Montague Basement 2019 season kicks off with blasting apart one of the most iconic films of the silent era.
Preceding their recent Melbourne debut with The Public Domain Opera at the Butterfly Club, Sydney-based collective Montague Basement returns to Sydney in January with a fresh take on everyone’s favourite blood sucker.
Nosferatu: A Fractured Symphony will work from fragments of the 1922 F. W. Murnau film (the intertitles only) to imagine a world without Dracula and to rebuild the myth before our eyes.
“This project really began about two years ago when we starting to devise more,” says director Saro Lusty-Cavallari. “We thought the idea of taking the title cards from a silent film and using that as your only reference point in retelling a story would be fascinating.”
“This production takes one of the most purely visual forms of storytelling and removes all the imagery, forcing you to get creative in how you reinterpret such an iconic figure.”
Dracula as a figure still resonates in today’s world, notes Lusty-Cavallari, although he has become a loaded reference.
“We’re making the overload of associations the focal point,” explains Lusty-Cavallari. “He’s a fractured icon; he represents so many different fears to so many people.”
“It’s almost a gag at this point how he’s a Rorschach blot for different schools of thought. You’ve got Marxist Dracula, feminist Dracula, critical race Dracula, queer Dracula, psychoanalytic Dracula and so on. We thought: chuck them all in.”
While much of the original film’s visuals have been set aside, the production will by no means shy away from a horror aesthetic.
“Montague Basement has definitely been playing with darkness and violence since we started as a company but it’s been extremely liberating to be explicitly working within the horror genre”, says Lusty-Cavallari. “At a certain point you need to let that nightmare logic take over.”
“I think audiences are going to really respond to that. At least the audience that can stomach it”.
Nosferatu: A Fractured Symphony
will play from January 8 through to January 19 at the Old 505 Theatre. For more information head to www.montaguebasement.com