'LET MEN TREMBLE' PERFORMANCE REVIEW


Photographer: Morgan Roberts, Subjects: Shamita Siva, Jane Cameron, Caroline Dunphy, Alexandra Hines (Danny Carroll in background)

Inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 historical novel The Scarlet Letter about a 17th century puritan romance, Let Men Tremble hurls colonial concepts of sin, sex, and the role of women in society into a modern day crucible. A liturgical slut drop dripping with song, dance, and theatrical madness, Let Me Tremble is a rebellion. A revolt. A clarion call. It is a battle cry against the patriarchy, the church, and theatre itself.

“It got me to thinking about The Scarlet Letter. Let Men Tremble champions powerful, complicated and intelligent women and non-binary people at the centre of a new theatrical experience. It's ambitious. It's a huge team and there are so many new collaborators. The work is still surprising all of us and that's exciting when you're creating something original for audiences.”

Lead by award-winning Director/Designer Steven Mitchell Wright, The Danger Ensemble invites Melbourne audiences this August to watch as they take a piece of seminal American literature and transform it into cuttingly-contemporary Australian theatre.

The Danger Ensemble are an award-winning experimental theatre company. Pursuing an understanding of contemporary form and audiences, their work has stretched the gamut from reinvented classics Macbeth and The Wizard of Oz, to live-art experiments We Will Not Kiss Touch Frighten You in the Dark and CALIGULA, to punk-cabaret musical Who Killed Amanda Palmer and new works Loco Maricon Amor and The Hamlet Apocalypse.


Photographer: Morgan Roberts, Subject: Nicole Harvey

Its opening scene, and a group of women are jostling for recognition from their male counterparts in a feat to outperform one another and take centre stage. The performers play up to the postulate of a shiny idealised version of the perfect woman. Their unnerving smiles soon reveal their fractured sense of self, bringing forth the familiar feelings of not being good enough.


The Danger Ensemble packs this production with punch. It has many layers, and as we are guided through a 17th century puritanical play within, we arrive at a clear message as the performers one by one proclaim their plight.


Familiar stories are paralleled with that in modern society, reflecting the universal language in which we talk about women and non-binary identifying people in a humiliating and violating way. Pushed and pulled, poked and prodded, when facing accounts of misogyny, our society asks, ‘did they bring it upon themselves?’


Director/Designer Steven Mitchell Wright certainly doesn't tiptoe around what needs to be said, he cuts straight to the core. Ben Hughes transforms this space into a den with trickles of impactful light that make you feel like you are part of the play. Far from boring, audiences can expect to be taken through a rollercoaster of emotions and dropped into an all-encompassing circle of raw truth.


Rating: 4/5


DETAILS

Dates:14 – 25 August 2019

Times: Multiple times and events. Website for full details Location: Theatre Works (14 Acland St, St Kilda)

Duration: 100 minutes Cost: $45 Full, $37 Concession, $30 Preview, Student and Under 30s

Theatre Works Website