Sanctum Theatre

"Piscator is a dreamer, a fantasist, a man who dared to believe that things could be other than they are, that is, arid in the centre...The great thing about Piscator is his optimism. I mean anyone who sets out with a vessel of the kind that he supposedly designed, and I think anyone who goes on living in the world despite the terrible injury that he’s endured, is a great optimist. And I suppose in the end Australia belongs to the optimists."

In 2013 Lachlan Plain interviewed historian and radio personality, Michael Cathcart, on the subject of the tragic and enigmatic historical figure, Pedro Piscator. In 1812 Piscator set off from Sydney to explore the uncharted interior of the continent. A year later, at the beginning of their better known and more successful expedition, Blaxland and Wentworth discovered Piscator's charred remains entombed in the mangled hull of the inexplicable contraption he'd built to help him traverse the centre of the great southern land.

This video was produced with the assistance of the Melbourne-based literary journal, Going down Swinging. It was originally published alongside Lachlan's essay, The Lost Journals of Pedro Piscator, in edition No. 34. The Lost Journals is the title piece of a collection of short stories written and illustrated by Lachlan Plain.

The Lost Journals of Pedro Piscator and other tales is an eclectic illustrated collection of tall tales from across the globe and throughout the ages. Tales of daring, loss and madness. From fairy tale to science fiction book review; from desert parable to colonial crime fiction; from Soviet thriller to an early explorer's account of the dry and desolate interior of the great southern land. The Lost Journals collection won UK publisher, Impress Books’ 2012 prize for new writers. It will be launched in England on the 1st of March 2014 and will be available online and throughout the UK.

Michael Cathcart has taught courses in Australian history and culture at Deakin University and at the University of Melbourne, from where he has a doctorate. He is the author of Defending the National Tuckshop (1988), a study of conservative responses to the Great Depression in Victoria. He has also produced an abridgement of Manning Clark’s epic A History of Australia and an anthology of Australian speeches. Michael’s book The Water Dreamers (2009) is an award-winning study of the influence of water and aridity on Australian culture. His most recent book is Starvation in a Land of Plenty (2013), a lavishly illustrated account of the life and death of the explorer William Wills. He has presented three historical documentaries for the AGC, Rewind, Rogue Nation and Australia on Trial, and is the presenter of Books and Arts Daily on Radio National.

CREDITS
Interviewee: Michael Cathcart
Interviewer: Lachlan Plain
GDS editors: Geoff Lemon and Katia Pase
Camera man: Simon Green
Editing: Andy Lane

http://www.lachlanplain.com
Sanctum Theatre

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Sanctum Theatre

Lachlan Plain

S a n c t u m T h e a t r e is a Melbourne-based, visual performance company presenting ‘folk theatre’ in everyday spaces.

S a n c t u m T h e a t r e aims to establish a fluid dialogue through time, blood and place – an animism for the twenty…


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S a n c t u m T h e a t r e is a Melbourne-based, visual performance company presenting ‘folk theatre’ in everyday spaces.

S a n c t u m T h e a t r e aims to establish a fluid dialogue through time, blood and place – an animism for the twenty first century.

Through its' ‘zero projects’ S a n c t u m T h e a t r e aims to re-animate and re-mystify local landscapes in the communal imagination.

S a n c t u m T h e a t r e was launched in 2006 with lament: candles & compost, the first theatre production to be staged at the Abbotsford Convent.

Since then S a n c t u m T h e a t r e have presented numerous interactive theatre events, community arts projects, exhibitions and the short film the ferryman and his wife.

S a n c t u m T h e a t r e also works with communities to devise plays, parades, installatinons and exhibitions as well as touring roving acts to festivals, parades, parties, weddings and all manner of festivities.

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