist mode, placing the decisions of a contemporary woman into a context of devious political machinations, sexual perversion and casual murder. Striking theatre emerges from quotidian gestures, in the uncommon locale of a Melbourne living-room.
Ophelia Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is a cross-artform opera, bringing together text from Hamlet, video, physical extremes and Verhagen’s dark combination of music and noise to create a new chamber opera performance installation.
“Strange, enthralling, disturbing, often uncomfortably funny, Ophelia Doesn’t Live Here Anymore rubs against its literal setting with subversive power. Even ordinary objects – kettles, vitamisers – become perilous, loosed from their usual moorings of meaning.”
“Schlusser’s domestic pageantry is beautifully designed and fearlessly performed. If his beguiling engagement with Hamlet remains amorphous, we can still delight in this unusual form of artistic patronage and the churn of ideas it has produced.”
‘The contemporary planes of house – its huge, white kitchen, its carefully lit back garden and swimming pool – become stages for a haunting: Hamlet exists as a fragmentary memory, distorted glimpses of perverse, operatic passion within a domestic, naturalistic setting…We see a fragmentary narrative of repressed erotic energies invading and exploding in this scene of idealised, aspirational domesticity.’
2012: World Premiere Season, A Private Living Room in Armadale (24 – 26 November)