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”.