The City They Burned (2014 & 2015)

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“Exceptional … the next independent company to make a mark so unforgettable that a hole would exist in Melbourne’s theatre scene without them.” – Aussie Theatre

“Look no further, 4.5 Stars” – To Early Retirement

“A thrilling piece of theatre, 4 Stars” – Crikey.com.au

“Sharp, unflinching and ingeniously directed, 4 Stars” – The Music

“Superb … stands tall among the best indie theatre has to offer” – The Age

“A powerful, classic tragedy with the kind of scope that has become all too rare, 5 Stars” – Arts Hub

“Pushes the boundaries of convention” – The Theatre Nerd

“Most definitely a brave new theatre experience … The writing is wonderful. The direction is tight an the performances are focused.” – Theatre Press

“It is quite simply one of the best performances that I have ever seen” – Hana Theatre

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THE CITY THEY BURNED is a modern retelling of the tale of Lot and the fall of Sodom. It is an immersive site-specific work about power, fear and judgement that is challenging and enticing in equal measures. A theatrical exploration of power and control is engaged with finesse in the kind of genre-pushing presentation that theatre company Attic Erratic has become known for. Drinks, canapes and something more sinister are on the menu for this unique experience at a new pop-up theatre venue.

Melbourne writer Fleur Kilpatrick has adapted the biblical stories of Lot and the fall of Sodom (along with parts of the Levite and his Concubine) as a device to explore how power is inherited, forced, taken away and earned in our current society. The adaptation process has been difficult – the original text unashamedly uses righteous genocide and permissible rape to teach quite archaic lessons in a book intended to be about morality. An entire population is destroyed; Lot offers his daughters up for rape and is saved while his wife looks back to her burning city and is cursed. Kilpatrick’s parable delves into the content to explore how we engage with these issues 3500 years later in a political landscape that is becoming less democratic by the minute and preferences local ideology over global humanity.

Lot’s story is told through the fall of a modern, industrialised Sodom, and his family’s flight from the destroyed city into personal exile, isolated and alone in a burnt world. As a journey the presentation moves from a full immersive theatre experience into a traditionally staged show, sharing and subsequently removing options from the audience. There are drinks, community and canapes, but something very wrong is bubbling under the surface: judgement, powerlessness and a struggle for control over other people.

Director Danny Delahunty has developed a reputation for creating engaging theatre that challenges form, style and presentation. This has seen Attic Erratic grow as one of Melbourne’s premier independent companies capable of producing highly polished, enticing art. THE CITY THEY BURNED provides a forum for our audience to explore, investigate and interrogate the world around them with equal amounts of intrigue and disgust.

The City They Burned

Act One: Lot briefs the workers

The City They Burned

Act One: the inspectors arrive

The City They Burned

Act One: Everything is going to be alright

The City They Burned

Act One: Lot and the South Tower

The City They Burned

Act One: Ado celebrates

The City They Burned

Act One: Wormwood interrogates

The City They Burned

Act One: Zadkiel and Wormwood dance

The City They Burned

Act One: Wormwood wants to stop

The City They Burned

Act One: Isaac takes matters into his own hands

The City They Burned

Act One: Lot offers his daughters to the men

The City They Burned

Act One: Silence

The City They Burned

Act One: Ado listens to her daughter being raped

The City They Burned

Act One: Wormwood recovers

The City They Burned

Act One: The Inspectors rally

The City They Burned

Act One: Ado sings

The City They Burned

Act One: Sodom will burn

The City They Burned

Act Two: Ado is silent

The City They Burned

Act Two: The sisters talk

The City They Burned

Act Two: Playing chasey

The City They Burned

Act Two: Ado sings

The City They Burned

Act Two: No mirrors left

The City They Burned

Act Two: Thamma is lost

The City They Burned

Act Two: Thamma and Lot bond