The Two Executioners

The music of exclamation

While her husband is tortured to death in an adjacent room, a mother argues with her two small children the merits of what is taking place…

Adapted from the controversial one-act play by absurdist writer Fernando Arrabal, writer/director Douglas Horton teams with composer David Chesworth to produce an ironic, darkly funny and ultimately disturbing new work.

Employing what composer David Chesworth calls “the music of exclamation”, Arrabal’s macabre and almost comic tale is as much a revealing statement about human betrayal as it is a political allegory, spiced with telling characterisation and potent ambiguities.

Commissioned and premiered by Chamber Made Opera.

Winner of the inaugural ‘Age’ performing arts award and The Independent Monthly’s vote as the best piece of music theatre in 1994.

… a stunning example of Chamber Made Opera at its best.


Easily the most impressive and memorable piece of music theatre [in 1994] has been Chamber Made Opera’s brilliant adaptation of Fernando Arrabal’s The Two Executioners, a production in which all the elements (music, text, performances, designer, Douglas Horton’s direction and choice of venue) were fused into a deeply satisfying whole.


…ingenious and splendidly witty…


… utterly sensational. Quite honestly, The Two Executioners is pretty much flawless.


1996:  Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse (15 – 24 August)
1994: World Premiere, Napier Street Theatre, Melbourne (4 – 10 August)