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Madame Night Shade's Poison Garden - Melbourne Fringe 2017

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by Hanford (subscribe)
Hanford is a piano teacher and freelance accompanist. Visit his website at
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A concoction of mess and madness
Madame Night Shade's Poison Garden opening night was on the 21st September 2017 at the La Mama Theatre in Carlton and this thought-provoking show will continue to run at the quaint theatre venue until the 1st October 2017.

Get your tickets now and challenge your perspective of modern society.

Anna Thomson is the creator and actor of this one-woman show and she blends her seasoned acting and singing to create a comical yet at some points, doleful, experience for the La Mama audience.

The seeds for this work began over 18 months ago and was partly performed last year at La Mama's Exploration season.

The show follows Beatrice, a devilish shape shifter, who lurks in the shadow of her alter ego Madame Nightshade. In this dystopic world of the Poison Garden, Madame Nightshade's anarchic antics fracture the perfect facade of contemporary culture, revealing the imperfections in beauty and the beauty in imperfection.

The inspiration for the show comes from Dante's Inferno, a poem from the 15th century that depicts Dante's journey through nine concentric circles of torment within the Earth; the way the source approaches capitalism, religion, history, bodies, gender and violence through visceral imagery and humour.

Anna delights in creating physical comedy that uses grotesque, absurd and larger than life characters to confront societal norms and gender politics. She wants the audience to be affected by the live experience, to oscillate between joy and revulsion, delight and disgust, laughter and discomfort.

madame night shade's poison garden la mama theatre
Detailed stage decor at La Mama Theatre

The small theatre is perfect for intimate performance such as this where the audience can immerse into the scene and be part of the performance. Audience engagement is encouraged (and mandatory for the chosen few). By the end of the show, every member of the audience was comfortable enough to make roaring and whirring noises to spur on the scene on stage.

At the end of the show, you are bound to have a few questions about what you have just witnessed and there is an opportunity after the show to meet with Anna.

Book your tickets and get ready for a MESSY vegetable-y night!
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*Hanford was invited as a guest
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Why? A garden of the darkest secrets
When: Sep 21 Oct 1
Phone: 9660 9666
Where: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
Cost: $25/$15
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