The book of revelations

Dena, Christy (2012) The book of revelations. [Live Performance (Play)]

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"Nihilistic act embraces doomsday The Age – December 2012 By Rebecca Harkins-Cross For The Book of Revelations

A WOMAN stumbles backwards through the audience, burdened by an overflowing backpack, muttering about the home she’s left behind. When she reaches the mountain onstage, she looks upon its cloud-swirled peak with awe.

This stillness is ruptured by an involuntary outburst as she begins spitting out the scourges of the modern world – “nuclear explosion… war… car salesman”, she yells.

This is the final show in La Mama’s explorations season, which allows performers to stage works still in development. Devised and performed by theatre maker and academic Alison Richards, it questions our eschatological paranoia that the end times are upon us. It is fitting then that it is premiered on the eve of the Mayan’s prophesised doomsday.

Like many pilgrims before her, Ada (Richards) ascends the mountain in search of salvation, but her journey evokes sublime terror; she speaks in tongues, collapses into fitful sleeps. Richards combines operatic singing with an ethereal score by Faye Bendrups, her eruptions into song apparently brought on by the mountain’s ecstatic pull. Richards’ seraphic voice is haunting, the lyrics evoking visions of birth and death.

But when Ada finally converses with the heavens, she does not receive the revelations she hopes for: the voice of the divine is nihilistic, urging her to accept the universe’s chaos.

While the work is still fragmentary, unfolding like a dream, this is a powerful performance by Richards. Its striking imagery fails to cohere yet in narrative terms, but it is promising nonetheless."

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 77369
Item Type: Creative Work (Live Performance (Play))
Refereed: No
Other Contributors:
Role Contributors
Digital Creative Associate
  • Christy Dena
  • Nancy Black
Creator and Performer
  • Alison Richards
  • Faye Bendrups
  • Peri Jenkins
Puppetry Consultant
  • Nancy Black
Lighting Consultant
  • Phil Lethlean
Production Manager
  • Canada White
Graphic Designer
  • Max Thompson
Funders: La Mama Theatre
Material: Theatre Performance, Digital Pre-Experience, Mailouts
Number of Pieces: 1
Publisher: La Mama Theatre
Location: From date: To date:
Black Hole Theatre, Southbank, Victoria, Australia 2014-01-02 2014-01-03
La Mama Courthouse, 7:30pm 2012-12-20 2012-12-22
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2014 23:09
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 01:27

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