“…never lets you settle into passive acceptance of anything it does. It’s a vital sense-sharpening tonic for theatregoers who feel they’ve seen it all.” New York Times
GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH is poignant, beautiful, disarming, full of vulnerability and sly transparency.
The story begins with the elephant-headed god Ganesh travelling through Nazi Germany to reclaim the Swastika, an ancient Hindu symbol. As this intrepid hero embarks on his journey a second narrative is revealed: the actors themselves begin to feel the weighty responsibility of storytellers and question the ethics of cultural appropriation.
Cleverly interwoven in the play’s design is the story of a young man inspired to create a play about Ganesh, god of overcoming obstacles. He is an everyman who must find the strength to overcome the difficulties in his own life, and defend his play and his collaborators against an overbearing colleague.
The show is made before our very eyes and takes on its own life. It invites us to examine who has the right to tell a story and who has the right to be heard. It explores our complicity in creating and dismantling the world, human possibility and hope.
Devisors: Mark Deans, Marcia Ferguson, Bruce Gladwin, Nicki Holland, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price, Kate Sulan, Brian Tilley and David Woods
Director and Design: Bruce Gladwin
Performers: Mark Deans, Simon Laherty, Scott Price, Luke Ryan and Brian Tilley
Additional Performance: Georgina Naidu
Lighting Design: Andrew Livingston, Bluebottle
Set Design and Construction: Mark Cuthbertson
Design and Animation: Rhian Hinkley
Composer: Jóhann Jóhannsson
Mask Design and Construction: Sam Jinks and Paul Smits
Costume Design: Shio Otani
Translation: Karen Wittuhn and Greg Bailey
Script Consultant: Melissa Reeves
Creative Development Actors: Brian Lipson, James Saunders and Sonia Teuben
Developed with support from
The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria, the City of Melbourne, Sidney Myer Fund, Keir Foundation, 2009 Kit Denton Fellowship, National Theatre Studio (London), Geelong Performing Arts Centre and Goethe-Institut (Melbourne).
The premiere season of GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH was co-produced with Melbourne Festival and Malthouse Theatre.