Production still for "Ganesh Versus The Third Reich". Brian Tilley. Photographer: Jeff Busby
Ganesh Versus The Third Reich
29 September 2011 – 09 October 2011 Merlyn Theatre
Malthouse Theatre, Back to Back Theatre, Melbourne International Arts Festival,
Devised Theatre World Premiere Co-Production
The story begins with the elephant-headed god Ganesh travelling through Nazi Germany to reclaim the Swastika, an ancient Hindu symbol. As this intrepid hero embarks on his journey a second narrative is revealed: the actors themselves begin to feel the weighty responsibility of storytellers and question the ethics of cultural appropriation.
Cleverly interwoven in the play’s design is the story of a young man inspired to create a play about Ganesh, god of overcoming obstacles. He is an everyman who must find the strength to overcome the difficulties in his own life, and defend his play and his collaborators against an overbearing colleague.
The show is made before our very eyes and takes on its own life. It invites us to examine who has the right to tell a story and who has the right to be heard. It explores our complicity in creating and dismantling the world, human possibility and hope.
"...THE REMARKABLE PRODUCTION [THAT] NEVER LETS YOU SETTLE INTO PASSIVE ACCEPTANCE OF ANYTHING IT DOES. IT’S A VITAL, SENSES-SHARPENING TONIC FOR THEATERGOERS WHO FEEL THEY’VE SEEN IT ALL.”
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"...COURAGEOUS, CONFRONTING, INTELLIGENT AND MAGISTERIALLY CONSIDERED THEATRE. […] THE TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT HERE IS TO STIMULATE DISCUSSION AROUND ISSUES OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION, THE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THOSE WHO IMAGINE AND SPEAK FOR OTHERS.”
– Cameron Woodhead, The Age
Production still for "Ganesh Versus The Third Reich". L-R: Brian Tilley, Simon Laherty, David Woods. Photographer: Jeff Busby
Production still for "Ganesh Versus The Third Reich". L-R: Scott Price, David Woods, Brian Tilley. Photographer: Jeff Busby
Production still for "Ganesh Versus The Third Reich". L-R: Simon Laherty, Brian Tilley. Photographer: Jeff Busby
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Developed with support from the 2010 Kit Denton Fellowship and the National Theatre Studio, London.