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2007 Media Release Gilgamesh

Issued Tuesday, 30 October 2007


Presented in association with Uncle Semolina (& friends) and
Arts Projects Australia

Co-directed by Christian Leavesley and Phil Rolfe
Starring Richard Pyros, Katherine Tonkin and Mark Tregonning

“a punk parable of testosterone and absolute power” Herald Sun

The oldest story ever written, Gilgamesh, will be given a radical retelling when Uncle Semolina (& friends) stage a high-energy, brutal adaptation of this epic Sumerian tale. Set in a pit of dirt, a tyrannical ruler is plunged into crisis when he is forced to face his own mortality.

A fusion of playtime and inner urban anxiety, three actors use an eclectic mix of hip hop, toys, matchbox cars and professional wrestling to build and disintegrate a kaleidoscope of complex worlds.

By confronting the audience’s adult sensibilities and recovering the language of children’s play, Gilgamesh is a unique lens through which to examine the complexities of gender and sexuality.

Previously staged in a 40ft shipping container, Gilgamesh is unashamedly Gen-X grunge theatre. Proudly low-tech, the play celebrates simplicity with a deliberate anti-aesthetic edge.

Witty, sweaty, irreverent and shocking, co-directors Christian Leavesley and Phil Rolfe create an unexpectedly fresh voice to deal with themes of masculinity, power, love and loss. Bodies are physical terrain for toy cars or lustful hands.  The dirt pit is a playpen and a burial ground.

Formed in 2002, Uncle Semolina (& friends) is a Melbourne-based independent company, committed to probing, expanding and exploring theatre as a form. Leavesley and Rolfe create entire worlds, characters and scripts in a distinct departure from text-based theatre. The result is a vital and energetic style of work that typically contains popular culture intertwined with classic and/or iconic stories.

Gilgamesh will be staged at The Studio after its UK premiere at The Barbican Centre, London (Oct 3-13) followed by performances at The Corn Exchange, Newbury (Oct 15-17), the Festival of Australian Theatre, Beijing (Nov 1-4) and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (Nov 8-11).

Gilgamesh is dirty, grungy rock ‘n’ roll theatre at its very best.

“…a riot of postmodern storytelling” Inpress

Season Details: Gilgamesh
Dates/Times: Thursday 15 to Saturday 17, Wednesday 21, Friday 23 and Saturday 24 November at 8.15pm. Tuesday 20 and Thursday 22 November at 6.30pm
Venue: The Studio
Tickets: All tickets $28 / groups of 4 or more $20 per person.
Bookings: +61 2 9250 7777 or online at
Duration: 80 minutes
Information: Online at 


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