Season 2012

The Histrionic


Hell hath no fury like an actor ignored… Meet Bruscon: national treasure, intellect nonpareil, and finest living actor to grace the stage.

But what happens when a talent that knows no bounds is dropped into a tiny hamlet more notable for the number of local pigs than its appreciation of the theatre?

 Playwright Thomas Bernhard, himself a relentless self-mythologiser and one of the great writers of the twentieth century, takes no prisoners in this Fawlty-Towers-meets-Beckett rampage of satire on art, celebrity and the cult of personality.

In Bruscon is crystallised the artist whose head won’t fit through doors — an ego that has outgrown reality itself. But beneath the wit lies the profound concern about how such monsters are created, and why their excesses provide us with an endless, grotesque fascination even while we abhor them.

Director Daniel Schlusser shapes this wry drama around the protean genius of Bille Brown while the inimitable Barry Otto’s beleaguered innkeeper attempts to meet Bruscon’s absurd demands.

'It's a pleasure to watch Bernhard's black comedy performed with such scintillation and skill.'


'Loved The Histrionic. Brilliant text, astounding performance.'

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By/ Thomas Bernhard
Translated by/ Tom Wright
Directed by / Daniel Schlusser
Set and Costume Design / Marg Horwell

Lighting Design / Paul Jackson 
Composition and Sound Design / Darrin Verhagen
Performed by / Bille Brown, Kelly Butler, Barry Otto, Josh Price, Katherine Tonkin, Jennifer Vuletic, Edwina Wren
Stage Manager / Meg Deyell 
Assistant Stage Manager / Alice Fleming

The Histrionic is proudly supported by Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

Photography by /  Ellis Parrinder