The atmospheric OLD ADELAIDE GAOL will host CHANTS DES CATACOMBES, a new collaborative music theatre experience as part of the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival.

CHANTS DES CATACOMBES is the brainchild of Anna Boulic, a NIDA trained theatre voice teacher, harpist and singer, who developed a ten-minute version alongside theatre director Bryce Ives, winning the 2010 Short and Sweet Cabaret Festival. A full production was staged in June 2011, in the labyrinth-like basement of Donkey Wheel House in Melbourne. Chants des Catacombes played an extended sell-out season in the Donkey Wheel House to critical acclaim.

“CHANTS DES CATACOMBES is a filthy little story about a showgirl, a surgeon and a courtesan. The innocence of each has been stripped. They’re now entombed creatures from a strange time, just like the Venus de Milo sitting timeless and emotionless forever in the Louvre. For these three dead women history has turned the page, yet they continue to restlessly walk up and down the dark corridors of the Catacombs, remembering and forgetting,” says creator Anna Boulic.

“CHANTS DES CATACOMBES is in an immersive live theatre experience that taps into the many senses of the audience. The audience travel across several spaces in the Gaol. Lyrics are like bent fairy tales, whispered, commanded, serenaded and shouted. Contemporary songs are adapted and given enchanting or horrific twists, to be transformed into something unique and timeless. We’re dedicated to creating bold new theatre, in unique and strange places,” says Artistic Director Bryce Ives.

“We're thrilled to be inhabiting the old Adelaide gaol, which has been a prominent Adelaide landmark since 1841. It will be beautiful to create a piece of promenade theatre in this provocative space. We’ll question the line between the bitter and sweet,” say Ives.

This production is a collaboration of ten outstanding artists: Nicola Andrews (Lighting Designer and VCA Design Graduate), Laura Burzacott (Call Girl the Musical and I Heart Frankston), Anna Boulic (Winner of the 2010 Short and Sweet Cabaret Festival and NIDA Graduate), Lisette Drew (VCA Production Graduate), Nathan Gilkes (Theatre & Opera Director and VCA Directing Graduate), David Harford (Choreographer and Ballarat Arts Academy Graduate), Bryce Ives (Theatre Director Call Girl the Musical, The History Boys and I Heart Frankston), Emma Leah (Scent Alchemist), Zoe McDonald (Wrong Town and VCA Musical Theatre Graduate) and Sophie Woodward (Designer and VCA Graduate).

“We were greeted by three haunting voices, Anna Boulic, Laura Burzacott, and Zoe McDonald, who created a blend of celestial sound whilst moving dangerously close through the crowd. Immediately we were shown that this was not a night for the lazy or uninspired; this was theatre for those who want shock, surprise and intrigue… The song choices were wonderful, the actors heavenly, and the space divine. This was a perfect piece of engaging contemporary theatre. Let’s hope they do a remount soon”
Kate Boston Smith, Arts Hub

“The initial creation of atmosphere and use of space is just sublime in this production. Nicola Andrews’ spectacular lighting design reveals each new room and scene as a place of chiaroscuro and spectacle, and the audience wandered fearless and fascinated down halls, around pillars and through doorways as the action unfolded in front, behind and between us.”
Kim Edwards, Theatre Press

Video Credits
Photography by Rob Luxford & Wes Fahey
Editing by Travis Geldard

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