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DEADHOUSE: Tales of Sydney Morgue

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Sydney's past comes alive in two immersive true-crime tales

This spring, DEADHOUSE: Tales of Sydney Morgue returns for a chilling third season featuring two engrossing stories from writer/director Liviu Monsted: The Razor Gang Wars: The Rise of Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh, followed by Simmonds & Newcombe: The Deadly Run.

Inhabiting the 200-year-old crypt beneath Sydney's St James' church, each immersive DEADHOUSE experience will transport audiences back in time, through the crypt's eerie neo-gothic tunnel and branches, to witness the stories behind some of this city's most infamous and often inspiring personalities.

For centuries city morgues were known as deadhouses. Between 1854 and 1972, Sydney's deadhouse was the Sydney Morgue and Coroner's Court in The Rocks. Thousands of grim tales of murder and unexplained death passed through the site and into Sydney's history.

DEADHOUSE Tales of Sydney Morgue Season 3 brings to light the notorious crimes of Sydney's Queens of the Underworld - Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh - and the confrontation that led to the bloody Razor Gang Wars in 1929. Followed by the story of the biggest manhunt in NSW history, the deadly run of prison escapees Simmonds and Newcombe.

  • Razor Gang Wars: The Rise of Tilly Devine & Kate Leigh by Liviu Monsted, 1st - 17th Sept

    Sydney, 1927-29. Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine have conquered the underworld, rising to become two of the nation's most powerful and wealthy women.

    When Norman Bruhn makes a bid to take over the territory of Razorhurst, a war of deceit and violence erupts. Amidst the chaos stands Lillian Armfield, Australia's first policewoman.

    Forming a strong bond with sex worker Nellie Cameron, Lillian sets out to calm the streets, but that means taking on The Snow Queen and The Queen of the Bordello. There will be blood and the NSW police force will be changed forever.

  • Simmonds & Newcombe: The Deadly Run by Liviu Monsted 29th Sept to 15th Oct 2022

    In 1959, two convicts, Kevin Simmonds and Leslie Newcombe undertook an audacious escape from Sydney's notorious Long Bay Penitentiary, leading to a weeks-long hunt involving more than 500 police officers and scores of dogs. Escaping from the gaol through a ventilation duct in the roof of the prison chapel, they spent their first night of freedom huddled in a freshly dug grave in Botany Cemetery before breaking into Emu Plains Prison Farm. There they murdered a guard to steal his revolver before hiding in bushland. Their ability to elude capture and outfox police made the two men famous during their time on the run. Five weeks later crowds cheered 'Simmo' when he was eventually brought to Sydney's Central Criminal Court for trial.

    Featuring costume design by Andrea Tan (The Lovely Bones, The Removalists), production design by Irma Calabrese (The Spoils), and a talented cast of fifteen performers, DEADHOUSE: Tales of Sydney Morgue - Season 3 is set to be an exhilarating mix of live theatre, history and true crime.

    This strictly limited season is set to sell out; secure your tickets today at Eventbrite (links below) or cash at the door (if tickets are available):

    Razor Gang Wars

    Simmonds & Newcombe

    For all the latest on DEADHOUSE: Tales of Sydney Morgue, please follow this Facebook page.

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    Where: The Crypt - St Jamesí Church, 173 King St, Sydney. Entry via West Courtyard.
    Cost: General Admission $85, Concession $75 plus booking fee. Discounts available for groups.
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