Ask Audrey Ask Audrey
Archived

Nosferatu: A Fractured Symphony

Audrey review: Montague Basement resurrects FW Murnau’s silent classic to explore the spiralling obsession with borders and infiltration.

Text size
Text size
Add to favourites

Nosferatu: A Fractured Symphony

Date: 13 Jan 2019

Sydney-based indie company Montague Basement resurrects FW Murnau’s silent classic Nosferatu to speak to the paradoxical reaction to the forces of globalisation: the world’s spiralling obsession with borders and infiltration.

Using Murnau’s title cards as a guide, the story is transposed to modern day Australia, where  a real estate agent (played by Lulu Howes) is dispatched to secure the business of a wealthy international entrepreneur (Jeremi Campese), a mysterious figure whose presence has even the most laconic of locals feeling uneasy. Murnau’s stagecoach is now an Uber, but as in the film, the driver will only dare take you so far.

If you are familiar with the film (and if not, I’d recommend watching it before you see this production), you’ll feel its undertow even without referring to the title cards, which are projected on a small screen above designer Victor Kalka’s set. Without that grounding, the script may seem more digressive than it actually is.

Connections forged between the original film and the global politics of the present are often quite inspired but under the direction of Saro Lusty-Cavallari, Nosferatu mostly gets by on a mischievous sense of humour and the work of a versatile cast.

Jeremi Campese is a live-wire Count; a hyperactive figure whose introductory monologue (a mash-up of devilish words from literature, pop culture and film) earned a spontaneous round of applause on opening night.

A clever pastiche of the “Where the Bloody Hell Are You?” tourism campaign came close to earning another for Lucy Burke and Annie Stafford, who demonstrate their range playing several characters apiece. And while playing style is non-naturalistic for the most part, Howes suffers eloquently as the Count sucks the life out of her.

There are times when Nosferatu feels like a sketch version of a more complex production but for the most part, this “Fractured Symphony” offers a persuasive take on the idea that horror films offer a space where our unacknowledged fears can be approached, explored and vicariously experienced.

Content
A Ghost in my Suitcase
Add to favourites
ArchivedSydney Opera House, Bennelong Point 9 - 19 Jan 2019

A Ghost in my Suitcase

Audrey review: Based on Gabrielle Wang’s award-winning children’s novel, Barking Gecko Theatre’s production is no ordinary ghost story.

Since Ali Died
Add to favourites
ArchivedCourtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre 30 Jan - 2 Feb 2019

Since Ali Died

Audrey review: True to the essence of the hip hop and spoken word genres it straddles, Since Ali Died is as personal as it is political.

Home
Add to favourites
ArchivedRoslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney 9 - 18 Jan 2019

Home

Audrey review: Many magical moments but Geoff Sobelle's exploration of house and home proves less moving than expected.

See More

More to see

View All
Mary Stuart
Add to favourites
ArchivedRosyln Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney 5 Feb - 2 Mar 2019

Mary Stuart

A battlefield of suspicion, spies and subterfuge, Mary Stuart tells the story of one of history’s great rivalries.

Brown Skin Girl
Add to favourites
ArchivedOld Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo, Sydney 29 Jan - 9 Feb 2019

Brown Skin Girl

Black Birds bring their hard-hitting show back to Sydney after sold-out shows at Griffin's BATCH Festival in 2018.

Dorian Gray Naked
Add to favourites
ArchivedLimelight on Oxford, Darlinghurst, Sydney 30 Jan - 16 Feb 2019

Dorian Gray Naked

In this two-handed musical, Dorian is given a fictional afterlife in which he confronts his creator, Oscar Wilde.

Are You Listening Now?
Add to favourites
ArchivedOld 505 Theatre, Newtown, Sydney 29 Jan - 2 Feb 2019

Are You Listening Now?

A new play by Xavier Coy about a robbery gone wrong explores the divide between the haves and have-nots.

Top