Elleni Toumpas

The fantastical is arriving in Melbourne for five nights with the Art Centre Melbourne’s intergalactic stratospheric show – The Legend of Queen Kong Episode ll: Queen Kong in Outer Space from 16 - 20 January 2019.

Completely disregarding conventional chronology, this narrative starts in the middle and is part of a greater trilogy called The Legend of Queen Kong – which regards itself a ridiculous silly rock show.

The show’s story tells of the prodigal protagonist Queen Kong – part rock, part ape, part immortal being – who has been imprisoned by humans for being too large. She calls on a passing meteorite and breaks free, embarking on a journey of transmutations and bi-curious encounters through time and space.

Performed by Australian cabaret singer Sarah Ward, this show has taken the creative team five years to realise this work. From concept through to its premiere earlier this year at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival to its present incarnation, Ward finally felt that she could move away from previous show character, Yana Alana and step into a different character.

“Creating rock god Queen Kong and moving away from Yana Alana meant I could play with heart, animal and grit, and move away from narcissism and diva,” Ward said.

Ward’s inspiration to create boundary defying work stems from her childhood, where the love of mythological movies like Clash of the Titans and Star Wars enabled her to explore greater meaning through thematic story-lines.

“This is at the core of all my work: to create art that has something to say. The themes of this work in its entirety are about the fragility and responsibility of being human, the absurdity of religious beliefs and the patriarchy. It’s a plea for change; a protest, a manifesto,” she said.

This inclusive new work is backed by all-queer, all-gender-diverse rock band The HOMOsapiens featuring Gen Bernstein, Jo Franklin, Cerise Howard and band leader Bec Matthews.

As this work has been developed with inclusivity in mind, it features deaf performer Asphyxia and Auslan interpreter Kirri Dangerfield. Incorporating Asphyxia into the video art meant Ward was able to invite a more diverse audience into the theatre to experience the work.

Delivering a powerhouse performance that offers a space-fiction rock-concert of meteoric proportions – with a special appearance by Yana Alana herself – this is one inclusive, gender-diverse show not to be missed!

See The Legend of Queen Kong Episode II: Queen Kong in Outer Space at the Arts Centre this January!


Dates: 16 - 20 January 2019

Location: Arts Centre Melbourne’s Fairfax Studio

Time: Wed- Fri – 7.30pm, Saturday - 4pm* & 7:30pm, Sunday - 5pm

Duration: 75 minutes (no interval)

Cost: Admission costs apply

Bookings: 1300 182 183

Arts Centre Website