‘Sneakyville’ is a new work from playwright Christopher Bryant that explores our cultural obsession with serial killers by examining the impact and legacy of one of the most infamous figures of the twentieth century: Charles Manson.
Covering fifty years and extending from the hills of Hollywood to the suburbs of Melbourne, ‘Sneakyville’; is a black comedy about the violent lengths people go to for infamy, positing the Manson murders as the first in a long chain of reactionary events. It weaves fact and fiction alike, using elements of meta- theatre and epic theatre to draw similarities between the anarchy that gave birth to Manson in 1969, and the chaos we find ourselves in today. It’s a play for Charlie (aka Jesus, the Devil, Soul) and his gang of merry murderers, and it’s aplay for the world of 2016; where countless young people dedicate their lives to the Family and other anarchists across dark recesses of the Internet or commit themselves to violent ideals based on chaos and retribution. It’s for a world that put the Columbine killers and the Boston bombers on the front cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and for the plays made from the destruction of other people’s lives. It’s a play of violence, black humour, and blacker obsession, one that preys on and questions the fanaticism that hangs over us as an ever-present threat, and asks why we choose to engage with and sensationalise violent acts instead of turning away. More than anything, it holds a magnifying lens to the way the world around us continues to evolve – not always for the better.
Yes it is.
21st Century +
The team behind Sneakyville have all worked together before, albeit not all at the same time. Most notably, Jonathan designed Intoxication which was developed with assistance from Tobias and MKA, Anastasia and Cameron have produced work for Christopher, and Daniel has directed his work (The Avarice of Boise Plains, Spiral, Third Reich Mommie). Furthermore, Raya and Daniel have worked together on Ryan – a play that won them both Green Room Award nominations – and Debra and Christopher worked extensively together as colleagues during our time at NIDA, and later on Home Invasion.
CHRISTOPHER BRYANT – Playwright: Christopher was nominated for the Griffin Award in 2014 for his play “Home Invasion,” and recently completed the inaugral Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria, for his play “The Other Place.” His sell-out Midsumma hit “Third Reich Mommie” was in 2015 published by Play Lab.
JONATHAN HINDMARSH – Production designer: Jonathan set and costume designed for “Vale” by Nicki Bloom at NIDA, “Belleville” at the Old Fitz Theatre in 2016, costume designed for “Away” through Sport For Jove.
DANIEL LAMMIN – Director: Daniel is a Green Room nominated director for his work on “Master Class” at 45downstairs, and has directed works at La Mama (“The Cutting Boys”, “Ryan”), Melbourne Fringe (“Christopher Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”) and Assistant Directed through the 2011 Besen Family Program at Malthouse (“On the Misconception of Oediupus”).
CAMERON LUKEY – Co-Producer: Cameron is a full-time producer at 45downstairs and has spearheaded many works through his company Left Bauer, including “Master Class”, “Resident Alien” and “Playing Rock Hudson.”
TOBIAS MANDERSON-GALVIN – Co-Producer: Tobias is a playwright, producer, director, as well as the Artistic Director of MKA: Theatre for New Writing and one half of Doppelgangster, best known for his play “Lucky” in the 2015 MTC Neon season, his acclaimed production of “Doppelgangster’s Titanic” both in Melbourne and – overseas – his controversial play, “The Economist”, which toured to Edinburgh after a sell-out Melbourne season in 2011.
ANASTASIA RYAN – Production manager: Anastasia has worked with Zoey Dawson and Declan Greene, Sisters Grimm, Mama Alto, James Welsby and Quiet Little Fox, programmed and ran Tandanya Firefly at the Adelaide Fringe, and co- curated The Container Festival for Monash University.
RAYA SLAVIN – Sound designer: Raya is a Green Room nominated composer and sound designer who’s worked on Ryan (La Mama Courthouse), Angry SEXX (Melbourne Fringe) and MKA’s Group Show (Darebin Speakeasy.)
DEBRA THOMAS – Dramaturge: Debra is the winner of the 2015 Patrick White Playwright’s Award at STC for her play “The Man’s Bitch”, dramaturged for Bryant’s “Home Invasion” at La Mama and is currently under commission for “Power Plays”, as part of STC’s 2016 season & debuting in a few months.
“Christopher Bryant’s Intoxication is a fascinating study of social disconnection via gay online dating + a real-life experience of brain trauma. It’s beautifully made: funny, too-smart and at times quite shattering. Def check it out.”
– Declan Greeene (“on INTOXICATION”)
“It’s a testament to the skill of director Daniel Lammin that he has tamed the space and the show. The limited lighting is used to great effect and really who cares if the audience has to suspend their disbelief a little more then usual. It’s well worth it. Third Reich Mommie is exactly the piece of glorious unhinged codswallop it promises to be and is well worth a look this Midsumma festival.”
– Kevin Turner, AussieTheatre.com
“Christopher Bryant offers a searing piece about a man named Arman who finds himself trapped between two nightmares; a homeland filled with torture and pain in prison or a new world filled with mental torture and pain in prison.”
– Lisa Thatcher (on the piece “63 Days” in Apocalypse Theatre’s ASYLUM)
“The dialogue is witty and sharp… there’s blood and murder… divorce, affection, self-loathing and alcoholism, all which interact powerfully in the intimate space to reveal a disturbing truth.”
– Izzy Tolhurt (on “Acidtongue & Dollface”, InPress Magazine)
“Rigor Mortis is bad and funny: trashmeisters will glory in its camp excesses, and there’s a rabid commitment to kitsch in the acting that might impress even serious-minded theatregoers. …it’s performed with tasteless glee. Glitter! Braaiiinnnns! What more could you want?”
– Cameron Woodhead (on “Rigor Mortis”, The Age)
“Daniel Lammin’s production of Master Class will delight opera and theatre lovers alike, and audiences will long cherish the memory of Mercedes’ marvellous performance.” (5 stars.)
– Cameron Woodhead (on “Master Class”, The Age)
“Director Daniel Lammin’s production is beautifully unadorned and not a single note — musical or emotional — rings false… the execution is perfect.” (4.5 stars)
– Byron Bache (on “Master Class”, Herald Sun)
“…it’s hard to imagine how anyone could leave this masterfully directed play without feeling affected by the soul of this great artist.”
– Bradley Storer (on “Master Class”, Theatre Press)
“With so much unmissable on in Melbourne this week, it’;s easy to pass on a student production out at Monash Uni in Clayton. But if you can get a ticket, Columbine is a stunning, moving and highly original piece of verbatim theatre that needs to have a long life beyond this week.”
– Anne-Marie Peard (on “Columbine”, Sometimes Melbourne)
'SNEAKYVILLE is Fucking terrifying' - Stephen Sewell