Saving a town, but at what cost?

Saving a town, but at what cost?
Kaylah Joelle Baker

Malthouse Theatre’s latest production of Nosferatu has been considered so enticing and thrilling that its season has already been extended by more than a week.

Following the outstanding amount of interest and demand for its extension, the production, which is based on the 1992 silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, will now run from February 10 to March 5.

Described as “thrilling, cheeky, delicious, and exhilarating” by performer Sophie Ross, who plays the character of Kate, Nosferatu is a scintillating gothic drama, with a vampire protagonist.

As a unique genre, not often represented in theatre, Ms Ross kept many of the specific details under wraps, but was quick to assure Southbank News that audiences would be “on the edge of their seats the whole time”.

Set in Tasmania, in the small town of Bluewater, Nosferatu follows many townspeople’s desperation to save their home after the local mines closed down, leaving it an environmentally difficult place to live, with little to no work.

During this problematic time, philanthropist Count Orlok (actor Jacob Collins-Levy) reaches out with promises and hopes of restoring the town, bringing his money and dreams of planting a vineyard with him.

While the Count’s proposal may seem too good to be true, the townspeople’s desperation causes them to remain in “denial and delusion”, despite people suddenly vanishing from sight upon the arrival of this new mysterious man.

“Gradually the town, which was dying in one way, environmentally and in terms of economy, starts having people literally dying and disappearing,” Ms Ross said.


The play follows four characters who all have a very different relationship with Count Orlok, and it’s interesting to explore how different humans can respond to that level of power, danger and intoxication, because he is a very charismatic and powerful figure.


Ms Ross’ character Kate adds a very intriguing element to the play, because as someone who moved away only to return to her hometown to care for her sick mother, Kate is “immune to charisma” and has the ability to not be fooled.

Leaving her to be the voice of suspicion in a crowd too scared to question the rhythm; demanding audience members to also question just how far they would go in turning a blind eye, when they are not the one in danger.

Nosferatu is written by multi award-winning playwright Keziah Warner, directed by Malthouse Theatre Director in Residence Bridget Balodis, with performers Keegan Joyce, Max Brown, and Shamita Sivabalan joining Ms Ross and Mr Collins-Levy. •


Photo - Kristian Gehradte

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