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paradise lost

A visceral one-man performance, reigniting Milton's epic masterpiece in all its bizarre beauty.

 

Lucifer awakes, shrouded in flame, his beauty ravaged, his berth in Heaven lost forever. Defeated and condemned, the unwilling Lord of Hell turns his attention to the new world, and the open battleground for man's soul: for what cannot be won by strength of arms, can yet be corrupted by temptation.

 

This is the tale of the fall and rise of the first anti-hero, forefather of defiance, anarchy, lust and revolution. We encounter a Satan who is eloquent, sensitive, courageous, and above all, an individual: driven in his quest against an unjust ruler, and tormented by his own moral conflicts. The struggle between good and evil at the foundation of western civilization - and its hypocrisy - are ripped open and laid bare.

 

This original adaptation breathes new life into some of the most mesmerising language ever written in the English language. This adaptation uses a streamlined version of the original 17th century text, preserving the lyrical splendour of the verse, and focusing on Satan's journey of twisted redemption: waking in Hell after the Fall, journeying through Chaos to Paradise, and exacting his revenge against God by corrupting Man. As William Blake said, “The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels and God, and at liberty when of Devils and Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it.”

 

Butoh is a form of Japanese dance associated with themes of death, the spirit world, and the primeval, bestial elements in humanity, at times entering a dimension of hyper-slow movement, only to be fractured with dynamic releases of energy. This performance draws upon the spirit of Butoh, lurching from the grotesque to the sublime, the macabre to the absurd, to make tangible Milton’s incredible vision.

An initial version of Paradise Lost was presented as part of the 10 Days in Dublin Festival in 2012. It was then redeveloped in 2017 through the Artist in Residence program at Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra, before traveling to FRINGE WORLD in Perth and the Adelaide Fringe.

NOMINEE

West Australian Arts Editor Award

FRINGE WORLD 2017

SHORTLISTED

Overall Theatre Award

FRINGE WORLD 2017

REVIEWS

City News

"At times, it is as if he has stepped out of a post-medieval painting by Hieronymus Bosch with all the grotesque beauty that one finds in such art... His skill in performing Butoh is of the highest international standard…a culturally shattering event."

The West Australian

"This seamlessly condensed and vividly performed adaptation of a great poem is a Fringe highlight... a bravura performance."

★★★★☆

Canberra Critics' Circle

“A performance that is as beguiling and mesmerizing as the epic grandeur of Milton’s swelling tale.…physically absorbing, vocally engaging, emotionally exciting and creatively innovative…a tour de force display of the actor’s craft.”

CREDITS

Writer

John Milton

Performer

Christopher Samuel Carroll

Lighting Designer

Gillian Schwab

Make-Up

Nicki Buglewicz

Production Assistant

Hanna Cormick

 

Photography

Richard Lennon

PRODUCTION HISTORY

The Ireland Institute, Dublin

10 Days in Dublin Festival

3 - 5 July 2012

Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra

26 - 28 January 2017

The Flaming Locomotive, Perth

FRINGE WORLD Festival

31 January - 4 February 2017

The Henry Austin, Adelaide

Adelaide Fringe Festival

16 - 25 February 2017

Supported by Belconnen Arts Centre.
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