The Lower Depths artwork

The Lower Depths

  • 31st May 2018 - 2nd Jun 2018 to (Everyday)
  • Wollongong
    Performance Space, Building 25.168

Featuring second year Bachelor of Performance students: Jayden Bode, Samantha Bowyer-Tagg, Patrick Finch, Lillian Gerlach, Hannah Ivery, Ingrid Leighton, James McShane, Melanie Parker, Charmaine Sharp, Max Tassell and Eddie Tuckerman

Creatives & Technical Team
Lighting Design team: Brianna Garven, Hamid Torkaman, Jordan Oostendorp and Tom Johnson with mentor, Karen Norris.
Sound/AV operator: Briony Farquhar
Production Manager: Hannah Buchner
Assistant Production Manager: Joshua O’Connor
Stage Managers: Briony Farquhar, Sharni Basile and Tyler Fitzpatrick
Venue Manager: Sam Read

Maxim Gorky’s seminal play about life’s down-and-outs thrust together in a cheap lodging house has a special place in the history of theatre. “The Lower Depths”, originally subtitled ‘Scenes from Russian Life’, was first presented by the Moscow Art Theatre in 1902. It was Konstantin Stanislavski’s first major success as a director and established a benchmark for modern drama, changing audience expectations forever. Never before had audiences witnessed such reality on a theatre stage: raw and brazen, sometimes banal or cruel, compassionate and unjust. Whores, cheats, vagrants, alcoholics and addicts take shelter from the world struggling to find some warmth and light amongst the ruins of their broken lives.

This new adaptation updates the action, placing the characters in the here and now, almost one hundred and twenty years after its first showing. History has shown us how hard life was in pre-revolutionary Russia and Gorky’s play helps to appreciate the urge for violent overthrow of the Tsarist regime. But homelessness and poverty, social despair, addiction and domestic violence have not left us. Today we experience a world more sharply divided than ever by an unjust distribution of the earth’s bounty.

This production, with its youthful cast, explores the craving for life and the persistence of hope that still thrives in the hearts of those who appear to have fallen so low. Hope, that mixed blessing that drives us all on day by day, that raises us time and again, sometimes only to fall once more.

Maxim Gorky (1868 – 1936) was a Russian and Soviet writer, best known as a founder of the socialist realism movement and political activist. A five-time nominee of the Nobel Prize in Literature, he was exiled from Russia for a significant part of his life.

Director, Tim Maddock is Senior Lecturer in performance and theatre. A highly regarded director, he is particularly known for his work with Australian playwrights (Daniel Keene, Melissa Reeve, Anthony Weigh). After graduating from Flinders University, Adelaide, Tim was a founding member of the Red Shed theatre company for whom he designed, directed and acted, later directing works for Brink Productions. He has also directed shows for Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, Griffin Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company.

Warnings: Haze, strobe lighting, adult themes, reference to suicide, coarse language, violence

8pm 31 May – 2 June 
Performance Space, Building 25.168
Tickets: $23, $16 conc., $12 TAEM students