Project Archive

Project Archive

Selection of past works from Kantanka since our beginnings in 1995.

“The Eye is a sensorial feast, lavish and stunning. Engines roar, flames ablaze….”
DB Magazine, Adelaide

“Great fun.”
Adelaide Gay Times

“Physically adroit and spatially inventive… rampant theatricality.”
Real Time

“The experience of wandering through the garden at night is as impressive as the experience of the show…moments of sudden beauty such as the tiny glass coffin we file past as we leave the site, containing an illuminated figure from the story, beautifully sculptured by Shigeyuki Ueno.”
John McCallum,
The Australian



Kantanka revives an ancient stories while also investigating issues of cultural ownership that surround the translation and re-interpretation of folkloric myth. Inanna’s Descent leads audiences into a subterranean nether world. Underground, beneath the hum of the city, an archaeological dig site unveils an ancient myth, erotic love rites, tales of death and resurrection emerge from rubble beneath the spectators feet.

Over five thousand years old, the story of Inanna, Goddess of Heaven and Earth, is credited as being the earliest known piece of written literature. Written in cuneiform script on clay tablets, it is only during the past sixty years, that archaeologist and researchers have been able to piece together the broken fragments that make up this remarkable story.

Inanna’s Descent was performed in an underground car-park at the Masonic Centre in Sydney. 

Co-Directors: Carlos Gomes and Michael Cohen
Composer: Felicity Fox & Gene Gill
Set Design: Joey Ruigrok
Sculptor: Shigeyuki Ueno
Costume Designer:  Janine Hilder
Projections: Graig Walsh & David Thomasson
Performers/Devisors:   Michael Cohen, Carlos Gomes, Katia Molino, Chris Murphy, Dominic Sweeney, Yumi Umiumare
Photo: Heidrun Lohr

Supported by Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, Performance Space.

Crime Site

crime site

Crime Site was a co-production with Pact Theatre that immersed us into the dark world of a local historical crime. In the Erskineville local library Chris Murphy found a court-case transcript about the Makins, a family that lived in the area in the 1890s who were accused and tried for baby-farming and infanticide.

This large scale site-work gave an opportunity for the Pact ensemble of young performers to experiment with a number of performance styles, in a number of different locations (outdoors at the local school, in the lanes and streets of Erskineville, inside the Pact theatre itself, and in the Pact grounds). The text for the performance was generated from court transcripts, through group workshops, improvisation and character development. The piece ends as a macabre universe in a surreal fairground where performance, installation and history collide.

Co-Directors: Carlos Gomes, Regina Heilmann
Chris Murphy
Design: Kate Shanahan
Sound Artist/Composer: Felicity Fox
Lighting Design: Shane Stevens
Movement Tutor: Chris Ryan
Voice Tutor: Drew Fairley
Construction: Stretch
Production: Damian Leonard
Publicist: Annette Madden
Manager: Tegan Richardson
Performers/Devisors:Danny Adams, Tracy Collings, Zoe Coombs Marr, Marnie Renee Cooper, Natalia Gilroy, Mish Grigor, Majhid Heath, Andrew Johnston, Vijay Khurana, Eryn Norvill, Joshua Peacocke, Teresa Ponnor, Georgie Read, Natalie Rose, Claire Sandford, Hila Sukkar, Emma Tuchin, Morgan Watt
Photos: Heidrun Lohr

“…hardly the stuff of Christmas pantomime and all the more remarkable then for directors Regina Heilmann, Chris Murphy, Carlos Gomes and the young cast to have crafted from this black, bleak mass a singularly electrifying, exciting and dare to say it, uplifting performance event.”

Theatre Kantanka’s facility with spectacle makes this hubbub of sideshows, body organ display and gross memorabilia a thrilling nightmare as you are swept about by the curious crowd.”

“This darkly excellent community theatre work uses historical fact and transcripts of the Makins’ trial to starkly illuminate the bleak choices facing women before effective, available contraception and legal abortion. It also explores the never-ending public fascination with grisly crime and the inquisitional process of law, among other things. This piece is a fascinating glimpse of the different mores and standards of the past, a reminder of the forgotten histories that echo congruently and spatially through our oh-so-tastefully renovated and happily forgetful streets”.

Fearless N

Fearless n

Inspired by the true story of Bollywood stuntwoman and cinema icon Fearless Nadia, Kantanka created a new musical theatre form, transforming the site of Newington Armory into a Bollywood film studio of the 1940s. The audience enters into the world of Australian-born Mary Evans as extras in a Hindi action-film, shot in post-colonial Bombay. This successful production reached new audiences and marked a high point for the company in intercultural collaboration.

Director/Designer : Carlos Gomes
Musical Direction/Original Composition:
Bobby Singh & Ben Walsh
Rakini Devi
Chris Murphy
Annette Madden
Georgina Naidu
Parth Nanavatin
Ahillan Ratnamohon
Rajan Thangavelu
Bruno Xavier

Video: Andrew Wholley
Costume Design: Katia Handt
Lighting Design: Nicholas Higgins
Production Manager: Stephen Klinder
Producer:  Annette Madden
Writer: Noelle Janaczewska
Photography: Heidrun Lohr

Supported by Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, Performance Space and Bundanon Trust.

“Theatre Kantanka’s latest offering is intriguing. Clever and above all else tremendous fun. Do not let the out of the way venue put you off. Fearless N is well worth the trek.” Australian Stage Online

“This is an astonishing work that is a model for the creation of musical theatre genre that doesn’t conform to the traditional and tired.”
The Daily Telegraph