The Dead Twin re-imagines the horror genre as an immersive, cyclical, site-specific performance.
Synopsis: Steve is a young man with a bright future. He is floating, listless, sometimes detached from reality. When Steve meets Lola, he develops the ability to contact his long dead twin. His parents, Howard and Barbara, have a pact not to talk about Steve’s twin, who died during war. But each of them dreams of encountering him. The past comes back and wants you to re-enter the horror…. The Dead Twin re-imagines the horror genre as an immersive, cyclical, site-specific performance.
Reviews and Interviews
‘A chilling onstage experience that combines beautifully distorted imagery with a spectacular soundtrack … 4 stars.’ Sofia Monkiewicz – Arts Hub
‘Chi Vu’s The Dead Twin is work by an Asian-Australian playwright who is a master at her storytelling craft.’ Lian Low – Peril.com.au
‘A must-see for lovers of the horror genre, and those interested in new immersive, site-specific work.’ Fiona Spitzkowsky – Theatrepeople.com.au
‘Playwright Chi Vu and director/performer Deborah Leiser-Moore have crafted a complex ghost story that riffs like a recurring dream, doubling back on itself in trauma and desperation…If your heart bleeds at the mere whispers of gothic fun, this show should be in your calendar.’ John Back – TimeOut Melbourne
‘A gripping tale of a family who struggle with the death of a twin son.’ Samsara – Planet Arts Melbourne
‘Chi Vu’s courageous writing highlights the deep scarring of losing loved ones to violent death…This production is masterfully choreographed by Deborah Leiser-Moore.’ Suzanne Sandow – Stage Whispers.
TimeOut profiles the Flight Festival.
Radio National’s Books and Arts: listen to Raimondo, Deborah and Chi chat about new plays.
Flight Festival playwrights talk to Art Olympics about writing for theatre.
Chi Vu and Bridget Mackey chat about Acts of Violence.
The Dead Twin explores a sense of alienation experienced by many immigrant families, particularly those who’ve fled from war. Migrants are invigorated by fresh opportunities that are available in a new country, and yet they are often still haunted by their previous identity. The intention is for the play’s themes of trauma & suppressed cultural identity to resonate with our audiences.
The script borrows from the horror-film genre to explore inherited trauma in a way that connects with a pop-culture audience. Specifically, it investigates the ‘diasporic uncanny’ through the use of twins/doubles/the dislocated self/the path not taken, as twins are frequently symbols of both ‘union’ and ‘separation’.
It’s influenced by Marianne Hirsch’s concept of postmemory, which “describes the relationship of the second generation to powerful, often traumatic, experiences that preceded their births but that were nevertheless transmitted to them so deeply as to seem to constitute memories in their own right.” The Dead Twin evokes the terror of being haunted by those we left behind.
12-22 August 2015
The Dead Twin was presented at Footscray Community Arts Centre, in partnership with Theatre Works and the Victorian College of the Arts. The performance featured FCAC’s historic Henderson House and its surrounds. This bluestone building was built in 1872 and has previously been a private residence and piggery. Tales of its former ‘gory’ days enhance the themes in this work, making it a perfect setting for a site-specific promenade performance on the inherited trauma of war.
Director/Performer Deborah Leiser-Moore
Writer/Producer/Dramaturg Chi Vu
Visual Artist Naomi Ota
Sound Designer Jacques Soddell
Lighting Designer Niklas Pajanti
Costume Designer Ross de Winter
Performers Alex Pinder, Davina April Wright, Harry Tseng, Daniel Han
Photographer Jave Lee
Video Artist David Meagher
Script Dramaturg Raimondo Cortese.
Read & purchase The Dead Twin from Australian Plays
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MUSIC CREDIT “Gde Si Duso Gde Si Rano”
Performed by Amira Medunjanin and Merima Kljuco
Composed by Davorin Jenko
Courtesy of World Village Music
Used with Permission of the Artist.
Writer Chi Vu chats about making The Dead Twin.