Tim Maddock, Furious Mattress (director), Performance held at the Malthouse Theatre, Southbank, Victoria, between 19 February and 13 March 2010. Play by Melissa Reeves. Download here a preview video as writer Melissa Reeves talks about the production. See also links to reviews at The Age, 19 February 2010 and Australian Stage, 28 February 2010.
RESEARCH IMPACT STATEMENT
‘Furious Mattress’ is a new Australian play that describes a backyard exorcism in rural Victoria. Based on actual events, writer Melissa Reeves explores the disturbing terrain of fear and subsequent attempts to control of women’s bodies. Drawing on the horror film genre and a contemporary fascination with the suburban gothic, Reeves weaves comedy with the grotesque in this new work for the stage. Tim Maddock was invited to direct this production by Stephen Armstrong and Michael Kantor, Malthouse Theatre for Season 1, 2010.
Initially workshopped at the Playwriting Australia Conference in Brisbane, ‘Furious Mattress’ is the latest collaboration between Reeves and Maddock, whose creative partnership spans more than twenty years. The ambition of the piece is in creating work whose origins are in the real yet whose discursive and formal strategies are engaged in deconstructing rigid social and psychic structures. Located in a firmly Australian locale the play isn’t solely concerned with issues of Australian identity but rather explores notions of gendered identity and exhumes repressed violence within domestic relationships.
Staged by Malthouse Theatre, one of Australia’s pre-eminent theatre companies, funded through the Australia Council’s Major Performing Arts Board, this production brought together Melissa Reeves and Tim Maddock to work with other highly regarded creatives and actors including: set and costumes by Anna Cordingley; music and sound composed by Jethro Woodward, and performances by Robert Menzies, Rita Kalnejais, Kate Kendall, Thomas Wright. The production received significant coverage in both mainstream and alternative press.