FEATURE | The Age, Double Feature

MKA’s daring double feature might make theatregoers flinch but they won’t be bored

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran Digital Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor

Cannibal stories don’t feature prominently in the Melbourne Theatre Company’s usual offerings, but a slew of younger writers and directors think audiences are ready for more.

The energetic crew at independent theatre company MKA perfectly embody the boundary-pushing agenda of MTC’s Neon Festival and will be opening this year’s affair with a double-bill of “schlocky horror with an edge”.

Melbourne audiences were recently treated to another bloodbath in the Belvoir/post production Oedipus Schmoedipus, raising the possibility of a revival of the genre.

“We want to make plays that take the temperature of the country, and aren’t about being 30 and having a mortgage – that’s boring,” MKA co-creative director John Kachoyan​ said.

Instead, Kachoyan is directing a play called Lucky, a mixture of cliche colonial prisoner play with a speculative aspect, while fellow director Kat Henry will captain Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise, based on a newspaper story about a man who dismembered and cooked his girlfriend in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“The playwright, Morgan Rose, is from New Orleans and was an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina, and then she wrote this play after experiencing the Brisbane floods,” Henry said.

“It came from a newspaper article about a year after the hurricane about a man who had committed suicide. His suicide note confessed to what police later found in his apartment, the dismembered and partially cooked remains of his girlfriend.”

While acknowledging the grotesqueness of the subject matter, Henry said any topic could be portrayed on stage if it was handled correctly.

“What we want is for people to laugh until they realise what they are laughing at. Comedy has been used in a canny way to let the audience come on board and then led to these dark places,” she said.

Kachoyan said comedy was equally crucial to Lucky, which has a more satirical bent.

“The works are a conversation with each other, and we find the absences in one are filled by the other. They are their own works, but the whole idea with a double feature is to represent the diversity of writing we do, as well as be sneaky and get another play on stage,” he said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/mkas-daring-double-feature-might-make-theatregoers-flinch-but-they-wont-be-bored-20150513-gh0pso.html#ixzz44Nj4EiiV
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook